Ross Mirkarimi Wants To Stop FBI's Monitoring of Muslims

Categories: Law & Order
Look! Now they're going out to the movies! It's all part of a nefarious plot, I tell you!
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced a resolution this week asking his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to endorse a Human Rights Commission report that indicates law enforcement is consistently racial profiling Muslims in San Francisco.

(Yes, that's a nonbinding resolution in favor of a nonbinding report commenting on federal agencies the city has no control over).

Among 16 recommendations, the report advises the city to hire a permanent ombudsman at the San Francisco International Airport to monitor interrogation and secondary inspections of passengers by the TSA (hope he or she works cheap). 

It's an only-in-San Francisco topic, isn't it? A city-appointed watchdog looking over the shoulder of a TSA agent as they pat-you down to make sure your civil liberties aren't maimed. But the report says such a measure is badly needed after Muslim and Arab community members complained at a hearing that they're disproportionately singled out during security checks.

The report also asked that the Board of Supervisors pass laws to protect people from undue search, surveillance, and profiling by local police.

The Human Rights Commission adopted the report at its meeting last week. The 44-page document summed up the testimony of many community members at a September 23 HRC hearing on the issue and then issued a bevy of official findings. There are 31 total, but here are some of the more interesting discoveries:

  • "Federal and State task forces and homeland security offices have spied on peaceful political dissent groups and placed them wrongfully on 'terrorist watch' lists."  

  • "Immigration and civil rights attorneys are visited by Muslim clients who allege they were coerced by the FBI to become informants and their immigration applications were denied if they refuse to become informants."

  • "The Sikh Coalition's national report cards have judged San Francisco International Airport as one of the worst airports in the country in terms of the percentage of Sikhs profiled in other airports." 

  • "Community organizations and community members are concerned that the FBI encourages and entraps [Muslim, Arab, Persian, etc.] individuals to engage in terrorist plots. These individuals would otherwise be incapable or unwilling to engage in such plots."
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