New York reaches outline of settlement over Muslim surveillance

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 22, 2015 10:38 PM

(Reuters) - New York has reached the outline of a legal settlement with Muslims over police surveillance, a filing in the two-year-old lawsuit said.

The suit in Brooklyn federal court alleged that the New York Police Department had trampled on religious liberties and constitutional guarantees of equality by monitoring Muslim communities.

The June 2013 suit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union was part of a battle between the police department and civil liberties advocates over the department's policing tactics.

"The parties have reached a settlement in principle," lawyers for the city said in a letter filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein on Friday.

The settlement is contingent on several details being worked out and on lawyers' consultation with those who brought the suit, the letter said.

The lawsuit was brought by a charity, religious leaders and mosques. It sought to put an end to police surveillance of Muslims, the destruction of records on people resulting from the program and the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee the department.

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A similar lawsuit is before a federal appeals court in Philadelphia after a New Jersey federal judge dismissed it last year.

Spokesmen for the New York City Law Department and the New York Civil Liberities Union declined to comment. The American Civil Liberties Union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Michael Perry)