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Gov. Cuomo Under Pressure To Investigate NYPD Over Muslim Spying

Commissioner Kelly Doesn't Back Down Or Apologize For Department's Actions
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New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There was a demand Monday for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to investigate the NYPD’s surveillance tactics in the Muslim community.

This despite the Police Department saying its undercover probes have led to the arrest of nearly 50 terrorists, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Jose Pimentel, Samir Khan and Faisal Shahzad might not be household names, but the NYPD says its undercover work in the Muslim community kept them from blowing up your households.

“We’re going to do everything we can … to make certain something like that doesn’t happen again,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

In defending itself from charges it violated civil rights by spying on mosques, and Muslim businesses, police say they have arrested 44 terrorist like Pimentel — accused of building a bomb to target police cars and post offices — right here in New York City, and they are not going to stop.

“Not everybody is going to be happy, but our primary mission, our primary goal is to keep this city safe and save lives,” Kelly said.

The commissioner was also asked why the NYPD has used federal drug fighting funds — called HIDTA grant (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) — for its surveillance activities in Muslim communities.

“HIDTA money is what you might call broad band. It’s used for many different things by many different agencies,” Kelly said.

Meanwhile, civil rights activists are asking Gov. Cuomo to investigate NYPD surveillance actions in the Muslim community, much as his father, Gov. Mario Cuomo, probed NYPD actions during the Crown Heights riots.

“Governor Cuomo, we hope that you are one of those political figures that can rise above the clamor and be courageous, even though at this particular moment it is popular for Ray Kelly to do surveillance of Muslims,” civil rights activist Normal Siegel said.

Siegel said that Cuomo’s stance is vital.

“The irony here is that Gov. Christie in New Jersey has at least on the record said he is concerned and troubled by what was happening in New Jersey. Where is Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the issue?” Siegel said.

CBS 2’s Kramer tried all day Monday to get a response from Gov. Cuomo’s office, which didn’t respond directly to Siegel’s request.

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