Chris Christie says NYPD forgot lessons of 9/11
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the NYPD has already forgotten some of the lessons it learned from 9/11, slamming the department yet again on Thursday for its covert spying on Muslims in the Garden State.
"What bothers me is that they seem to have abandoned the key lesson from Sept. 11, which is we should be sharing information with each other," Christie said Thursday regarding the surveillance of Muslim citizens, which the NYPD kept secret from New Jersey police.
Christie added that "9/11 was not prevented because law enforcement agencies weren't talking to each other: They were being selfish, they were being provincial, they were being paranoid, and they were being arrogant. I do not want to return to those days."
Christie has been railing against Ray Kelly and the NYPD all week, after the Associated Press reported that the police department has been monitoring the activities of people outside the city. On Wednesday, he said he didn't know whether the program was "born out of arrogance, or out of paranoia, or out of both," and slammed "this kind of affectation that the NYPD seems to have that they are the masters of the universe."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office declined to comment on Christie's latest remarks. The mayor has previously said the investigations were necessary and legal, adding that the department doesn't target people based on race or religion.
"We are not going to repeat the mistakes that we made after the 1993 [World Trade Center] bombing," Bloomberg said last week. "We just cannot let our guard down again. We cannot slack in our vigilance. The threat was real. The threat is real. The threat is not going away."
The NYPD didn't return a request for comment.
One criminal justice expert said Christie is simply taking "potshots" at the NYPD, since it is unreasonable to expect that level of collaboration among different police agencies.
"Any intelligence-gathering the [NYPD] does ... is going to be subject to criticism from all sides," said Eugene O'Donnell, a former NYPD cop and current police studies professor at John Jay College. "Ideally, every agency would talk to each other, but that's just not possible."
Follow reporter Tim Herrera on Twitter: @tim_herrera