BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – U.S. Attorney James Kennedy is renewing his calls against New York’s Green Light Law. He says last night’s civil unrest is a perfect example of how it puts officers at risk.
After a vehicle hit several officers Monday night, there was a team of Homeland security agents following the vehicle, but they could not run the license plate number.
“They can’t get the plate. To me that’s crazy,” Kennedy said. “How can we have that in our country.”
The Green Light Law, which went into effect earlier this year, gives people who are in New York illegally the chance to get a driver’s license, or government ID. It also prevents border protection and other federal officers from accessing DMV records.
“It’s my obligation to do my best to protect the people not only the district but of the state of New York and that’s what we’re trying to do but laws such as this make that job very difficult,” Kennedy said.
In April, legislatures made a change to the Green Light Law to prevent officers from sharing DMV information to any federal agency in charge of immigration. If an officer shares information it’s considered a felony.
“To me basically what that says is they’re legislating obstruction and creating further division within the law enforcement community,” Kennedy said. “I think that what we’re seeing the past couple of days are how far we are divided as a nation.”
Police did catch the vehicle and those responsible for running over and injuring two police officers.
Kennedy says it still would have been useful for homeland security agents who were following the car, to look up the cars plates.
“It’s very concerning,” he said. “It’s very scary. Obviously we’re going to do the best with what we have to continue to support our state and local law enforcement partners to work with them.”