New York City has agreed to strengthen the role of a civilian monitor at the NYPD in a revised settlement of a suit over Muslim surveillance announced on Monday.
Manhattan U.S. District Judge Charles Haight last year refused to sign off on the settlement of the challenge to police tactics, which alleged mosques were targeted for spying based on improper religious and political profiling.
The new settlement says the civilian monitor on an internal NYPD committee that oversees surveillance activities will be able to monitor the use of informants and report violations of guidelines directly to the federal court, and prohibits the mayor from abolishing the post without court approval.
The revised settlement must still be approved by Haight and a Brooklyn federal judge presiding over a parallel case.
“New York City’s Muslim residents are strong partners in the fight against terrorism and this settlement represents another important step toward strengthening our relationship with the Muslim community,” said Austin Finan, a City Hall spokesman.
“The new additions cement the gains that we achieved before, securing our freedom to practice our religion without being afraid of who’s watching,” said Imam Hamid Hassan Raza, the lead plaintiff in one of the suits.