Potsdam, NY, Feb 27, 2012 — New York civil rights advocates want a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo following a decision by the attorney general's office not to investigate the New York Police Department over its monitoring of Muslim students following the Sept. 11 attack.
The Associated Press reports that in a letter yesterday, the New York Civil Rights Coalition refuses to accept the decision by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman's office said there were legal obstacles that prevented the probe. The coalition writes that the governor must direct state authorities to investigate the surveillance.
The Associated Press reported last week that the New York Police Department kept close watch on websites and blogs maintained by Muslim student associations across the northeast U.S., including at SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University.
The surveillance reportedly took place in 2006 and 2007. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has faced a firestorm of criticism. But he continues to defend the police department, saying the city needs to be vigilant against terrorism.
Susan Stebbins is an anthropology professor at SUNY Potsdam. She's also special assistant to the president for diversity. The surveillance reportedly took place in 2006 and 2007. But Stebbins tells Julie Grant the college is just finding out about it now. (NCPR did request an interview with the New York Police Department, but didn't hear back for this story.)