The New York Police Department (NYPD)’s mass surveillance of Muslims in New York City is nothing new, and even if the city’s Muslims aren’t exactly okay with the idea, they at the very least aren’t surprised anymore. But what if you don’t live in New York City, or even New York State?
Turns out, that doesn’t mean the NYPD isn’t watching you, as growing evidence emerges that the police department has been launching surveillance operations against Muslim college students across the entire northeastern United States, as well as building databases of stores that Muslims shop at in Newark, New Jersey.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the surveillance, insisting that keeping tabs on Muslims across the region is “what you would expect them to do,” adding that a number of terrorists were once members of Muslim student organizations and that the police have an “obligation” to spy on those groups.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is less happy about the situation, saying it “raises a number of concerns” and saying that his city never authorized the spying, nor were they even informed about it. A leaked report showed police routinely eavesdropping on apparent Muslims engaged in conversation, but turned up no evidence of terrorist plots or criminal activity.