The NYPD didn’t just spy on entire Muslim communities — a new report by The Associated Press reveals that cops also surveilled liberal political groups.
The AP (via CBS) notes that undercover cops went to liberal political groups’ meetings, building intel files on activists and protesters.
The newswire says that interviews and docs collected during the investigation “show how police have used counterterrorism tactics to monitor even lawful activities.”
The AP points out that the NYPD used these same tactics in 2004, when the department monitored church, environmental, and anti-war groups in the U.S., claiming these policies were necessary to prep for the GOP convention.
But these methods continued far after the convention took place: in 2008, the NYPD’s super-secret intel department sent an undercover officer to attend the People’s Summit in New Orleans. The project report gathered information on two U.S. activists, journalist Jordan Flaherty and labor organizer Marisa Franco, the AP notes.
Here’s what part of that filing, in a memo to top NYPD intel officer David Cohen, said:
One workshop was led by Jordan Flaherty, former member of the International Solidarity Movement Chapter in New York City…Mr. Flaherty is an editor and journalist of the Left Turn Magazine and was one of the main organizers of the conference. Mr. Flaherty held a discussion calling for the increase of the divestment campaign of Israel and mentioned two events related to Palestine.
But Flaherty, a HuffPo writer, disputes that he acted as a summit organizer. He counters that the event in question was a film festival in New Orleans, “suggesting that the undercover officer’s duties were more widespread than described in the report.”
These policies have been carried out by the NYPD’s intelligence unit which, as the AP notes, has little oversight.
The department has not commented directly on this issue, but has said previously that its tactics are necessary in the wake of September 11.
Runnin’ Scared reached out to the NYPD for comment. We’ll update if we hear back.