Late last week, I introduced a resolution into the U.S. House condemning the New York Police Department's ethnic and religious profiling and warrantless surveillance of Muslim Americans.
As first revealed in extensive reporting by the Associated Press, the NYPD has conducted wide-scale warrantless surveillance of Muslims throughout the country, including at mosques, student associations, and businesses in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. In most instances, the surveillance occurred in the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing -- that is, organizations and individuals were surveilled solely on account of their religious affiliation. Muslims, of which there are millions in the US, tell me they feel the chill and the intimidation from such profiling.
Casting suspicion on people on the basis of their race, religion, or ethnicity without any legally valid reasons is not the way we behave in America, nor is it an effective means of gathering intelligence. As the historical record clearly demonstrates, profiling in policing is a substitute for thinking.
Our resolution condemns the unjustified surveillance and unlawful profiling of Muslim American Communities and demands that the New York Police Department cease any such warrantless surveillance activities within the United States and purge its database of information obtained in this unacceptable way.