Potential NYC Mayoral Candidates Weigh In On NYPD Surveillance Of Muslim Student Groups

NEW YORK (AP) — Potential candidates for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office are taking stands on the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslim students, ranging from cautious support to a warning about curtailing civil liberties.

Bloomberg, who leaves office after the 2013 election, has said that he finds “worrisome” the idea that his successor might abandon NYPD policies that have kept New Yorkers safe.

The NYPD used undercover officers and informants to infiltrate Muslim student groups at a dozen colleges in New York City, upstate New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. The monitoring was part of the department’s anti-terrorism efforts.

But Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said in a statement to the AP over the weekend that “it is troubling when people are subject to surveillance and investigation simply because they are members of a particular group.”

However, the Democrat, a declared candidate for mayor, praised the city’s police department for doing an “extraordinary job protecting our city,” as long as authorities make sure anti-terrorism efforts “do not trample on the civil liberties that all citizens have a right to enjoy.”

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday that his department is “continuing to do what we believe necessary to protect the city, pursuant to the law.” He did not elaborate.

NYC Comptroller John C. Liu, who is expected to run for mayor, praised “the dedicated men and women of the NYPD” for doing “an extraordinary job of keeping New Yorkers safe.” But in a statement, he also warned that “we should not as a matter of policy profile people based on religion or race — it goes against everything this city stands for.”

Liu, a Queens Democrat, faces a federal investigation into his fundraising operation after reports of inconsistencies in his campaign finances.

When asked about the NYPD surveillance, media executive Tom Allon didn’t hedge.

“I support the tactics that they’ve used,” said Allon, who plans to run as both a Liberal and a Democrat. “I think we’ve got a much larger problem here, which is making sure there’s no terrorist attack on New York.”

Three other possible candidates, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former comptroller Bill Thompson, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Who do you think would make a worthy next NYC mayor? Sound off in our comments section below…

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • mak

    Of course, Christine Quinn had no response. She has to check with her lord and master, Bloomberg, before saying anything. I’m going to vote for anybody but her in the next election.

  • Bullett

    The future candidates for Mayor should ignore comments from the media and Muslim communities, and focus on the real issues of safety and security to all residences and visitors. This I believe is one of the reasons why NYC had a successful (2011) tourist season. After all how many votes will come from the Muslim sect? Two, maybe three percent! Small potatoes! However, always be prepared for the unexpected. I still believe in what Commissioner Kelly says; “there are some terror cells still out there”.

  • Jerry Frey
  • White hooded

    We need a lot more aggressive tactics than mere ” surveillance” to keep these non-whites under some level of control, and I applaud the govt’s efforts. I advocate serious concern regarding all imagrants

  • Raymond Leslie

    Bloombergs had his fifteen minutes and it’s time for him to quit while he’s ahead.

  • r.smith

    No matter what anyone says, it’s just plain un American to keep files on any
    specific group of people who belong to a religious club or association for which no probable cause exists to infiltrate or spy on. The real terrorists win when the USA
    resorts to ethnic or racial profiling when there is no information which supports
    these tactics.

  • The Facts

    Why is the media milking this story to death? What is the agenda here?

  • shameless is clueless

    Big Brother is everywhere and it needs to be .



  • M.A.D

    Sorry but anyone who was believed to be a Nazi or a Communist was kept under survaillance during and after WWII and the Cold War…So get over it already!!

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