The American Civil Liberties Union called on the Justice Department Thursday to investigate efforts by the New York City Police Department to conduct surveillance in Muslim communities.
In a letter signed by 125 state and national organizations, the ACLU asked the Justice Department’s civil rights division to open a probe into the “unlawful religious profiling and suspicionless surveillance of Muslims in New York City and beyond.”
Citing NYPD documents and an investigative series of articles on the NYPD’s secret intelligence operations by The Associated Press, the ACLU said New York police have sent infiltrators into mosques, student associations and elsewhere to take photos, write down license-plate numbers and keep notes on people because they are Muslim.
Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson had no comment because she had not seen the letter. A police spokesman said the department could not immediately comment.