Sunday, May 27, 2012

Christie Accepts Monitoring of Muslims

May 24, 2012

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TRENTON (AP) — The New York City police did not violate New Jersey laws when they conducted cross-border surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques and student groups, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said Thursday.

The determination, by the state attorney general, concerned tactics of the New York Police Department like videotaping mosque-goers and collecting their license plate numbers.

Such operations were part of a Police Department program to collect intelligence on Muslim communities in New York and beyond, even when there was no evidence of a crime.

Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa, met with Muslim leaders on Thursday to outline the findings. Afterward, one of the leaders, Aref Assaf of the American Arab Forum, said, “I said to him it’s not only insulting, it’s offensive to our sense of justice, that you bring us to Trenton to tell us that you accept as legal and valid the actions of the N.Y.P.D.”

Muslim leaders said they would consider all legal options, including renewed appeals to the federal Justice Department.

The interstate surveillance efforts, revealed by The Associated Press this year, angered many Muslims and New Jersey officials. In response, the governor asked Mr. Chiesa, who is his appointee, to look into the spying.

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