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NYPD Forced to Reach Settlement Over Surveillance of Muslims

NYPD_Surveillance

A victory against institutionalized bigotry. Much props to all those who worked to bring the NYPD to reach a settlement.

The Hill

The New York Police Department has agreed to reform its internal policies to prevent future explicit targeting of Muslims following a lawsuit over the department’s surveillance activities.

In the settlement reached on Thursday, the NYPD agreed to erect new barriers preventing officers from launching investigations that are largely based around a suspect’s race, religion or ethnicity. The reforms will also reinstall a civilian watchdog within the police department to prevent unfair targeting and will limit the use of undercover and confidential informants.

The concessions amount to significant reforms for the NYPD after the controversy surrounding the department’s aggressive surveillance of Muslims in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“For the first time, this watershed settlement puts much needed constraints on law enforcement’s discriminatory and unjustified surveillance of Muslims,” Hina Shamsi, the director of the national security project at the American Civil Liberties Union and a lawyer involved in the case, said in a statement. “At a time of rampant anti-Muslim hysteria and prejudice nationwide, this agreement with the country’s largest police force sends a forceful message that bias-based policing is unlawful, harmful, and unnecessary.”

A federal judge must approve the terms of the settlement before they can go into effect.

If approved, the settlement would bring to a close two of three lawsuits launched against the NYPD over its practices of closely scrutinizing Muslims based only on their religion. The practices were revealed in a series of high-profile, Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press stories in 2011 and 2012, which detailed how the police department’s expansive intelligence unit secretly monitored Muslim neighborhoods, schools, stores and mosques.

Civil liberties advocates said the behavior likely violated the Constitution.

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  • mindy1

    Watch all of the haters screaming EEEVVIILLL MOOOSSSLLLIIIMMMSS TAKING AWAY OUR PROTECTION. In all seriousness, this is good, only people who have ACTUAL terror connections should be watched.

  • Joey Sanders

    At the end of the day, this all comes down to money. The reason the NYPD did this was for the simple fact they were facing pressure from Wall Street. Wall Street was threatening to leave New York if another big terrorist attack occurred in New York City. Even though the NYPD did not catch a single terrorist from these activities, to them it was worth it to quell the fears of Wall Street.

    Also, in the comment section following the article, there are people saying this PC judgement will lead to more lives being lost. These individuals make no sense whatsoever. The NYPD activities proved that Muslims who live in New York do not want to be involved in terrorist activities. So, if anything, the NYPD can save money. They can use that money for paying off all the judgments against them for engaging in the stopping and frisking of Black and Latino males without probable cause. That too is unconstitutional.

    But those individuals will always believe that baloney, because the United States government does not tell their citizens the truth. They don’t tell Americans that government operations overseas have made them many enemies who want to attack their country.

  • Yausari

    The responses are awful. How many bigots do we have in this planet? It’s starting to feel like 50%+

  • Heinz Catsup

    It’s one thing to observe people with possible connections to terror groups if they or their family members have a background of having supported them but no longer do so (or do so discretely) or who may even have or had sympathy for them but solely based on their religion/culture/etc.? That’s xenophobia right there.

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