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Pulitzer goes to AP for stories on NYPD spying on Muslims

by Brad A. Greenberg

April 16, 2012 | 2:18 pm

The 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were announced this morning, and the investigative reporting award went to the Associated Press for its series on NYPD’s spying on Muslims. (Coincidentally, a talk on Islamophobia just concluded at UCLA School of Law.) From the AP:

The AP’s series of stories showed how New York police, with the help of a CIA official, created a unique and aggressive surveillance program to monitor Muslim neighborhoods, businesses and houses of worship. The series can be read at http://apne.ws/IrNyPk.

The articles showed that police systemically listened in on sermons, hung out at cafes and other public places, infiltrated colleges and photographed law-abiding residents as part of a broad effort to prevent terrorist attacks. Individuals and groups were monitored even when there was no evidence they were linked to terrorism.

The series, which began in August, was by Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley. The stories prompted protests, a demand from 34 members of Congress for a federal investigation, and an internal inquiry by the CIA’s inspector general.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have defended the program as a thoroughly legal tool for keeping the city safe.

The complete series is available on the AP website. This marks the second time in five years that a Pulitzer has been awarded for the content of a series about Muslims in America (previous honors went to Andrea Elliott).

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