A US civil liberties groups has welcomed the closure of a New York Police Department’s surveillance unit which eavesdrops on Muslims but says it’s only the first step because it doesn’t necessarily mean an end to the NYPD’s unconstitutional surveillance.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday said the ending of the so-called Demographic Unit, which was part of a massive prejudiced surveillance program, should lead to the termination of other “abusive tactics employed by the NYPD.”
The New York Times reported Tuesday that the NYPD shuttered the unit that created maps and collected other information on Muslim communities in the New York City area.
“The NYPD’s discriminatory spying program has many components, of which the Demographics Unit was just one,” the ACLU said on its website. “Before we celebrate the end of bias-based policing, we need to ensure that the other abusive tactics employed by the NYPD meet the same fate as the unit.”
The New York based civil liberties advocacy organization noted that the NYPD continues to utilize other discriminatory spying programs including the use of informants and discriminatory use of surveillance cameras.
New York City police have also designated some US mosques as "terrorism enterprises" and use the “radicalization” theory, meaning, basically, anyone who identifies as Muslim, harbors Islamic beliefs, or engages in Islamic religious practices is radicalized.
The Associated Press first revealed in 2011 that the NYPD was spying on Muslims in New York and New Jersey, showing that the department investigated countless innocent Muslims and put information about them in secret police files.