New Jersey State Police have barred agents of the state Office of Counter-Terrorism from filing reports to their database after finding numerous computer entries targeted suspects simply because they practiced Islam or had connections to Muslim groups, according to high-ranking state officials and law enforcement sources. The Newark Star-Ledger reports the police action sparked a dispute that became so intense, acting Gov. Richard Codey’s office had to intervene by summoning Attorney General Peter Harvey, State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes and Counter-Terrorism Director Sydney Caspersen to a Statehouse meeting to broker a peace.
At issue were more than 100 reports Caspersen’s investigators had recently filed into a database known as Statewide Intelligence Management System, which is administered by state police. The database is designed as a crime-fighting tool to be used by state, county and local law enforcement officials. It contains more than 500,000 entries on criminal activities and investigations dating to the 1960s. Sources said Caspersen denied his agency was profiling. He said the reports were simply incomplete and that State Police officials who oversee the database had drawn incorrect conclusions. The attorney general is conducting a review of the reports and, until he is finished, Caspersen’s agents will not be allowed to file data into the system.