In January 2002, the New York Police Department (NYPD) began conducting a program to secretly monitor the lives of Muslims, their businesses, houses of worship, organizations, and schools in New York City and surrounding states. This surveillance was based entirely on their religious faith, in direct violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect against discrimination on the basis of religion.
In 2012, Muslim Advocates and partner organizations filed a lawsuit against the City of New York on behalf of several individuals and groups who were harmed by the unwarranted surveillance.
In April of 2018, the City of New York agreed to a settlement in the case. Under the terms of the settlement, the NYPD confirmed that it will reform its discriminatory and unlawful practices by agreeing to no longer engage in suspicionless surveillance on the basis of religion or ethnicity, create the first-ever NYPD Policy Guide with input from Muslim Advocates’ clients, and pay damages for income lost as a result of being unfairly targeted by the NYPD and for the stigma and humiliation harms they suffered for being targeted on the basis of their religion.
Date filed: October 3, 2012
Court(s): United States District Court for the District of New Jersey; United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit