FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, NY 10/31/16) – The New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, supported a Federal Judge’s ruling calling for greater protections against warrantless NYPD surveillance of the Muslim community. Judge Haight, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, found that the proposed NYPD settlement provided insufficient protections in light of the NYPD’s pattern of unlawful surveillance of Muslim New Yorkers.
In the October 28th ruling, which was published today, Judge Haight found the proposed settlement did not “furnish sufficient protection from potential violations of the constitutional rights of those law-abiding Muslims and believers in Islam . . . .” The Judge further noted evidence that the NYPD Intelligence Bureau had “a systemic inclination” to disregard existing surveillance limits, finding “probable cause” that the NYPD intelligence practices had broken the law.
“We support the court’s call for greater protection of the Muslim community, and we’re pleased to see it adopt so many of the positions we and other advocates advanced,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “We hope that by returning to the negotiating table, the plaintiffs can secure more justice than the existing settlement provided.”
“This ruling stands as a powerful rejection of the NYPD’s pattern of unlawful and unconstitutional surveillance,” said CAIR-Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Fox Cahn. “The court recognized that stronger safeguards are needed to restrain an Intelligence Bureau that violated the rights of so many for so long.”
The Court’s ruling turned largely on the New York Office of the Inspector General’s August 23rd, 2016, Investigation of NYPD’s Compliance with rules Governing Investigations of Political Activity. That report found that 95% of investigations were targeted at Muslims or political causes associated with Islam, and that investigations typically exceeded the time limits allowed by the existing federal consent decree.
SEE: NYPD's Muslim surveillance violated regulations as recently as 2015: report
Among other changes, Judge Haight suggested that the parties expand the power and autonomy of the Civilian Representative on the panel overseeing NYPD surveillance and that the Civilian Representative provide more frequent updates to the court.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006, firstname.lastname@example.org; Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Cahn, 571-766-6273, email@example.com, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org.