Six local Black Lives Matter members in Clarkstown, New York have filed a federal suit against the town, its chief of police, police sergeant, and its Special Investigations Unit, accusing them of racial profiling and illegal surveillance that violated their first and 14th amendment rights.
In a response to a local news outlet, Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe denied the charges.
“This unit does not engage in any type of surveillance,” Zugibe said.
“They engage in what we call passive surveillance or monitoring of publicly available social media.
Last year, the ACLU uncovered more than 500 police departments using ‘geofencing’ surveillance technology.
Using the tech, officers select an area of a map and, in real time, source all public social media posts in those areas by searching for key words like “protest,” “rally,” “march,” etc.