Bay Area Rights Groups Ask FBI Director to Address Racial Profiling, Islamophobia
San Francisco – The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU-NC), the Asian Law Caucus (ALC), and the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) have sent a joint letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller in advance of his visit to San Francisco today asking him to address issues of racial profiling and Islamophobia.
Robert S. Mueller III, Director, FBI Director at the Commonwealth Club mid-day today: Changing Threats in a Changing World: Staying Ahead of Terrorists, Spies and Hackers.
In the joint letter to Mueller, ACLU-NC, ALC and CAIR-SFBA seek answers about:
The relationship between local and federal law enforcement through the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF);
The control the FBI seeks to exercise over local agencies through the JTTF Memorandum of Understanding;
The civil rights standards of local law enforcement agents participating in the JTTF; and
The impact of and corrective plan for local officers who participated in trainings hosted by the FBI that were rife with anti-Islamic bias.
"We have sought answers to these questions from local FBI officials for months now," said ALC staff attorney Veena Dubal. "It is our hope that Director Mueller's visit to the Bay Area is an opportunity to raise our collective voices to address the grave concerns we have about the FBI's practices in the Bay Area."
Read the full letter:
"Our community members need to be treated like partners, not suspects," said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo. "Director Mueller must address the community's concerns about the promotion of Islamophobia by FBI trainers and about bureau policies that allow religious and ethnic profiling."
"The controls over the intelligence gathering practices of the FBI have been nearly gutted in recent years," said ACLU-NC Police Practices Consultant John Crew. "But California's strong constitutional right to privacy and local police policies designed to prevent these sorts of abuses remain intact. If the FBI wants to use our local police resources in their Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), they should be willing to publicly demonstrate that our state right to privacy and local standards are not being sacrificed in the process."