New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved and oversaw a program to spy on Muslim Americans.
What We Know:
- The NYPD paid people to spy, bait and record the Muslim community in the area. This was exposed in 2011 by the Associated Press’ Pulitzer Prize-winning series. Trump has praised this program during his presidential run. Bloomberg said it’s what he expected the NYPD to do, according to the Huffington Post.
- 19-year-old college student Asad Dandia experienced this surveillance and commented that: “By inheriting a national structure of surveillance, someone like Bloomberg, who has a record of targeting minorities with these policies on a local level, would most definitely do so on a national level, no doubt if he becomes president, he would do something of this sort.”
- Law enforcement used census data to place informants into these communities tracking local mosques, recording license plates, and talking to business owners. They also tracked information on people in Muslim student organizations. The NYPD admitted the program did not produce a single lead to any terrorist plot.
- Multiple civil rights organizations created lawsuits pertaining to this program. One recently included the law enforcement ending racial profiling, appoint a civilian representative, and develop new policies and training materials for its Intelligence Bureau. This material will also include input from Muslims and they need to pay more than $1 million in damages and legal fees.
Many Muslims want Bloomberg to publicly apologize and condemn the surveillance program. Bloomberg’s campaign has not responded.