First it was Muslims, now it's liberals. A new investigation from the Associated Press reveals that New York Police Department officers infiltrated liberal groups and kept files on law-abiding, nonviolent liberal activists.
The NYPD is already the subject of heavy criticism for spying on law-abiding Muslims.
In the latest investigatoin, the AP found that in 2008, an undercover NYPD officer traveled to New Orleans to attend a gathering of liberal groups called the People's Summit. On its website, the People's Summit says its goals are to end hunger, poverty, war and racism. It also aims to create "safe and inclusive communities."
More from GlobalPost: Promises, pitfalls await investors in Burma’s frontier economy
The NYPD then mentioned two of the activists who attended the meetings in intelligence reports.
"They need to spy on peaceful groups so they're not effective at putting out their peaceful message," an activist who attended the People's Summit told the AP. "They are threatened by anything challenging the status quo."
In a document obtained by the AP, officers also described plans "to be alert to any rhetoric re: the Sean Bell verdict." Sean Bell was an unarmed black man who was killed by NYPD officers in 2006 in a hail of 50 bullets, the New York Times reported. Three NYPD officers were then put on trial for his death. The latest investigation by the AP reveals that police "were worried about how the black community, particularly the New Black Panther Party, would respond to the verdict." The officers were found not guilty.