Today a new group of plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York, challenging the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program. The ACLU, NYCLU and the CLEAR project are representing six plaintiffs, all hailing from Brooklyn: an imam, two mosques, a college student, a charity, and an individual who teaches classes about Islam. This is an exciting development for those of us who want to shut down the NYPD’s program, which monitors all aspects of Muslim life in and around New York City without any indication of wrongdoing.
The heat has been turned up on the City with today’s lawsuit, as it comes after two other challenges to the surveillance program: the case filed last year by Muslim Advocates, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Bhalla Law Firm, as well as the class action plaintiffs in the decades-old Handschu case who have asked a federal court to find that the Muslim spying program violates the terms of a consent decree that governs NYPD surveillance.
UPDATE on Hassan v. City of New York, Case No. 2:12-cv-03401 (D.N.J.): as expected, the City asked the judge to dismiss the New Jersey plaintiffs’ claims that the Muslim spying program violates their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs have opposed the City’s request and we are waiting for the Court make a ruling. While the motion is pending, a federal court in Arizona ruled that the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio was racially profiling Latinos, and that court’s decision was based on analyses similar to those we provided in the Hassan case. Muslim Advocates and CCR filed a supplemental letter brief to inform the court of this new authority because it should have a positive impact on our case.