Originally posted February 27, 2014.
I have been writing about America’s #1 police chief for years. Here he wins a needed victory over the left.
Put an asterisk next to the prizes for the Associated Press for its 2011 series on the New York City Police Department’s search for terrorists. The stories suggested that police monitoring of Muslim communities threatened civil liberties and might not stand up in court. Federal Judge William Martini has now ruled otherwise.
Former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly believes that when AP reporters embarked on their series, they were largely ignorant of the “Handschu” rules on police surveillance. These were the result of a 1980s consent decree, and Mr. Kelly insisted all along that his cops were following the rules and acting within the law. When we asked him last year what the department had changed in the wake of the AP reporting, he said: “Nothing.”
A group of plaintiffs, including Muslim businesses and associations, nonetheless sued the department. They claimed they had suffered, and would suffer in the future, from their identification as targets of police surveillance.
But last week Judge Martini tossed their case out of court. He ruled that police didn’t harm the plaintiffs, but he also suggested that if any harm was done to the plaintiffs, it was done by the AP. “None of the Plaintiffs’ injuries arose until after the Associated Press released unredacted, confidential NYPD documents and articles expressing its own interpretation of those documents,” he wrote.
Read more about Ray Kelly in Christopher Dickey’s book, Securing the City.