Upstate Police Department Allegedly Illegally Surveils Black Community, Political Foes - NBC New York
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Upstate Police Department Allegedly Illegally Surveils Black Community, Political Foes

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    The investigation centers on a special investigative unit in Clarkstown, NY. Sarah Wallace reports. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016)

    An independent special prosecutor hired by the town of Clarkstown says he has found evidence the police department's Special Intelligence Unit engaged in illegal surveillance of black community members and officials considered political foes. 

    "We the People," a community group with no history of violence that sponsored a play about a white cop shooting a black cop, and two members of Black Lives Matter are among those targeted, special prosecutor William Harrington said. 

    Harrington also said the intelligence unit unlawfully targeted the town supervisor, Rockland County sheriff and a judge. 

    "It runs from the unconstitutional to the illegal," Harrington said of the surveillance. 

    Police chief Michael Sullivan has been suspended without pay over a number of issues, including his refusal to remove the head of the department's intelligence unit. In a statement, he denied the unit did anything improper.

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