Cory Booker Responds to NYPD Profiling

More


The mayor of Newark says neither he--nor his officers--knew anything about the NYPD's efforts to nationalize their spy network:


"The Newark Police Department was not involved in joint operations with the New York Police Department as was described in the disclosed NYPD report," Mayor Cory Booker said Wednesday, referring to a leaked internal New York police document that allegedly detailed police surveillance of Muslim-owned business and mosques across the city. 

"I strongly believe that we must be vigilant in protecting our citizens from crime and terrorism but to put large segments of a religious community under surveillance with no legitimate cause or provocation clearly crosses a line," he said.

Governor Chris Christie says he has no recollection on being briefed (he was the state's attorney at the time) and has asked the state's attorney general to investigate. I expect very little to come out of that. The disturbing truth is that the NYPD's efforts are in line with the national climate. Moreover, while it has proved very easy to build bureaucracies who exhibit minimal concern for individual liberties, I suspect it will be significant harder to dismantle them.

The NYPD's religious profiling should be considered in the context of the killings of Shem Walker, of Ramarley Graham, of Sean Bell, the beating of Jatiek Reed (see above,) the federal charges of gun running, the federal charges for civil rights violations. There has been minimal outcry about these incidents beyond the communities where these people live. The line that unites these incidents with the NYPD religious profiling efforts is power--or lack thereof. The NYPD's victims hail from communities--the black, the poor, the Muslim-- which enjoy little of society's faith, but a great deal of skepticism. 

I see little demonstrable evidence that any of this will change.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In