Monday, February 27, 2012
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly defends police surveillance of Muslims
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly took to the airwaves Monday to defend the legality of NYPD spying on Muslims in the city and beyond.
“We're doing everything pursuant to the law,” Kelly told Rep. Peter King (R-Nassau) in a radio interview. “We have a cadre of first-rate attorneys that vet everything that we do.”
Kelly even criticized calling the program spying.
“It’s a pejorative term,” he said. “It sells well.”
The surveillance program was exposed in a series of Associated Press reports detailing how cops monitored Muslim New Yorkers in mosques, cafes, shops and schools after the 9/11 terror attacks.
The program spread to Newark and also included monitoring of Yale students, according to recent Associated Press articles.
Kelly accused his critics of ignoring the lessons of not just 9/11, but of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He noted that Sunday was the anniversary of the earlier attack.
“It was sort of discounted,” he said of the 1993 bombing. “It was sort of seen as people who were inept. It wasn't seen as part of a much larger conspiracy, a much larger movement. It should have been a huge wake-up call for us, but it wasn’t.”
“There is a saying that those who forget history are contemned to repeat it,” Kelly added.”