September 6, 2022
Issues: Fighting Bigotry, Law Enforcement Bias
Muslim Advocates Condemns CNN for Hiring Anti-Muslim NYPD Official
Man Who Lied About NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Hired as CNN’s Chief Law Enforcement Analyst
Washington, DC — On Tuesday, CNN announced that former NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller has been hired as Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst. As deputy commissioner, Miller told the New York City Council that “there is no evidence” that the department spied on Muslims or that what the department did “occurred outside the rules of legitimate investigations.” In October 2012, Muslim Advocates filed Hassan v. City of New York on behalf of Muslims who were spied on by the NYPD. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the law firm of Gibbons, P.C. joined as co-counsel that December. The lawsuit resulted in a landmark settlement requiring the NYPD, among other things, to halt suspicionless surveillance on the basis of religion or ethnicity and to pay damages to the plaintiffs for lost revenue and dignitary harms.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed:
“It is a cruel joke that CNN would hire a man who flat-out lied about the NYPD’s pervasive, unconstitutional surveillance of Muslims to be a chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst. The NYPD used cameras, informants and undercover cops to spy on Muslims in their mosques, workplaces and even school field trips. Muslim Advocates sued them over this and a federal appeals court explicitly said that the NYPD ran ‘a surveillance program with a facially discriminatory classification.’ As a top official with the NYPD, John Miller deliberately and purposefully lied to the public and to the New York City Council about all of this.
We have no faith that as chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst at CNN, Miller won’t continue to propagandize on behalf of law enforcement and dismiss clear discrimination against Muslims and other marginalized communities. This shameful hire, and the larger context of CNN’s questionable attempts to change course after the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, also calls into serious question whether the network can be seen as an honest source of news and analysis.
News media that uncritically parroted law enforcement and dismissed the experiences of American Muslims paved the way for a post-9/11 security state that trampled on civil rights and left a lasting stain on our nation. By hiring John Miller, CNN is again harming American Muslims and is signaling that it has more interest in currying favor with powerful, right-wing authorities than fairly and accurately reporting the news.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.