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Legal Analysis on Initial Steps of Buffalo Police Reform Policy

WIVB News 4 recently aired a report on steps that have been taken by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown regarding police reform in their respective jurisdictions. Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed for the story to provide legal analysis on some logistical aspects of the new reforms as well as the potential widespread impact the reforms may have.

Police Reform Legislation

WIVB reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a package of police reform measures into law in New York State. In an announcement on the police reform legislation, Gov. Cuomo also indicated that the state would withhold money from police departments that fail to reform their practices.
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Legal Analysis on Executive Order Allowing Businesses to Deny Entry to People Without Masks

Following a statewide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, New York State has begun phases of reopening. As counties in Western New York are on the brink of entering Phase II of reopening, businesses continue to assess how to address health concerns.

In public briefings, Governor Andrew Cuomo has stressed the importance of all citizens wearing face masks when in public to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. This week, Governor Cuomo issued a new executive order, which allows New York State businesses to deny entry to customers who are not wearing a mask or face covering.

As part of the ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, WGRZ 2 On Your Side recently aired a story on Governor Cuomo’s new executive order. Reporter Jackie Roberts explored the legal rights of customers and how this executive order may be enforced. Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed to provide legal analysis for this report.
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Trusted Traveler Program Applications Suspended for New York State Residents

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that it is suspending applications for Trusted Traveler Programs from residents of New York State. Trusted Traveler Programs, such as NEXUS and other global entry, allows for an expedited process for pre-screened travelers who are traveling between the United States and Canada.

As reported by WGRZ 2 On Your Side, the federal government cited New York State’s recently enacted Green Light Law as the reason for suspending Trusted Traveler Program applications from New York State residents. The Green Light Law allows illegal aliens, who are residing in New York State, to receive a state issued driver’s license. In addition, the Green Light Law prohibits New York State DMV data from being shared with federal law enforcement agencies such as Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

New York State officials who support the Green Light Law argue that other states already have similar laws in place and DMV data is not needed for the extensive screening process that is required for applicants of Trust Traveler Programs such as NEXUS. State and local officials who opposed the Green Light Law argue that the Department of Homeland Security’s actions indicate the law should be repealed.
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