The House refused this week to rebuke the New York Police Department's intelligence-gathering efforts focused on Muslim groups, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), introduced an amendment to a Justice Department appropriations bill that would have blocked spending on police programs found to violate the U.S. Constitution or federal antidiscrimination laws. The measure was part of a broader push to stop the NYPD's counterterrorism and surveillance efforts focused on Muslims.
“My amendment would ensure that no federal funds are flowing to any law-enforcement entity that the [Justice] Department has identified as engaging in racial, ethnic, and religious profiling,” he said. It failed in a largely party-line vote, 232 to 193. The police counterterrorism tactics have come under scrutiny as the result of an Associated Press probe into efforts targeting Muslim groups in the city and across the New York region. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have defended the department's approach as necessary and legal.