WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 20, 2011) — The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is releasing statements regarding letters they sent to the House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Department of Justice calling for a hearing and an investigation of the New York Police Department after the Associated Press revealed that the NYPD and CIA collaborated on efforts to spy on Muslim communities in the New York City area.
The letter was signed by 34 Members of Congress, including the Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee and eight Members of the House Judiciary Committee. The letter authors include Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressman Bobby Scott, CAPAC Civil Rights Taskforce Chair, and Congressman Mike Honda, CAPAC Chair Emeritus,
CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32) stated these were very serious allegations against the NYPD and CIA, and in the interest of all Americans, they must be thoroughly investigated.
“We cannot allow the explicit profiling and targeting of Muslim Americans by the very people who are tasked with protecting and serving their community,” Chu said. “As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and a Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I call for a full investigation and hearing on these matters to bring the truth to light and ensure that police complied with the very laws they aim to uphold.”
CAPAC Civil Rights Taskforce Chair Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-3), said he is greatly concerned about media allegations suggesting that the New York Police Department, in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency, has been collecting this information.
“We call on the Department of Justice and the House Judiciary Committee to investigate these allegations and shed more light on this situation,” Scott said.
CAPAC Chair Emeritus Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15) said he is deeply concerned by reports that the NYPD and CIA are engaging in activities that violate the civil and constitutional rights of Muslim-Americans.
“I know that public safety must be of the utmost concern to enforcement agencies,” Honda said. “I also know that we must not single out a group based solely upon their ethnicity or religion, especially when such actions undermine the sanctity of the Constitution and the security of our homeland. As Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I call for an informed, precise and moral inquiry into the actions of the NYPD and CIA.”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.