A series of investigative reports, published by the Associated Press in August 2011, exposed the NYPD’s broad and overreaching surveillance program targeting Arabs and Muslims all across New York and the Northeast. Ordinary citizens, guilty of no wrongdoing nor under suspicion of any criminal activity, were targeted exclusively on the basis of their religious identity. NYPD undercover officers and informants infiltrated Muslim-owned businesses, bookstores, restaurants, Muslim student groups on college campuses, and mosques, collecting and retaining information on innocent worshippers, students, customers, and citizens from all walks of life. These surveillance operations have failed to produce any real leads and unjustly place blanket suspicion on an entire faith community. AAANY’s campaign seeks to increase transparency and accountability within the NYPD and end discriminatory policing practices based on racial and religious profiling. (investigation of NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau program and policies, audit of the NYPD Intelligence unit, end unwarranted surveillance by NYPD of Muslims)
The AAANY very actively campaigned with local allies for the passing of the Community Safety Act, a package of bills whose aim is to end discriminatory policing and bring accountability to the NYPD. The bills passed in City Council with a veto-proof majority, and called for the end of bias-based policing and for the establishment of an Inspector General to oversee and ensure that NYPD operations were in compliance with the law.
For more information on the Community Safety Act: http://bit.ly/1gThgiw
The NYPD’s surveillance program is currently being legally challenged in three different lawsuits by various [members and] allies of [the Muslim community and] the AAANY.
Raza v. City of New York- A lawsuit filed by the ACLU, NYCLU, and CLEAR project against the NYPD in response to their blanket surveillance of NYC’s Muslim population.
Handschu v. Special Services Division- A federal lawsuit which asserts that the NYPD’s blanket surveillance of NYC’s Muslims are in violation of the 1985 Handschu agreement, which layout guidelines the NYPD must follow when monitoring groups.
Hassan v. City of New York - Members of the New Jersey Muslim community filed this lawsuit in a federal courthouse in New Jersey in response to the discovery that the NYPD conducted surveillance operations against New Jersey’s Muslim residents.