BJC Blog RSS Feeds
Home arrow Blog arrow New Lawsuit Challenges NYPD Muslim Spying Program
New Lawsuit Challenges NYPD Muslim Spying Program E-mail
Written by Don Byrd   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A new lawsuit was filed challenging surveillance of Muslim communities by the New York Police Department. The ACLU charges the program amounts to unconstitutional religious profiling that "imposed an unwarranted badge of suspicion and stigma on law-abiding Muslim New Yorkers."

From the ACLU press release:

The NYPD's spying activities are rooted in prejudice, and have spread fear throughout Muslim communities. As a result of unlawful NYPD spying, our clients' religious goals, missions, and practices have been profoundly harmed. The discriminatory surveillance program has forced religious leaders to censor what they say to their congregants, limit their religious counseling, and record their sermons, for fear that their statements could be taken out of context by police officers or informants. Knowledge and justifiable fear of NYPD surveillance have diminished attendance at mosques, prompted distrust of newcomers out of concern they are NYPD informants, and prevented the mosques from fulfilling their mission of serving as religious sanctuaries. 

An earlier lawsuit was filed a year ago in federal court in New Jersey. For their part, police officials claim to have ended the practice, and that it was necessary at the time it was in place. You can read the new complaint here.

New Police Commissioner Abandons NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program
A new police commissioner in New York has brought new policies. William Bratton put an end to the Demographics Unit, an undercover surveillance operation controversial for targeting Muslim communities, including maintaining files on individual houses of worship. (The BJC and others last yea...
Louisiana Considers Holy Bible as State Book
Over the years writing this blog, I have seen several state and local governments memorialize the Ten Commandments through monuments, posters and other government displays. But a recent effort in Louisiana is a new (misguided) way to promote Scripture through government: legislators there are...