New York police spied broadly before 2004 GOP convention
"For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews," the New York Times reports in Sunday's edition.
Records show that in hundreds of files labeled "NYPD Secret," the NYPD intelligence operations "chronicled the views and plans of people who had no apparent intention of breaking the law."
The files included members of church and anti-war groups, environmentalists, and even three New York City elected officials.
In some cases, records of lawful activities were shared with police departments in other states.
Excerpts from the report follow:
From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists, the records show.
They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department's Intelligence Division. Other investigators mined Internet sites and chat rooms.
From these operations, run by the department's "RNC Intelligence Squad," the police identified a handful of groups and individuals who expressed interest in creating havoc during the convention, as well as some who used Web sites to urge or predict violence.
FULL NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THIS LINK