New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said today that she agrees with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in backing the NYPD’s controversial surveillance of ethnic communities.
“Unless we know that laws were broken or someone’s civil liberties were violated, I do not think the NYPD should stop the practice,” Quinn said. “However, when one group feels targeted, it’s crucial to make sure that their voices and concerns are heard.”
Quinn’s statement of support came the same day the New York Civil Liberties Union called for a federal investigation into the reported use of White House funds by the NYPD. Today, the AP revealed that the NYPD's surveillance activities not only used federal money, but were left out of annual reports to Congress.
“This new report … raises significant new questions about White House oversight of how its funds were used by the NYPD, for what purposes and whether those uses comply with the law,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Project. “We are deeply concerned that federal resources may have been used and spying information stored in violation of federal regulations that protect Americans' privacy and constitutional rights against law enforcement overreach.”
In the past, both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have turned down requests to investigate the NYPD.
“It's not just Mayor Bloomberg who needs to investigate the NYPD's improper activities, it's now the federal government as well,” Shamsi added.
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