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The fourth amendment and NYPD Surveillance - Essay Example

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The Fourth Amendment and NYPD Surveillance Name: Institution: The New York Police Department (NYDP) has been monitoring college students of Muslim origin, not only in New York, but also across colleges like the University of Pennsylvania and Yale, which are beyond the limits of their city…
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The fourth amendment and NYPD Surveillance
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Download file to see previous pages Surveillance has also included such activities as monitoring websites frequented by Muslim students. A reason used by the NYPD has included permeation of Muslim communities in New York by extremist Muslims. The premise of this paper is to study the various facets of this surveillance, its benefits, and its criticisms and counter criticisms. In addition, this paper also discusses whether NYPD Surveillance has failed to uphold the U.S. constitution, particularly the fourth amendment. Since terrorists attacked New York on September 11th of 2001, the most aggressive intelligence agency, at least domestically, has been the NYPD (Tutt, 2012). The Demographics unit, a secret unit formed by the NYPD, has sent officers in ordinary clothes, mostly of Arab descent, into Muslim populated neighbourhoods to catalogue Muslim congregations in grocery stores, restaurants, travel agencies & also to photograph their places of worship. These officers acted via spying on businesses, eavesdropping on conversations, all the while filing reports daily on the various ethnic backgrounds of clientele, owners, and whatever they happened to overhear (Tutt, 2012). This program was based on no criminal activity neither did it stop at the boundaries of New York City. The goal revolved around the complete comprehension of communities professing Islam in New York, as well as around it. Their aim was to identify problematic areas explicitly, while working to prevent any further attacks. Student organizations formed by Muslims were not spared either, including their prayer groups. Names of professors and students were included by the officers in their files, even where no criminal allegations could be defined. Those allies of Islam who had supported mayor Bloomberg in denouncing of terrorism were themselves also victims of this NYPD monitoring (Tutt, 2012). Muslims who changed names to sound more American, or took on names that sounded more Arabic, were catalogued in the secret police files. License plate numbers at mosques were photographed and recorded, with their occupants pictured and filmed as they arrived for worship. Inside the mosques, undercover officials and informants aided the police in building files on sermons, even those that were irrelevant and innocuous (Tutt, 2012). The surveillance was kept under wraps for a long while, aided in no small part by the secrecy surrounding the unit. This secrecy was crucial for the uninterrupted work carried out by the NYPD. The “scandal” only came to light through the exposes printed by the associated press, which shocked the Muslim community, not only in New York, but also around the country & the world. There was an outpouring of anger, with hundreds of protesters gathering outside Fordham Law School to protest a speech by the commissioner of police, Raymond Kelly, where he was defending the controversial operation (Press, A, 2012). Numerous articles in various news papers also criticized the NYPD for what they called new age racism. Criticism of the NYPD surveillance has been savage and unrelenting. The white paper, authored by the NYPD, titled Radicalization in the West: the Home Grown Threat, was recently exposed and has been especially ravaged by columnists (Tutt, 2012). Some of its criticism has to do with perceived myths that are believed to have constituted the basis for the entire counter-terrorism philosophy, which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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