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Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Chief, Pledges No NYPD-Esque Spying On Muslims

8 March 2012 Huffington Post 17 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Chief, Pledges No NYPD-Esque Spying On Muslims

OAK BROOK TERRACE, Ill. — For the first time in public, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy promised his department will never conduct blanket surveillance of Muslims like the New York Police Department did in Newark, N.J., when he was chief there.

McCarthy addressed hundreds of Muslims on Saturday at the annual banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago, a civil rights organization. He said police would follow leads in criminal cases, but the department “does not and will not conduct blanket surveillance and profiling of any community in the city of Chicago.”

“We are deeply committed to respecting the civil rights of all Chicagoans,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have tried to reassure Chicago-area Muslims since The Associated Press revealed the NYPD’s spying in Newark. The AP reported last month that in 2007, the NYPD’s secretive Demographics Unit fanned out across Newark, photographing mosques and eavesdropping on Muslim businesses. Earlier, the AP reported that the department was conducting similar surveillance in New York, building databases showing where Muslims live, shop and pray.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vigorously defended the operations, saying police only follow up on allegations. But civil rights advocates and other critics say the NYPD’s 60-page report on the Newark operations showed Muslims were targeted solely because of their religion.

McCarthy, who was also a top officer in the NYPD at one point, told the AP that his former colleagues in New York notified him as a courtesy that they were sending plainclothes officers to Newark, but none of his officers participated in the operation. New York police say Newark leaders cooperated with the effort.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended his department’s operations again Saturday in a speech at Fordham Law School, as about 60 protesters marched outside. Addressing New Jersey officials’ complaints that the NYPD overstepped its bounds by not fully informing them of officers’ activities, Kelly noted 746 Garden State residents were killed in the 9/11 attacks.

“If terrorists aren’t limited by borders and boundaries, we can’t be either,” Kelly said. “It is entirely legal for the Police Department to conduct investigations outside of city limits, and we maintain very close relationships with local authorities.”

McCarthy met privately last week with community leaders in Chicago to discuss the issue, but he hadn’t stated publicly whether he supported the NYPD’s tactics.

He was warmly received at Saturday’s banquet, held in a Chicago suburb. CAIR Executive Director Ahmed Rehab praised McCarthy for his “heartfelt” sincerity and taking the initiative to attend, and the audience applauded when the chief said police need to work with the city’s communities to prevent crime and terrorism.

“We are focused on our mission of making Chicago the safest city for every resident in every neighborhood, but we can’t do it alone,” McCarthy said. “We must have a positive relationship with the wonderfully diverse communities that comprise Chicago and that make this great country of America as strong as it is today.”

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat and immigration advocate, also addressed the group, lashing out at the NYPD’s spying methods.

“It makes no sense and is not sensible law enforcement,” Gutierrez said.

McCarthy wrapped up his remarks by saying he is a 9/11 survivor, who was in a command post near the World Trade Center until the towers fell. He told the audience that 13 of the 23 officers lost by the NYPD were personal friends.

“And I want to tell you this,” he said. “In the 10-plus years since that horrific event, which has affected me to my core, I have never once thought ill of the religion of Islam.”


  1. There should be something like a “surveillance warrant”

  2. There should be something like a “surveillance warrant”

  3. no warrent need, the “patriot Act” took care of that……

  4. I’ll believe it when I don’t see it.

  5. I’ll believe it when I don’t see it.

  6. What is a blanket surveilance?

  7. Most ordinary muslims are the least likely to take a chance at carrying out a crime or breaking the law. I had worked in retail for 11 yrs. and I had never seen any muslim shop lifters…..

  8. Progress!

  9. Finally…..

  10. Guess where the mooselimbs are gonna set up their bomb shops. Thats right, Chi-town. Boom!

  11. guess where Chris Gennett is relocating to, thats right bigotland.

  12. I am not relocating anywhere. I am not a bigot as you say. I am a realist. How many terror plots/attacks have there been since 9/11? Over 11,000! Where does it say in the gore-ran that all people should live together in peace? I will tell you the answer, no where! There is no room in a free society for allan and his followers. In izlame there is no freedom of religion nor sexual identity. I hope all mooselimbs convert. Praise Jesus Christ, our lord and savior<3

  13. its ok Chris, all the crazies in the loon house also tell everyone that they r not crazy. so keep on telling urself, that ur not a bigot. maybe another bigot who comes along might believe u.

  14. bigot bigot bigot. chris, you are a bigot.

  15. hey chris doesn’t it say in the bible that gays go to hell and are deserving of death? somewhere in romans, i think. a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, eh?

  16. Chris
    Actually, less than 7% of all terrorist attacks are by Muslims, and half of them are fake anyway, sorry babe try again.

    And Islam is pretty against that. I live in Chicago^^ good.

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