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AP series about NYPD surveillance wins Pulitzer

By David Crary

Associated Press

Published: Monday, April 16 2012 3:45 p.m. MDT

—The police infiltrated Muslim student groups at schools like Brooklyn College, checking on Internet activity and worrying over "militant paintball trips" that the students insist were recreational. To get access to student records, officers told campus police they were investigating narcotics or gang cases.

—A Moroccan Initiative catalogued the lives of Moroccans in the city, monitoring them at restaurants, grocery stores, barbershops. Sometimes, they were interviewed by police officers who said they were conducting criminal investigations or looking for a lost child.

The articles have continued at a steady pace this year, detailing how the NYPD monitored Muslims beyond the city limits.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused the NYPD of acting like "masters of the universe" by sending agents into his state. Mayor Cory Booker of Newark — New Jersey's largest city — also complained, and the FBI chief in New Jersey said the surveillance undermined the bureau's own efforts by sowing distrust of authorities among Muslims.

Schools such as Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Buffalo condemned surveillance aimed at their students. One document revealed that the NYPD sent an undercover officer on a whitewater rafting trip with Muslim students from the City College of New York.

The Pulitzer was the 50th for the AP, a frequent winner in news photography categories. The AP's most recent previous Pulitzer for news writing was in 2000, for a series of stories about a massacre of civilians by U.S. troops during the Korean War.

The Pulitzer is the fourth major award for the NYPD series, which also won the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, a George Polk Award, and the Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents' Association.

Goldman, 40, joined the AP in 2002. Apuzzo, 33, was hired in 2003. Sullivan, 35, has been with the AP since 2007. Hawley, 39, recently left the news agency to take a job with an aerospace company. During more than 20 years in journalism, he had two stints at the AP, totaling eight years.

Online:

Highlights of the AP series: http://www.ap.org/media-center/nypd/investigation

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