NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A new poll finds most New Jersey residents support the secret monitoring of Muslim groups by the New York Police Department, though that sentiment isn’t as strong in Hudson and Essex counties.
The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Friday found 47 percent of New Jerseyans felt the monitoring was necessary, while 32 percent were against it, saying it violated civil liberties.
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Twelve percent said it was necessary even though it violated civil liberties.
“Another recent poll told us that New Yorkers strongly supported the NYPD, which was to be expected,” poll Director David Redlawsk, a professor of political science at Rutgers, said in a statement. “But New Jerseyans also seem to have few problems with the NYPD’s actions, which is more surprising since we’re talking about an out-of-state police force operating in secret here.”
In Hudson and Essex counties, where the monitoring was conducted, 37 percent were in favor while 44 percent said it violated civil liberties.
“Not surprisingly, those closest to the surveillance operations are the most likely to be concerned for civil liberties violations,” said Redlawsk. “Moreover, these counties have larger Muslim populations, as well as other groups who may see themselves as potential targets for undercover operations.”
Three-quarters of 601 adults surveyed in the last week said secret monitoring of groups is at least somewhat effective in combating terrorism.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
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