New York City police officials on Thursday settled a lawsuit over surveillance activities of Muslim citizens, agreeing to ban officers from opening investigations based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, or religion, reports The Hill.
The agreement also calls on police to reinstate a civilian watchdog to help block unfair targeting of citizens based on their race and will cap the use of undercover and confidential informants.
The report notes that a federal judge must approve the terms of the agreement before it can take effect.
If approved, the agreement would end two of three lawsuits filed against the New York Police Department over its practices of monitoring Muslims based only on their religion, notes the news outlet.
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.”
Civil liberties advocates said the behavior likely violated the Constitution.
The city did not admit to acting improperly in the settlement released on Thursday, the report says.
SOURCE: The Hill| PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform