The faculty council of New York City’s Brooklyn College has unanimously condemned NYPD’s spying on their campus’s Muslim student organization, saying it has a “chilling effect” on academic freedom.
Documents made public earlier this month indicate that the New York Police Department has been monitoring Muslim student groups at seven local colleges — City, Baruch, Queens, Brooklyn, LaGuardia Community College and St. John’s. At Brooklyn and Baruch, the department sent undercover police officers to spy on the groups directly. St. John’s college is private, while the rest of those targeted are part of the City University of New York.
The NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim organizations was undertaken in concert with the CIA, whose inspector general is now investigating whether the Agency’s involvement violated the law.
The Brooklyn College resolution said that the faculty “opposes surveillance activities by the NYPD and affiliated agencies on our campus either directly or through the use of informants for the purposes of collecting information independent of a valid and specific criminal investigation,” and called on the college’s administration to reveal “their knowledge of or involvement in this surveillance and information gathering.”
Brooklyn College president Karen Gould, who took office in 2009, said the NYPD had not informed her administration of its spying.