Schneiderman takes a pass on investigating the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance

Eric Schneiderman. (Courtesy of Schneiderman for Attorney General.)
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In response to the Associated Press' reports about the New York Police Department's anti-terrorism tactics, including the placement of Muslims in New York and elsewhere under surveillance, a coalition of 33 Muslim civic organizations wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asking him to investigate the department.

The idea that he would undertake such an investigation isn't a stretch, politically: Schneiderman is something of a hero to civil-libertarians and to the left in general.

But a spokesman for Schneidmerman told me this afternoon the office won't be taking up the case, citing bureaucratic challenges.

"While we share some of the serious concerns raised in the letter, there are significant legal and investigative obstacles that impede our ability to launch a review of this matter at this time," a Schneidmerman spokesman said.

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It's a small victory for the department and the Bloomberg administration, in that it closes off one possible route by which the NYPD's tactics could have been scrutinized in the courts and or made subject to independent review.