March 19, 2012 — In response to a weekend of arrests and the closure of Zuccotti Park by the NYPD, New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman issued the following statement:
"The NYPD has once again responded to political protest with the closure of a public forum, arrests and, according to press and eye-witness accounts, violence against journalists and political dissidents.
"The weekend raid on Occupy Wall Street is just the latest in a stream of scandals and abuse that has marred New York City’s Police Department. From surveillance of New York City’s Muslim and South Asian communities to the routine street interrogations of New York City’s black and Latino men, the NYPD is out of control.
"Hardly a day goes by without another story of NYPD abuse hitting the news and undermining the ability of the community to trust the police department. We know the NYPD is watching us, but who is watching the NYPD? New York City is in desperate need of an Inspector General to bring strong, meaningful NYPD oversight, as well as a strong ban on religious and racial profiling. It’s time for the City Council to quickly act and pass these important reforms."