NY’s highest court upholds law banning chokeholds and diaphragm compression by police

The New York State Supreme Court on Monday upheld a New York City law that prohibits police from choking or compressing a person’s diaphragm during an arrest, rejecting a police union’s challenge to a law passed after the death of George Floyd. .

In a unanimous decision, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the law’s language is clear and does not conflict with current state law prohibiting the use of choke by police.

The city’s law comes after governments across the U.S. banned or tightened the use of chokeholds and similar restraints by police after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes before he died in 2020. It was enacted under restrictions.

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The New York City Police Benevolent Association, along with other law enforcement unions, is suing the city over the law, arguing that the language is vague about what officers are allowed to do during arrests. John Nuttall, a spokesman for the New York City Police Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the ruling provides clarity for officers.

“Although this is not the outcome we were hoping for, this court’s decision is a victory in that it gives our officers great confidence regarding the statute, because based on this court’s decision, at least the next In fact, the officer’s actions “interfered with the person’s ability to breathe,” were “not accidental,” and were not a “justified use of physical force,” Nusour said. said.

The New York City Police Department has long prohibited officers from using chokeholds to subdue people. New York state also has a law banning police chokeholds, named after Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by a New York City police officer in 2014.

While the city’s law bans chokes, it also includes a provision that prohibits police officers from compressing a person’s diaphragm. This pressure can make it difficult to breathe whether you are on your knees, sitting on your chest or back, or standing.