Civil Liberties Groups Demand Investigation Into Federal Money Used For NYPD's Surveillance Of Muslims
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The American and New York Civil Liberties Unions are calling for a federal investigation into the use of millions of federal dollars by the New York City Police Department for surveillance operations on Muslims.
The ACLU and NYCLU say the NYPD used the money for religious and racial profiling.
The Associated Press reported federal money helped fund the department's intelligence efforts into Muslim restaurants, shops and mosques.
The money is part of a grant used to help local police forces fight drug crimes.
The report also shows the NYPD's surveillance program was not addressed in annual reports to Congress on the grant.
"What's clear is that the police department of New York City has fashioned itself as a mini-CIA, going well beyond the confines of New York City, not just based on tips, but as a routine matter of surveillance."
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the money is used for many types of operations and that the NYPD is committed to protecting the city.
"We're going continue to do what we have to do to make certain to the best of our ability that we don't have another catastrophic event like we did in 2001," said the commissioner.
White House officials say they have no control over how the federal funds are spent, and added the president has made clear that he views Muslim Americans as partners in fighting terrorism.