NEW YORK (AP) – Attorneys for critics of the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims said Friday there’s no reason to slow their pursuit of a Brooklyn federal lawsuit challenging the practice after a similar case was dismissed in New Jersey.
“I’m not worried,” said lawyer Hina Shamsi with the American Civil Liberties Union. She added that the decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge William Martini in Newark, N.J., “by no means” meant it was more likely that the Brooklyn case would be dismissed.
For one, Shamsi said, New York City has not asked to dismiss the lawsuit. It was filed last year following a series of articles by The Associated Press based partly on confidential NYPD documents that showed how the department sought to infiltrate dozens of mosques and Muslim student groups in New York and elsewhere.
Martini ruled that the NYPD’s work in New Jersey was a lawful effort to prevent terrorism, not a civil rights violation, and said the city was not to blame because a news agency “covertly obtained the materials and published them without authorization.” The AP declined to comment Friday. Lawyers for plaintiffs have promised to appeal.
In the Brooklyn case, Shamsi said issues were being worked out as to how the police department will share information ordered by the judge to be turned over, including materials related to the plaintiffs, specific NYPD investigations and information about intelligence activities that the plaintiff will need to prove its claim of discrimination.
Shamsi said she hopes new Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration “will look with a fresh eye at policies and practices that stigmatize New Yorkers on the basis of their religion and cause harm to their personal and professional lives and religious practices.”
She said that after the lawsuit was filed, lawyers “set forth a set of really inflammatory and false allegations that increased our plaintiffs’ concerns that their surveillance was unjustified and ongoing and discriminatory.”
Arthur Eisenberg, legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said lawyers working on the Brooklyn case intend to show evidence that the stigma left on the Muslim community by the NYPD surveillance is created by the police department’s practices.
“So we disagree with that conclusion of the New Jersey district court,” he said.
City lawyers Friday said only that the Brooklyn case is in the early stages of evidence-gathering.
Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain