John Miller faced criticism over his comments saying there was ‘no evidence’ the New York Police Department ever surveilled Muslims
By MEE staff
CNN announced its newest hire, a retired New York Police Department top official who faced criticism after claiming that the agency did not spy on Muslims post 9/11.
John Miller has been brought on as CNN’s chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst. At an eight-hour city council hearing on public safety in March, Miller claimed years-long surveillance of neighbourhoods and mosques was just a “perception”.
Following his comments and calls for him to be fired, Miller retired from the NYPD in June.
“John will help deliver on CNN’s commitment to tackle complex issues while presenting audiences with independent, objective news and meaningful analysis across platforms,” the press release by CNN said. “As both a brilliant journalist and experienced, compelling subject matter expert, he brings to the network an incredible breadth of knowledge.”
In March, Shahana Hanif, the first and only Muslim NYC council member, asked Miller if the NYPD could commit to fully disclosing the extent of its Muslim surveillance programme and if the law enforcement agency could also issue a formal apology or public acknowledgement to Muslim New Yorkers for the “discriminatory, fruitless, and damaging programme”.
He answered: “Perception allowed to linger long enough becomes reality. I know from my own conversation with Muslim members of the community and Muslim community leaders, that there are people… who will believe forever… [that] there were spies in their mosques who are trying to entrap people,” he said.
“There is no evidence that that occurred based on every objective study that’s been done.”
The AP investigation found that the NYPD profiled and surveilled New York City’s Muslims in an attempt to find “radicalisation”, by mapping out communities, conducting video surveillance, recruiting informants, and generating intelligence databases.
A year later, the NYPD acknowledged in a testimony that the unit in charge of the surveillance – the demographics unit- never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation. In 2014, the unit was discontinued.
“The nearly decade-long surveillance, harassment, and intimidation of the New York City Muslim community under the post-9/11 surveillance program has left deep scars, some of which have yet to heal. Knowing this full well, John Miller had the audacity to lie under oath about the nature of this program to my face,” Hanif told Gizmodo.
“Someone like John Miller should not be in public service nor should they be given a platform on a mainstream cable news network.”
Middle East Eye