New York Police Monitored Diddy, Jay-Z and Others Prior to RNC
In confidential New York City Police intelligence documents released on Wednesday (May 16), it was revealed that authorities kept tabs on some of the biggest names in hip-hop prior to the Republican National Convention in 2004. According to the New York Daily News, the 600 pages worth of documents were released in relation to ongoing litigation against the city over what many see as excessive and unnecessary arrests during the convention. The records show that Jay-Z, Sean “Diddy” Combs, LL Cool J and singer Alicia Keys were monitored because of their plans to attend a protest rally held by Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. Authorities also monitored several anti-war groups and organizations planning on protesting the Republican leadership. While the NYPD has defended its actions during the time period, the New York Civil Liberties Union argues that the monitoring of lawful political activism went too far. The city tried to block the release of the documents, but Manhattan Federal Judge James Francis sided with the NYCLU. NYPD commissioner, Raymond Kelly defended the department’s actions. “I think a close examination of those documents will show the NYPD did an outstanding job of protecting the city during the convention,” Kelly said. The documents can be viewed in their entirety on the NYPD website at the following address http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/dcpi/nypd_rnc.html.