The New York Police Department has settled a lawsuit over alleged spying on Muslim mosques, schools and businesses in New Jersey in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, NorthJersey.com reports.
The settlement comes after a 2015 decision by a federal appeals court that a lawsuit can move forward. As part of the agreement, the NYPD has agreed to cease spying on the basis of religion and ethnicity.
Muslim residents, student groups, clergy and business owners can also weigh in on policy guidelines that govern activities of the department’s intelligence bureau, as part of the agreement, it was announced on Thursday.
Payments ranges from $22,500 to $1,250, per the settlement agreement. New York City has to pay almost $1 million in attorney fees, costs and expenses, according to NorthJersey.com
“Today’s settlement sends a message to all law enforcement agencies loud and clear: Simply being Muslim is not a basis for suspicion, and cannot be a basis for surveillance,” Farhana Khera said during a conference call announcing the settlement. “Today is truly a good day for the civil rights for all Americans.”
As part of the settlement, the NYPD and the City of New York do not admit to violating the law, according to the site
“The City, the NYPD and the plaintiffs worked long and hard, in good faith, to achieve a settlement that provides for more transparency around the policies and practices of the Intelligence Bureau while not hampering our ability to conduct authorized investigations under the Handschu Guidelines,” John J. Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism said in a statement. “Forging partnerships and maintaining the confidence of all communities is an essential element in fighting crime and terrorism.”