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In the article, the NYPD is accused of planting spies in Sharpton’s network so that it could learn ahead of time about any protests being held in reaction to the acquittal of the officers who killed Sean Bell. In addition, the article goes on to accuse NYPD of searching for information on Sharpton to discredit him, even going so far as to spread rumors that Sharpton is gay.
An informant allegedly attended a May 2008 NAN meeting and reported back to NYPD.
And according to Paul J. Browne, an NYPD spokesman, the intelligence unit was in fact involved in intelligence gathering inside the National Action Network headquarters during that meeting, but according to Browne, intelligence officials were not there to discredit Sharpton.
“Neither the Rev. Sharpton nor the National Action Network, but a separate individual who was present was the subject of the NYPD Intelligence Division’s interest at the May 3, 2008 meeting in question,” Browne said in an email.
In a statement released yesterday afternoon, NAN attorney Michael Hardy said the organization might sue the city over the allegations.