ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly Brussels attacks on Tuesday, putting Belgium on high terror alert and making the rest of Europe similarly vigilant. Across the Atlantic Ocean, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz responded to the attacks by calling for local law enforcement to "patrol and secure" Muslim communities across the U.S. to prevent radicalization — a comment that has been widely lambasted for its blatant disregard of civil liberties and fueling Islamophobia.
Among those criticizing Cruz's remarks is NYPD Communications Director J. Peter Donald, who tweeted at Cruz: "Are our nearly 1k Muslim officers a 'threat' too?"
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton had a harsher response to the conservative Evangelical candidate. In a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bratton said:
I have over 900 very dedicated officers in this department, many of whom do double duty, and they serve as active duty members of the U.S. Military in combat, something the senator has never seen. So before he starts denigrating any population, he should take a close look at who he's denigrating.
Bratton added that he took "great offense" to Cruz's remarks.
The strong statements from two of the NYPD's top authorities show an intolerance for such demagoguery, though it does not discount the department's decade-long religious profiling and surveillance of Muslims in New York.
Cover image via Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com.