When Levy Sent a Cop After a Homeless Latino Man, It Spoke to His Ethos

This week’s Long Island Press recounts an interview Steve Levy gave last year after he lost in his bid to become governor. Levy takes time during the interview to attack a Latino man who lost his home during a code enforcement crackdown that targeted Latino housing in central Suffolk:

Levy promises to give us an affidavit from a Hispanic man that Newsday had reported was made homeless by Levy’s closing an illegal apartment house. A photo with the original story showed the man beside a cardboard box in the woods. He claims a local cop identified the man as never being homeless and confronted him, insisting the photo was staged.

“The guy admitted it, and put it down in a statement,” Levy stresses emphatically.

[Following repeated requests from the Press since last June, Levy’s office has still not produced the affidavit to this day.]

This brief passage tells a lot about how Levy operates.

First, the county executive obviously sees no problem in a police officer who is supposed to protect the public using his taxpayer-supported time to convince, and likely intimidate, a Latino into signing an affidavit in defense of Levy.

Second, like a lot of his allegations against the immigrant community, Levy levels a charge and then fails to produce the evidence.

Third, before the crackdown, Levy was happy to brag about how he was getting tough on immigrants. When his campaign forced people out of their homes and into the woods, Levy denied his actions had any negative effects on his victims.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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