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'We Will Not Let New Yorkers Be Discriminated Against': Cuomo Says R.I. Will End Coronavirus Police Stops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS/AP) – Rhode Island has agreed to end its controversial order allowing state police to stop vehicles with NY license plates in order to collect information from drivers and passengers. Gov. Gina Raimondo had announced the plan as an extreme effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

On Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Rhode Island agreed to end the plan. Later in the day, Raimondo clarified that a wider plan for cracking down on people coming into Rhode Island from out-of-state will take precedent.

"We will not let New Yorkers be discriminated against," Cuomo tweeted.

While Raimondo has the authority to suspend some state laws and regulations to address a medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution, ACLU of Rhode Island Executive Director Steven Brown said in a statement Thursday.

Raimondo said she has the legal right to order New York drivers be stopped, but signed a new superseding order on all out-of-state drivers that now takes precedent.

The new executive order mandates all out-of-state passenger vehicles stop at information centers along the border. Travelers must share destination information if they are seeking refuge in Rhode Island, then self-quarantine for 14 days.

"The Governor's top priority is keeping Rhode Islanders safe," her press secretary Josh Block wrote Sunday in an email. "New York is a hotspot of this epidemic, and as a matter of public safety, it was critical to ensure travelers from New York are self-quarantining to avoid unnecessary spread."

The Rhode Island governor criticized Cuomo during her Sunday press conference, saying she does not understand with the New York governor focusing on the politics of the situation.

"He's welcome to sue us. I think he'd have a very hard time because I'm on firm legal ground," said Raimondo.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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