Mayor Bloomberg must apologize for surveillance of American Muslims

Can we elect a man who violated our civil rights and liberties?

February 27, 2020

We call on Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg to apologize for his surveillance of American Muslims in the tri-state area post-9/11. Unconstitutional and discriminatory, this program created scapegoats out of an entire community. It otherized American Muslims further, created fear and distrust, and did irreparable harm to not only the many individuals who were surveilled, but to an entire community that already faced increased scrutiny.

In a recent PBS interview Bloomberg was finally asked about this program and vehemently defended his surveillance of American Muslims under the guise of national security. Bloomberg’s response misleads Americans by downplaying just how extensive the surveillance was. Under Bloomberg, the NYPD surveilled not only mosques and Islamic centers, but also infiltrated Muslims and monitored and filmed them unknowingly at homes, schools, restaurants, and other social gathering locations. It was a complete violation of a citizen's right to privacy and their civil rights. He also implied that the courts ruled in his program’s favor, when in fact the cases were settled out of court. In fact the concluding statement from the 3rd circuit court declared that the surveillance was akin to the treatment of African-Americans, as well as the scapegoating of Jewish-American and Japanese-American communities.

Mayor Bloomberg did not learn from the failure of his program. In fact, his interview indicated that he has a complete lack of regret for the harm and unconstitutionality of any profiling programs. It is only now as he runs for President that he has finally issued an “apology” for his stop-and-frisk program, another disastrous policy he implemented in his tenure targeting black and brown individuals.

As Bloomberg continues his run for President, his record of violations against civil rights and liberties of all Americans must be considered. We urge every voter to consider these former policies as they cast their ballots.



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