August 26, 2011
A new report from the Associated Press states that the New York Police Department has been using covert surveillance on Muslims in New York since 9/11. At a news conference held by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in response to the report, Ramzi Kassem, professor and director of CUNY Law’s Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic and supervisor of its Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) project, called for an investigation by the city into the report’s findings. “We need the comptroller’s office to audit the NYPD and figure out how much of New Yorkers’ taxpayer dollars are going towards this rogue program, and we need the federal government to look into what are quite possibly very grave breaches of federal law,” Kassem said. Before joining CUNY Law, Kassem litigated high-impact cases stemming from wrongful convictions and police misconduct.
The CLEAR project aims to address the unmet legal needs of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and other communities in the New York City area that are particularly affected by national security and counterterrorism policies and practices.