Report on LInkup with Jerome Rice from 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care


At our Linkup (formerly called meetups) on September 4th, 2013, we discussed latest N.Y.P.D. controversy - labeling entire mosques as "terrorist enterprises" - in order to do surveillance of imams and members, even with no evidence of wrong doing.  


In late August, the AP obtained documents showing that the NYPD has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism enterprises, which allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on leaders:  "Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance."  Read the whole AP article here


Jerome called the NYPD's tactic of labeling entire mosques as terrorist enterprises a "slap in the face" and said it is not just a question of religion being targeted, its a question of privacy.  Many people, when they are trying to get their life together, go to talk to a clergy member and confide in them; surveillance at place of worship is a violation of this privacy.

Jerome said he would like to see the next police commissioner be more transparent when they are talking about why they conducted a certain surveillance. Obviously, law enforcement cannot give details to the press that might threaten public safety, but they should have to say something more than "We got intel."
Open-ended surveillance: 
Another major concern with this latest revelation about the NYPD is that the surveillance was open-ended and went on for a long time, sometimes 10 years, with no evidence of wrongdoing. 
We also discussed what changes we would like to see on the Stop-and-Frisk policy. While the recent court decision was in favor of the plaintiffs, there is tough work to be done to develop a fairer, more sensible way of stopping crime. We discussed community policing extensively, and one proposal was to lenthen officer assignments from 6 months to a year or more so that there is more incentive to get to know the people in the precinct which they patrol.
Take Action: Petition & Volunteer:
We look forward to making our voices heard on this issue as a new mayor and city council are elected in November.  The best thing we can do now is elect a mayor that is serious about civil liberties - so please volunteer for our endorsed candidate, Bill de Blasio! (See above) 
We've teamed up with Democracy for America to create a petition on this issue. Sign here.