The Common Good

Muslims Petition Attorney General for NYPD Probe

More than 30 Muslim and legal advocacy groups are urging New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to investigate the New York City Police Department after the second scandal in as many weeks involving Muslim Americans.

On Thursday (Feb. 2), The Associated Press reported that it had obtained a secret 2006 NYPD report, "U.S.-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City," which recommended that officers "expand and focus intelligence" at Shiite mosques.

The previous week, it was revealed that a documentary film that critics say demonizes Muslims was shown in 2010 to nearly 1,500 police officers during anti-terrorism training. Several months earlier, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said only a small number of police officers had viewed "The Third Jihad," sparking charges of a cover-up and calls for NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Browne to resign.

The two incidents show "the need to hold the NYPD accountable for its flagrant use of discriminatory policing practices has never been more glaring and urgent," Muslim groups said in a Friday letter to Schneiderman.

Farhana Khera, executive director of San Francisco-based Muslim Advocates, which spearheaded the letter, said city officials had lost trustworthiness, and could not be counted on to conduct a credible investigation.

"The mayor's office and the City Council have been asked repeatedly to hold the NYPD accountable, and they have not done so," Khera said. "It's time for the state to get involved."

Calls and emails to the NYPD and Schneiderman's office were not returned. In October, several state senators called on Schneiderman to investigate the NYPD after reports that they were racially profiling and spying on Muslims.

By Omar Sacirbey/Religion News Service

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