- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - Mayor Bill de Blasio says the NYPD’s disbanded demographics unit alienated Muslim-Americans - the very people who could assist law enforcement in the fight against terror.

De Blasio spoke in a wide-ranging interview Wednesday on WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York.”

He said the surveillance “unfortunately” sent the message that “there was a suspicion” about people in Muslim-American communities.

He said instead they should have been treated as allies in the fight against terror.

De Blasio says Muslim-Americans are overwhelmingly “law-abiding, decent people.”

He says they can provide valuable leads and insights when “somebody could be on the wrong tracks.”

The unit, launched after 9/11, was disbanded last year. A review concluded the same information could be better collected through direct contact with community groups.

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