The Latest: Monitor says NYPD skirted surveillance rules
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a report by an independent police monitor on the NYPD surveillance practices (all times local):
An independent police monitor says the New York Police Department chronically skirted rules intended to protect political groups from unwarranted government surveillance while investigating Muslims.
The audit by the department’s inspector general found that while the NYPD’s Intelligence Division had valid reasons to launch investigations, it frequently extended them past court-mandated deadlines without proper authorization.
In 100 percent of the cases reviewed, the department also didn’t adequately explain why it was extending investigations that hadn’t turned up evidence of unlawful activity.
The report says those failures “cannot be dismissed or minimized as paperwork or administrative errors.”
NYPD officials said the criticisms in the report by Inspector General Philip Eure were more technical than substantive.
They also said they have implemented a new system to track deadlines for reauthorizing surveillance.
An independent police monitor says the New York Police Department has failed to follow rules governing surveillance.
A report released Tuesday by the city’s Office of the Inspector General found that the department’s intelligence division often continued surveillance in terrorism and other investigations after court permission for them expired. It also accused the NYPD of failing to spell out the role of undercover officers and confidential informants when seeking authorization to use them.
NYPD officials responded by saying that the inspector general’s complaints only involved “technical administrative issues” and that he never questioned the validity of the investigations he reviewed. They also said they have implemented an electronic tracking system for cases that will notify them when authorization for surveillance has expired.