Plainclothes New York City transit and police officers were used to monitor Black Lives Matter protesters who staged die-ins at the city’s Grand Central Terminal, the New York Daily News reports.
Surveillance included live updates with details such as the number of protesters and the officers’ locations at the several protests that occurred between November 2014 and February 2015. There were also photos of individual activists included in documents, the news site notes. The surveillance was conducted by a coalition of Metropolitan Transportation Authority counterterrorism agents and undercover officers, alongside New York City Police Department intelligence officers, the Daily News notes, quoting The Intercept.
An MTA spokesman said that safety was the No. 1 concern during the protests, but he did not discuss the specifics of the response to the protests. “We accommodate peaceful protest in our transportation system, while also ensuring that protest activities do not prevent customers from using the system for transportation,” Adam Lisberg said, according to the site. “We take all appropriate police measures to ensure the safety and security of our customers, but we do not discuss the particulars of those operations.”
An unidentified MTA source told the Daily News that it was only natural that protesters were monitored. “If anybody thinks that we would have hundreds of protesters in one of the busiest locations in the city of New York at the height of rush hour, and we wouldn’t keep an eye on them, they have rocks in their head,” the source told the Daily News.
Read more at the New York Daily News.