When the cops only saw red

The more things change ...

Lurking behind the effort to revitalize local police intelligence is a nasty skeleton in the closet--the legacy of the old "Red Squads." While most attention to illegal spying in the 1960s and 1970s centers on infamous federal programs like the FBI's COINTELPRO and the CIA's Operation Chaos, many of the worst abuses went on at the local level. Originally formed to surveil and root out Communists, the Red Squads were ubiquitous by the 1960s, reaching into city and state police departments nationwide: New York City had its Special Services Division, Los Angeles its Public Disorder Intelligence Division, and Chicago its Subversive Activities Unit.

(link) [U.S. News & World Report]

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