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NYPD Disbands Unit That Surveilled Muslims

April 17, 2014  | 

The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said, reports the New York Times.

The decision by the nation’s largest police force to shutter the controversial surveillance program represents the first sign that William J. Bratton, the department’s new commissioner, is backing away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices of his predecessor. The Police Department’s tactics, which are the subject of two federal lawsuits, drew criticism from civil rights groups and a senior official with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who said they harmed national security by sowing mistrust for law enforcement in Muslim communities.

To many Muslims, the squad, known as the Demographics Unit, was a sign that the police viewed their every action with suspicion. The police mapped communities inside and outside the city, logging where customers in traditional Islamic clothes ate meals and documenting their lunch-counter conversations.

The Demographics Unit, which was renamed the Zone Assessment Unit in recent years, has been largely inactive since Mr. Bratton took over in January, the department’s chief spokesman, Stephen Davis, said. The unit’s detectives were recently reassigned.

Tags: NYPD, Surveillance Operations

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Butch @ 4/17/2014 6:26 PM

It totally amazes me that people are so upset about someone is attempting to protect the people of this country. I don't care what they do to protect this nation to protect us both domestic and foreign.

Maybe someone should form a private group and do it. Police can't but civilians can. And just like anything else, if you find a crime or one that may be going to occur. Just walk into your local Police Dept and turn the information over to them.

Retired and glad @ 4/17/2014 8:18 PM

This is another example of Islam using the media's and politicians fear to be found in violation of political correctness that they abandon their duty to protect our Constitution and the citizens that our founding fathers and soldiers in numerous ward sacrificed for.

Capt. Crunch @ 4/17/2014 8:19 PM

Very simple just change the squad name of the plainclothes officers to " Muslim community organizers ". This way the police could help the good Muslims and arrest the bad ones.

AJ @ 4/17/2014 8:23 PM

But Harry Reid, calls the Bundy's "Domestic Terrorists" anyone who's anti-Agenda 21 etc. Anyone who's anti-Climate Change aka Global Warming is a Flat Earther. Being as the leader in the WH sends Firearms, F-15's to pro-Muslim Brotherhood Nations, it makes you wonder if "Were the bad guys?"

But Christans/Jews and anyone who's a Nationalist, instead of a Globalist is a "Domestic Terrorist."

The POTUS doesn't mine helping radical Islam. It's US citizens who he loathes! Along with LEOs, War Vets, and people who are white.

Bob@Az. @ 4/19/2014 8:34 PM

Ok, lets focus on those dangerous terrorist called the Brownies!! Them and the upper elite cadre, The Girl Scouts of America, should be closely watched! Oh yeah, with those sneaky little "cookie" boxes all over the city. I'm sure Bratton is more concerned with them then with a mass of "death to the infidels" believers. I mean really, what have the Muslims ever done to us???? I mean besides killing over three thousand New Yorkers in one day. Blues, Stay Safe.

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