New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Monday repeated his support for the department's aggressive surveillance of the Muslim community in New Jersey, saying, "Not everyone is going to be happy with everything the police department does," according to the Associated Press.
He went on to say that the department's primary mission "is to keep this city safe, to save lives. That's what we're engaged in doing," the AP reports.
Kelly's comments to reporters Monday were the latest in a recent string of public statements in response to reports by The Associated Press about the NYPD's surveillance on Muslims across the Northeast following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
On a radio show on WOR, Kelly said some local politicians and potential candidates to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg who have criticized the counterterrorism efforts were pandering because of the upcoming election season.
In a newspaper column in the New York Daily News, Kelly said the criticism was a knee-jerk reaction by some New Jersey lawmakers to news that the NYPD had done surveillance in Newark.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and Newark Mayor Cory Booker were wrong to question the department, he said. The elected officials were responding to the recent disclosure that officers devoted several months in 2007 to surveillance of Muslim communities in New Jersey's largest city. The result was a 60-page guide to Newark's Muslims, which was obtained by The Associated Press …
We agree with New Jersey officials that the report findings are "disturbing" and a full investigation should be conducted into the NYPD's actions.
Read more at the Associated Press.