NYC officials want more oversight over NYPD spying

By SAMANTHA GROSS | October 6, 2011 | 1:10 PM EDT

In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, Sheikh Reda Shata stands in the men's prayer room at his mosque, The Islamic Center of Monmouth County, in Middletown, N.J. The New York Police Department’s intelligence squad secretly assigned an undercover officer to monitor a prominent Muslim leader even as he decried terrorism, cooperated with the police, dined with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning series by The New York Times about Muslims in America. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

NEW YORK (AP) — Some New York City officials say they need more control over the New York Police Department after being left in the dark about programs that subjected entire Muslim neighborhoods to surveillance and scrutiny.

Council members said at a news conference Thursday that they need to know what tactics the police use to prevent terrorism.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the council has done little to oversee the department as it became one of the nation's most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies.

An Associated Press investigation has revealed that the police monitored Muslim communities often just for reasons of ethnicity. The department says it only follows leads about allegations of potential wrongdoing.

Robert Jackson, the only Muslim member of the city council, says he wants to know whether he was under police surveillance.