Sheriff Clarke Defends Cruz's Proposal to Have Police Surveil Muslim Communities for Radicalization

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Apr 01, 2016 7:30 AM
Sheriff Clarke Defends Cruz's Proposal to Have Police Surveil Muslim Communities for Radicalization

In the wake of the Brussels terror attacks, there was a firestorm of criticism directed at Sen. Ted Cruz’s call for more surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods. Despite the backlash, he stood by his proposal and said he’s “not going to apologize to anyone.”

"If you want to stop radical Islamic terrorism, the answer isn't to go hang out in random neighborhoods, it is instead to focus on communities where radicalization is a risk," he said this week.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. agrees.

When asked by Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney what he thought of the proposal and whether he’d do it, Clarke said he would—and that it’s already being done.

“Sure, and we already are,” he said. “And in New York they’re doing it under the Handschu agreement, which allows the NYPD and their demographics units to go anywhere in these Muslim communities that the public is allowed to go.

“They do not do rolling surveillance, they do not do rogue spying," Clarke continued.  "But they’re looking for evidence of hot spots. They’re looking for evidence of radicalization, those sorts of things."

He then clarified what the Handschu agreement entailed, saying “it allows NYPD to conduct certain activities where we balance the protection of civil liberties and we help defend this country, this city, this nation, our communities, my community back home – not through [the N.Y.] Handschu agreement -- but helps us defend against plots and radicalization efforts."

Clarke noted that this is in the best interest of the Muslim communities, too, as police have an obligation to protect them as well. If law enforcement in San Bernardino had done this, he said, they may have been able to uncover the terror plot before it was too late.

“We have to get over this notion that these are no-go zones,” Clarke said. “That’s not fair to the Muslim communities, all right?  Many of these individuals do not stand for this [radical Islam] and they want to help as well."