Over the weekend, the NY Times published an editorial slamming the NYPD for its "constitutionally suspect surveillance practices... employed against law-abiding Muslims" and suggested, "The Justice Department should also review other practices — chief among them, stop-and-frisk — that have virtually eliminated the presumption of innocence and that treat citizens, and even entire communities, as suspect even after they are proved innocent." So the NYPD issued its own defense on its website.
First, the NYPD reminds everyone of the Handschu Decree, which says, “In its effort to anticipate or prevent unlawful activity, including terrorist acts, the NYPD must, at times, initiate investigations in advance of unlawful conduct. The NYPD is authorized to visit any place and attend any event that is open to the public” and “to conduct online search activity and to access online sites and forums on the same terms… as members of the public." The NYPD's statement explains, "Those who intimate that it is unlawful for the Police Department to search online or map neighborhoods have either not read, misunderstood, or intentionally obfuscated the meaning of the Handschu guidelines." NYPD to Times: Your March 4 editorial sucked!
Then, there's terrorism: "Before 9/11, there were terrorist attacks in each of the decades of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, including the first attack on the World Trade Center. There have been no successful attacks in the past ten years. It’s not as if would-be terrorists aren’t trying. To the contrary, they’ve attempted to kill New Yorkers in 14 different plots, among them, two homegrown plots in 2011." And stop-and-frisk is not racist! "NYPD critics also erroneously assert that the police are racially biased in making stops, ignoring the fact that we focus police resources where spikes in violent crime are the highest, and where last year 96% of shooting victims were minorities, mainly young men of color."
The NYPD's statement also comes on the heels of a contentious meeting Police Commissioner Kelly had with the City Council—watch the videos. It is surprising that the NYPD hasn't issued a press release directly addressing the AP, though!