Pelly Defends New York Police Antiterror Surveillance Activities


New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended his department’s counterterrorism program, saying “people have short memories as to what happened here in 2001,” reports the New York Times. Kelly spoke on WOR-AM radio in response to growing criticism of his department’s surveillance methods, including monitoring Muslim communities in New York City and beyond and its reliance on stop-and-frisk tactics as a crime-fighting tool.

“It would be folly for us to focus only on the five boroughs of New York City, and we have to use all of our resources to protect everyone,” Kelly said. He suggested that criticism from political candidates amounted to “pandering” that ignored the department's core mission. “What we're trying to do is save lives, and the tactics and strategies that we've used on the streets of this city have indeed saved lives,” he said. The Associated Press reported on the department’s mapping out Muslim neighborhoods in Newark, focusing on businesses and mosques, and how police reports had been based on information gleaned by monitoring Web sites of Muslim student organizations at universities across the Northeast. Several universities expressed concern over the police department's scrutiny of their student organizations.

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