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NYPD Wants a Field Trip -- to the Philippines??

The NYPD's latest attempt to operate abroad is simply the most recent in a long line of overseas ventures.
 
 
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The NYPD wants a field trip to the Philippines.  Rather than ask the Filipino police to launch their own investigation into a suspect they believe fled there -- Miguel Abarentos, 26, who was indicted this week for allegedly murdering Thawerdas Sadhwani, 85, " by crushing his throat with a chair " last December -- the NYPD would prefer to take the matter into their hands. 

From the NY Post:

The case will now be submitted to the Justice Department, which will reach out to Filipino officials about tracking Abarentos down in that country.

If the government approves, federal agents and detectives from the 17th Precinct will head to Southeast Asia.

Operating outside of jurisdiction (let alone the country), however, is nothing new for the NYPD. The nation's largest municipal police force has spied on Muslims in New Jersey, set up a branch in Israel, and expanded into London, Lyons, Hamburg, and Toronto. When Bloomberg called the NYPD his "private army," thus, perhaps he wasn't kidding. The NYPD is very much like the military, flying overseas and such. Whether they are trained to operate as military, however, is another question. What does the 17th Precinct, for starters, know about Fillipino culture or law? 

These kinds of questions are null to NYPD Comissioner Ray Kelly, who suggested to New York Magazine that the NYPD plays a role in the federal responsibility to combat terrorism. "I knew we couldn't rely on the federal government," Kelly told NY Mag, "I know it from my own experience. We're doing all the things we're doing because the federal government isn't doing them. It's not enough to say it's their job if the job isn't being done. Since 9/11, the federal government hasn't taken any additional resources and put them here." And so, the NYPD did it. You're welcome, America. 

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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