The NYPD Posed As Black Lives Matter Protesters & Spied On Their Text Messages

Photo by Bryan Bennett / Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group

New documents have revealed that undercover NYPD officers may have posed as Black Lives Matter protesters to infiltrate protests.

In 2014 and 2015, the time during which people were protesting the death of Eric Garner, NYPD officers reportedly watched groups as small as seven people, as well as monitored text messages to determine when the next meetups would take place.

The documents come from The Guardian, who retrieved them through a freedom of information lawsuit.

“That text loop was definitely just for organizers, I don’t know how that got out,” Black Lives Matter organizer Elsa Waithe, said. “Someone had to have told someone how to get on it, probably trusting someone they had seen a few times in good faith. We clearly compromised ourselves.”

“I feel like the undercover was somebody who was or is very much a part of the group, and has access to information we only give to people we trust,” Keegan Stephan, a protester, added. “If you’re walking to Grand Central with a handful of people for an action, that’s much more than just showing up to a public demonstration – that sounds like a level of friendship.”

Although the documents do not make clear what stage of its investigation the NYPD was at in regards to its undercover operations, the fact that the organization retained pictures and videos from a public event at all is telling, considering it is not allowed to unless it relates to unlawful activity.

Black Lives Matter has reportedly shifted its focusing to engaging statehouses and applying pressure on the state level through the website, OurStates.org.