Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy promised his department will never conduct blanket surveillance of Muslims like the New York Police Department did in Newark, N.J., when he was chief there, the Associated Press reports. McCarthy addressed the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago, a civil rights organization. He said police would follow leads in criminal cases, but the department “does not and will not conduct blanket surveillance and profiling of any community in the city of Chicago.”
McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have tried to reassure Chicago-area Muslims since the Associated Press reported the New York police spying in Newark. AP said that in 2007, the secretive New York Demographics Unit fanned out across Newark, photographing mosques and eavesdropping on Muslim businesses. AP said that the department was conducting similar surveillance in New York, building databases showing where Muslims live, shop, and pray.