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At Justice Department civil rights conference, a call to investigate NYPD spy programs
WASHINGTON (AP) ' A former Homeland Security Department lawyer is asking the federal government to investigate the New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslim communities.
Speaking at a Justice Department conference Wednesday, Sahar Aziz said the NYPD monitoring of mosques, Islamic bookstores and student groups needs to be looked into because the NYPD serves as a model for police departments nationwide.
An AP investigation that began in August revealed the NYPD's use of plainclothes officers, known as "rakers," who pose as customers and eavesdrop in Muslim cafes and bookstores. Hundreds of mosques and Muslim student organizations were investigated and dozens were infiltrated.
The Justice Department did not respond to Aziz's request. Its top civil rights lawyer hurried out after the conference without speaking to reporters.