A letter requesting a federal investigation of the New York Police Department has Rep. Peter King accusing his colleagues of “left-wing pandering.”
King, a New York Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, blasted a trio of House Democrats who are calling for the Justice Department to investigate the NYPD’s use of surveillance techniques against Muslims.
“This is just left-wing pandering,” King said in a brief interview. “Political correctness has gone crazy on the other side. These guys go on the line every day. A thousand cops out there. For them to take those cheap shots is disgraceful.”
Democratic Reps. Judy Chu (Calif.), Mike Honda (Calif.) and Bobby Scott (Va.) are circulating a letter they intend to send to Attorney General Eric Holder and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) calling for investigations into the NYPD. The three lawmakers are responding to an Associated Press report that revealed the police force, with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency, spied on Muslim communities since 2002. The lawmakers’ letter alleges the NYPD engaged in racial profiling and crafted a database to keep track of Muslims in New York.
“These allegations, if true, would be a violation of civil rights and would trigger a number of federal laws including the National Security Act of 1947 and the federal Police Misconduct Statute,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote. “This situation must be examined further.”
Chu said she had not discussed the issue with King but added, “I was very concerned about the use of these tactics on the Muslim population, and I would like to have the Justice Department look into it.”
In his own “Dear Colleague” letter, the outspoken King and Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) decried the Democrats’ “embarrassingly uninformed and shamefully misleading” call for an investigation into the NYPD.
A spokeswoman for the Judiciary Committee said the panel had not yet received the Democrats’ letter.