Civil rights lawyers filed a suit against the New York Police Department on Monday, alleging law enforcement has created a climate of fear with its “widespread and intense” surveillance of Muslims.
Lawyers characterize New York’s police surveillance of Muslims as an “all-encompassing dragnet” for intelligence, based on false premises — that “conservative Muslim beliefs and participation in Muslim organizations are themselves bases for investigation,” The Guardian writes.
Some of the complaints: The NYPD has wrongly sent spies into mosques to photograph and take notes. And a NYPD special unit used overly aggressive techniques to monitor restaurants and bookstores frequented by Muslims, The Guardian reported.
“Investigations of any community that are not based upon indications of crime create fear, and erode the confidence of a community in the power of a legal system to protect it,” said Paul Chevigny, a professor of law at New York University and one of the five lawyers bringing the suit, The Guardian reports.