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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

NYPD - Historical and Current Research: Police Surveillance

This is a guide mainly focusing on the history of the NYPD, but modern sources are covered too. By Ellen Belcher

Subject Headings and Keyword Searches

Try using these subject headings searching OneSearch, CUNY+, Academic Search Complete (CUNY USE ONLY) and/or Criminal Justice Abstracts (JOHN JAY USE ONLY)

Intelligence service -- New York (State) -- New York. | Undercover operations -- New York (State) -- New York.

Or these key word searches:

NYPD and Surveillance | Handschu | NYPD and Undercover | NYPD and Spy | NYPD and Intelligence

Some NYPD units that have historically been involved in intelligence/surveillance activities, a few are still in operation:

Radical Squad | Special Services Unit | Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) | Demographics Unit/Zone Assessment UnitIntelligence Bureau/Division

NYPD and Surveillance Articles from Academic Search Complete & Criminal Justice

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Selected Resources on Police Surveillance

Resources on NYPD/Law Enforcement Surveillance

Sarah Lamdan (June 23, 2020) Defund the Police, and Defund Big Data Policing, Too. JURIST – Academic Commentary. [freely available]

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson (2017) The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement Stacks HV8141 .F47 2017 [Publisher link for ebook/book purchase]

Colin Moynihan (2017) How Police Surveillance Units Became Unlikely Historians New York Times 10/9/2017

Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department (August 2017) An investigation of NYPD's compliance with rules governing investigations of political activity

related: Brennan Center for Justice (August 2017) Inspector General Report: NYPD Violated Rules on Surveillance

(March, 2017) US-ED-NY case: Raza v City of New York  on NYC-ACLU blog on CUNY CLEAR blog

Apuzzo, Matt (2013) Enemies within: inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden's final plot against America Stacks - HV6432.44 .N7 A67 2013

Shamas, Diala. (2013) Mapping Muslims: NYPD spying and its impact on American Muslims. Long Island City, NY : Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), The Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) also available in Special Collections - HV8148 .N52 M86 2013a

NYPD (2013) Command Operation Procedure No: 212-72. Guidelines for uniformed members of the service conducting investigations involving political activities. [appendix A to NYPD-OIG 2017 report, beginning on page 40]

(2012) Mosque Crawlers: Monitoring U.S. Muslims for NYPD. New York, N.Y. : Films Media Group  Streaming video available with John Jay login

Reppetto, Thomas A. (2011) Battleground New York City: countering spies, saboteurs, and terrorists since 1861. Stacks - HV6795 .N5 R47 2011

NYPD (2007) Revision to Patrol Guide Procedure 212-71 Guidelines for the use of Photographic/video equipment to record police operations and public activities. (revision to Interim Order 47-2004)

Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt (2007) Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat. NYPD: Intelligence Division

(2006) Black and blue: legends of the hip-hop cop. written by Iain Kennedy & Baz Dreisinger; directed by Peter Spirer Media Collection, Reserve - DVD-420

Handschu v. Special Services Div., 273 F. Supp. 2d 327 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) on Justia

related: NYC-ACLU Blog Handschu v. Special Services Division (Challenging NYPD surveillance practices targeting political groups)

Bouza, Anthony V (1978) Police intelligence: the operations of an investigative unit. Stacks - HV8148.N52 B68

General Resources on Police Surveillance

Mantel, B. (2017, April 21). High-tech policing. CQ researcher, 27, 337-360. Retrieved from

Faiza Patel (2011) Rethinking Radicalization Brennan Center For Justice.

Primary Resources on NYPD Surveillance:

At the Municipal Archives of NYC - NYPD Surveillance Films 1960s-1980s.