I just received this from the ACLU. I will run it here verbatim, except for a few extraneous bits.
This is racial and ethnic profiling at its most extreme. If the top law "enforcement" agency in the US does this, how can the police departments of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and every other US city be expected to do otherwise?
From the ACLU:
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You'll be outraged by what we found out.
The ACLU has uncovered and analyzed thousands of FBI documents and found that America's most powerful law enforcement agency is using its vastly expanded investigative authority to collect racial and ethnic information and "map" American communities around the country — based on crude stereotypes about which groups commit different types of crimes.
The last thing America needs is the FBI running unconstitutional investigations of innocent Americans and mapping communities based on racial stereotypes and suspicion not backed by a shred of evidence.
Tell Attorney General Holder: Put an immediate end to the FBI's unconstitutional use of racial profiling to map American communities.
The evidence of abuse the ACLU has gathered results from Freedom of Information Act requests filed by ACLU offices in 33 states and the District of Columbia. In Michigan, New Jersey and California, we had to enforce compliance with our requests through lawsuits.
Let me be clear. What we uncovered shows that the FBI isn't mapping crimes or evidence of criminal behavior. It is mapping innocent people based on nothing but their race, ethnicity, religion or national origin, and using crude stereotypes to link these groups to national security threats or crime. Our freedoms are at risk when people can be subjected to investigation based solely on who they are, where they live, or what they believe.
We've uncovered the FBI mapping innocent people, so we're mapping the FBI. Our just-launched Mapping the FBI initiative will publish thousands of documents from FBI field offices. And, we'll be issuing "Eye on the FBI" alerts exposing how the bureau's own documents show patterns of misconduct and abuse.
But, we need you to sound the alarm as well.
Sign our "Don't Map Me" petition telling Attorney General Holder that you don't want the FBI mapping you or your community based on race, ethnicity, national origin or religion.
The FBI should be devoting itself to true threats — not wasting resources on suspicion-less investigations of innocent Americans and mapping communities based on crude stereotypes.
Let's act together to put an end to race-based snooping in our lives and our communities.
Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU
P.S. Interested in learning more? Join us on Thurs., Oct. 27 at 10 a.m. ET for a policy discussion on "The Three Faces of Racial Profiling." The online conversation will take place at www.aclu.org/3FacesLive. You can ask us questions by sending tweets using the #profiling hash tag during the event.
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