Report: Undercover Cops Monitored Protesters
The MTA and NYPD used undercover and plainclothes officers to monitor Black Lives Matter Protesters, a new report states.
The protesters were watched as they staged die-ins in Grand Central Terminal, according to the New York Daily News.
Surveillance consisted of live updates from officers, such as the number of protesters and their location at more than 30 protests between Nov. 2014 and Feb. 2015. The collection of information also included photos of individual activists.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority declined to discuss specifics about the agency’s response to the protests, but said safety was the unit’s No. 1 concern.
“We accommodate peaceful protest in our transportation system, while also ensuring that protest activities do not prevent customers from using the system for transportation,” spokesman Adam Lisberg told the Daily News. “We take all appropriate police measures to ensure the safety and security of our customers, but we do not discuss the particulars of those operations.”
Jose LaSalle, 46, said he was upset, but not surprised when his name and photo came up in the documents.
“It just makes me feel like I can’t practice my civil rights without feeling like somebody is going to be watching me,” the Copwatch Patrol Unit founder told the Daily News. “If you have a voice and use your voice, they think you might be a problem.”
An MTA affiliate defended the tactics, saying the documents simply reveal plainclothes officers monitoring, not infiltrating protesters.