Mayoral Candidates Comment on Muslim Surveillance


The Associated Press surveyed some of New York’s expected 2013 mayoral candidates on the topic of the NYPD’s controversial surveillance of Muslim students in the city and across the Northeast. While Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Comptroller John C. Liu took a measured approaches to their responses, staying wary of the tactics but not condemning them outright, newspaper publisher Tom Allon claimed full support.

Stringer told the AP in a statement that “it is troubling when people are subject to surveillance and investigation simply because they are members of a particular group.” But he added a caveat in which he lauded the NYPD. The AP writes:

However, the Democrat, a declared candidate for mayor, praised the city’s police department for doing an “extraordinary job protecting our city,” as long as authorities make sure anti-terrorism efforts “do not trample on the civil liberties that all citizens have a right to enjoy.”

Meanwhile, Stringer today took a stance at a rally he held today against another NYPD tactic: Stop-and-Frisk .

“Until we know that law enforcement is truly color blind in New York, we will have a continuing crisis on our streets,” he said, according to a press release. “It is time for Mayor Bloomberg to stand up and address this issue honestly — to ensure that protections against unconstitutional searches and seizures apply equally to all people in this City, and to promote law enforcement policies that work with communities and make them safer.”

On the subject of Muslim surveillance in the AP’s report, Liu similarly applauded the police, but tempered that by saying, “we should not as a matter of policy profile people based on religion or race — it goes against everything this city stands for.”

The AP did not reach other potential candidates City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former comptroller Bill Thompson.