In America we used to have protection from unreasonable search and seizure via the 4th Amendment. Unfortunately that protection no longer applies. Over the last ten years we have become a police state.
I have come out against the NYPD and other police agencies due to their abuse of authority. In my article NYPD Public Enemy #1I stated “The amount of surveillance in NYC is astounding. A person could walk from one end of City to the other and never be off camera. According to the MSNBC report Day of Destruction Decade of War “Privacy guidelines don’t allow the cops to look into individual apartments, but with the technology they have it is possible.” Personally I don’t trust the NYPD or any other police force with this kind of surveillance technology. The NYPD can’t even be trusted with pepper spray let alone surveillance helicopters. The report goes on to describe the NYPDs $100 million dollar command center that monitors over 1700 cameras. The Police supposedly erase data after 30 days according to privacy guidelines.”
Recently it has come to light that the NYPD has been spying on innocent Muslims who’s only crime is their ethnicity. The Huffington Post released an article detailing this affront to our constitutional rights. Posted below is a short excerpt from that article.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the NYPD has become one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies. A secret squad known as the Demographics Unit deployed plainclothes officers, typically of Arab descent, into Muslim neighborhoods to photograph mosques and catalog everywhere Muslims congregate, including restaurants, grocery stores, Internet cafes and travel agencies. The officers eavesdropped inside businesses and filed daily reports on the ethnicity of the owner and clientele and what they overheard. The program was not based on allegations of criminal activity and did not stop at the city line.
Police also infiltrated Muslim student organizations and monitored the websites of Muslim student groups. Officers included names of students and professors in police files, even when there were no allegations of criminal wrongdoing. Some of the city’s Muslim allies, those who stood beside Mayor Michael Bloomberg and decried terrorism, were being monitored by the NYPD.
Where is the public outrage? I know that if African Americans or Latinos were being monitored in violation of their constitutional rights the people would demand an explanation. Unfortunately it has become socially acceptable to persecute Muslims in this nation, which amounts to an erosion of the civil rights movement.
Muslims aren’t the only group under the illegal scrutiny of the NYPD. I have recently discovered that liberals and other political activists are also under the watchful eye of the NYPD and the DHS. I take this very personally as I am a member of a group of people who are being persecuted by the authorities.
A CBS news article details how the NYPD is monitoring peaceful protesters and even journalists with no evidence of criminal activity.
Before the terrorist attacks of September 2001, infiltrating political groups was one of the most tightly controlled powers the NYPD could use. Such investigations were restricted by a longstanding court order in a lawsuit over the NYPD’s spying on protest groups in the 1960s.
After the attacks, Cohen told a federal judge that, to keep the city safe, police must be allowed to open investigations before there’s evidence of a crime. A federal judge agreed and relaxed the rules.
In addition the Associated Press has released an official NYPD document which confirms the NYPD’s illegal scrutiny of U.S. citizens.
That document is available here.
In fact the NYPD’s activities are so egregious that the AP has an ongoing investigation in an effort to uncover wrongdoing.
Everybody out there should be gravely concerned about this. The authorities will not stop at investigating Muslims and liberals. Eventually everyone will be a suspect and we will all live in a state of constant fear and paranoia.
Martin Niemöller said it best when he said
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.“