NYPD Emails Show Officers Surveilled Black Lives Matter Protesters Referring To Them As “Idiots” And “Ninjas” (#GotBitcoin?)
Police gleaned intelligence on protests that followed Eric Garner’s death after police put him in chokehold. NYPD Emails Show Officers Surveilled Black Lives Matter Protesters Referring To Them As “Idiots” And “Ninjas”
The New York Police Department gained information from undercover sources embedded in the Black Lives Matter protests that swept through the city in 2015, according to hundreds of NYPD emails made public on Thursday.
The 697 emails, which were obtained by the law firm M.J. Williams Law through public-records requests, show officers talking about gaining intelligence from sources in the demonstrations and tracking the routes of protesters. The messages also show that the NYPD retained photographs and social-media information of demonstrations. Some officers also sent emails in which they referred to the protesters as “idiots” and “ninjas.”
The release of the emails, which comes days after a Manhattan judge ruled the NYPD must disclose information on alleged interference of protesters’ cellphones, was first reported by the website The Appeal. The demonstrations occurred shortly after Eric Garner died in Staten Island after being placed in a chokehold by police.
“In addition to the information collected by undercover officers and NYPD’s sources and informants, the release reveals that NYPD was concurrently surveilling social-media accounts,” the law firm said in a statement. “And was potentially intercepting and/or interfering with protesters’ text messaging and radio communications.”
Commissioner James O’Neill on Thursday said on WNYC the NYPD didn’t violate the constitution while patrolling the protests.
“I’m not really gonna go into what technology we have and we don’t have, but we do not interfere with the constitutionally protected activities,” Mr. O’Neill said. “We’re looking to building trust with all 8.6 million New Yorkers. That wouldn’t be the way to do it.”
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