Yesterday three members of Congress circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter expressing their disapproval of reports that the NYPD was spying on Muslim and calling for the Department of Justice to investigate.
Write Reps. Judy Chu and Mike Honda of California and Bobby Scott of Illinois:
According to reports, since 2002, the NYPD has engaged in conduct that has singled out Muslims for police contact – stops and investigations – based upon their race, ethnicity or national origin. This surveillance allegedly included targeting mosques, student groups, restaurants and even motorists in both NYC and outside the NYPD’s jurisdiction. The NYPD has reportedly been collecting information on U.S. citizens without probable cause and electronically storing this information and has a database of Muslims in the NYC area. The NYPD has also reportedly been crossing state lines without the knowledge of states that they entered to conduct this operation.
These allegations, if true, would be a violation of civil rights and would trigger a number of federal laws including the National Security Act of 1947 and the federal Police Misconduct Statute. This situation must be examined further.
This meddling however into the affairs of the NYPD isn’t sitting well with members of the local Congressional delegation, particularly Long Island Republican Peter King and Queens/ Brooklyn Republican Bob Turner.
They have circulated their own “Dear Colleague” letter, calling on their fellow electeds to “stop smearing the NYPD:
A recent “Dear Colleague” from three Members of Congress attacking the NYPD was embarrassingly uninformed and shamefully misleading.
The reality is that the NYPD is the leading police department in the country with the largest and most effective counterterrorism force, dedicating 1000 officers to protecting New York from terrorist attacks. To date, under Commissioner Ray Kelly’s leadership, at least 14 attacks by Islamic terrorists have been prevented by the NYPD. All this has been accomplished in full compliance with federal law and despite the NYPD being underfunded by the federal government.
To clear away the cloud of ignorance, political correctness, misinformation and false allegations against the NYPD, we urge you to read the enclosed article, “NYPD True”, by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey which eviscerates the misguided criticism against the NYPD and gives Ray Kelly and his officers the credit they so richly deserve. As FBI Director Robert Mueller testified just yesterday: “Ray Kelly has done an unbelievable job in terms of protecting New York City from terrorist attacks.” All fair-minded Members of Congress should agree.