Police 'snooped on comic'

Was Carlin targeted over his views?

Lawyers are investigating claims that police may have illegally spied on American stand-up George Carlin.

The comedian's name is included on a list of 526 names that civil liberties campaigners believe were wrongly targeted by police simply for being a dissenting voice.

A former senator, high-profile Native American activists and anti-violence groups are also on the American Civil Liberties Union list.

Carlin is believed to have been spied on because he once served on the board of the now-defunct Anti-Defamation League of American Indians.

The comic also lost a long-running indecency case in the Seventies, which ruled that his language was legaly unsuitable for broadcast.

The police files scandal has been rumbling on in Denver since March, when the city's mayor ordered curbs on intelligence-gathering, saying it was a violation of civil liberties.

Former South Dakota Senator James Abourezk, one of the names on the list, said: "I have very strong feelings about this. It's outrageous. The one thing we want to prevent in America is the creation of a police state where they've got dossiers on people who dissent."

To buy George Carlin: You Are All Diseased on CD

Published: 22 Oct 2002

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