Despite numerous protests, a highly critical New York Times op-ed, and outrage from the City Council, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has been firm in his defense of the NYPD's surveillance program which specifically targets innocent Muslims in the city and beyond.
It now looks like Kelly is taking it further by playing the victim, telling NY1 the department is under attack from the AP:
We're sort of under attack. The A.P. has done over 30 stories. It's pretty tough to go up against a wire service that has a certain template that it's sticking to. I would submit that they have not done their homework.
Kelly even suggests reports are "spinning" the surveillance program as spying and thus, understands why people might be "annoyed" at the situation.
On Friday, The Associated Press reported the NYPD even spied on liberal political organizations, employing undercover officers to attend meetings where law abiding political activists were known to be planning protests.
This isn't the first time Kelly has lashed out at the AP. During a City Council meeting last Thursday where members expressed their deep concerns over the program, Kelly criticized the wire service for failing to include post-September 11th guidelines that allowed for more lax rules regarding police investigations early on in their stories.
Mayor Bloomberg has also repeatedly defended the NYPD, adamantly praising the department for their tactics as part of a strategy needed in order to keep the city safe from terrorism.
Indeed, an overwhelming 82 percent of New Yorkers believe the NYPD has been effective in its counter-terrorism efforts, with only 29 percent saying the department's treatment of Muslims has been unfair.
However, public officials and police departments across the country believe otherwise, and say the NYPD's methods jeopardize and impede access to Muslim communities by damaging trust and confidence in their legal authorities.
Late February, after remaining silent amongst The New York Daily News and The New York Post who defended the surveillance program, the editorial board at the Times joined critics by publishing a scathing editorial of both Kelly and Bloomberg, writing the mayor "has reacted in the worst possible way -- with disdain -- to those raising legitimate question."
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