Writing in the New York Times, columnist Jim Dwyer says that the NYPD’s explanation of its involvement in a controversial film about Muslims “has been contaminated with official falsehoods.” The police first said that only a few officers were shown the film and that the department had not cooperated with the filmmakers; it turned out that 1,400 officers saw it and that Police Commission Raymond Kelly gave a 90-minute interview for the project.
Dwyer writes, “No one has given a straight, plausible story to explain how a piece of agitprop wound up being screened in a police training facility for months.” He notes that since 9/11 police have enjoyed vastly expanded powers to conduct surveillance. “In effect, a federal court was asked to trust the police not to abuse that power or infringe on people's rights,” Dwyer writes. “In opinion polls, Mr. Kelly has proven to be among the city's most popular public officials, and he seemed to enjoy the confidence of a majority of New Yorkers. Yet Mr. Kelly is not going to be police commissioner forever, and ‘trust me’ is not a policy that can work forever.”