New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is gave the New York Police Department a heaping piece of his mind on Wednesday regarding the NYPD not informing federal law enforcement agencies about their secret surveillance of Muslims in Newark. Christie claims he doesn’t recall being briefed about the spying in 2007 while he was the state’s top federal prosecutor and questions whether the NYPD’s secrecy was “born out of arrogance or paranoia.” Christie went on to say, "I know they think they their jurisdiction is the world. Their jurisdiction is New York City.” He later added, "My concern is this kind of affectation that the NYPD seems to have that they are the masters of the universe."
Christie’s response to the NYPD’s suspicious behaviors came after a series of stories by the Associated Press that detailed the monitoring or recommended surveillance of Muslim in New York and the surrounding states, including New Jersey and Connecticut, by NYPD. Beginning in 2007, the NYPD’s secretive Demographics Unit spread across Newark, photography every mosque and eavesdropping in Muslim businesses. This resulted in a 60-page report that served as a police guidebook to Newark’s Muslim population. There was, however, no mention of terrorism or any criminal wrong doing.
Christie called the Newark report “disturbing” though stated that he has no problem with “covert surveillance.” He did not say whether he thought it was appropriate to target certain communities as a preventative measure when there is no suspected wrongdoing. "I understand we need people doing covert surveillance to protect the people of our state and our region. No problems with that," Christie said. "My concern is why can't you communicate with the people here in New Jersey, with law enforcement, here in New Jersey. Are we somehow not trust worthy?"
New York officials have been unapologetic, claiming that they had in fact informed Newark officials of their intentions and that Newark police had been briefed before and afterward. Officials also say they knew of no law prohibiting them from going into New Jersey.