Police Commissions Ray Kelly defended the surveillance of Muslim students during an appearance on WOR-AM. Kelly maintains that the surveillance was necessary and accused people of having short memories as to what happened here in 2001.
The wave of criticism comes after The Associated Press released a series of articles outlining the department's surveillance program of Muslims. The articles revealed that the police had mapped out and focused their attention on Muslim neighborhoods in Newark, where Muslim-owned businesses and mosques were most prevalent. Furthermore police have also been monitoring the websites of Muslim student organizations at several universities in the area.
Not everybody is going to be happy with everything the police department does, that's the nature of our business, said Kelly. But our primary mission, our primary goal, is to keep this city safe, to save lives. That's what we're engaged in doing.