On Thursday, the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition held a press conference is front of City Hall calling for the NYPD Chief Raymond Kelly's resignation after news surfaced that an anti-Muslim documentary he appears in was being was being played on a loop at police trainings. According to documents uncovered by the NYU's Brennan Center, the NYPD showed the anti-Muslim film to nearly 1,500 officers during its training curriculum, reports The New York Times.
According to the film, the goal of "much of Muslim leadership here in America" is to "infiltrate and dominate" the United States.
Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne told Times on Monday that the filmmakers had relied on old interview clips and had never spoken with Kelly, but on Tuesday Browne admitted the police chief had personally cooperated with the filmmakers of "The Third Jihad" -- a decision the commissioner now describes as a mistake.
The film, according to the documents obtained, was shown on a "continuous loop" for between three months and a year to officers receiving antiterrorism training. The film, amid images of assassinations, bombings and executions, portrays many mainstream American Muslim leaders as closet radical Islamists, and states that their "primary tactic" is deception.
"It has become increasingly clear in recent years that the NYPD is engaged in systemic and unapologetic practices of surveillance and racial and religious profiling of Muslim communities. The practices have long raised serious civil rights and civil liberties concerns and create a climate of fear in New York's Muslim communities," said Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines.com's investigation reporter.
"Relations between police and the diverse Muslim community are already tense after The Associated Press uncovered aggressive surveillance of Muslims, including American citizens. The propaganda of this film will only damage those relations further and make law enforcement more difficult," the New York Times editorial board wrote on Tuesday.
Along with the call for Kelly's resignation, the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition this morning demanded that the City Council institute an independent community control and oversight mechanism for the NYPD. They also called on the NYPD to retrain all 1500 officers who watched The Third Jihad during cadet training.