11:03 am Feb. 6, 2012
So far, only a handful of elected officials and visible political figures have joined Muslim protesters in criticizing the New York Police Department's reported system of putting Muslims under surveillance.
But Rev. Al Sharpton told me on Saturday he's about to get involved.
"I'm meeting with the Muslims on Tuesday," he told me. "I'm very concerned about that."
Also tomorrow, Sharpton, a longtime civil-rights activists and, more recently, an MSNBC host, will appear at the National Press Club in Washington to discuss voting rights issues.
Councilman Brad Lander and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, inspired in part by reports of the department's Muslim-targeted surveillance, have both called for the creation of an inspector general's office to confidentially, but independently, oversee the NYPD's activities. Today, two former national-security officials, Tom Ridge and James Woolsey, co-wrote an opinion piece defending the department's efforts and arguing against the inspector-general idea.