A coalition of New York Muslims boycotted the NYPD's annual Pre-Ramadan Conference, which gathered community members with police in Downtown Manhattan on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the month-long observance.
Several Muslim community organizations, religious leaders and civil rights advocates decided to boycott the function, saying there is a lack of transparency, accountability and respect on behalf of the NYPD.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Muslims who did attend the event said despite any differences, it is important to maintain open communication.
"We share the belief that by working together, by communicating honestly and openly and directly, we can make New York even safer. We can strengthen the spirit of understanding and respect that makes the city such a unique place," Kelly said.
"This is a very important event for us because Ramadan is coming on the 20th of August. So it's a very important meeting with the police department to understand how Ramadan works, so we can get help from the police department," said a Muslim attendee.
The boycott comes in the wake of an Associated Press investigation into the NYPD's surveillance of American Muslim communities.