Mayor's office: Spying 'not who we are' in Newark

February 22, 2012 - 2:15 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Police Department is facing fresh criticism about its spying on Muslims, this time from the mayor in Newark, where Muslims were put under surveillance and cataloged in NYPD files.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he had no idea the surveillance was carried out in mid-2007. His chief of staff, Modia Butler, says the mayor does not believe the city's Muslims deserved to be under surveillance. He said it goes against what Newark stands for as a city.

Plainclothes NYPD officers took pictures and eavesdropped on conversations inside Muslim businesses. The Newark police director at the time, Garry McCarthy, says he only received a courtesy phone call saying the NYPD would conduct the surveillance.

The resulting report cited no evidence of terrorism or criminal behavior.