The last of three major lawsuits over the surveillance of Muslims by the New York Police Department was settled on Thursday, ending years of litigation over a broad, decade-long spying program in which Intelligence Division detectives eavesdropped on conversations in cafes, asked people about their views on drone strikes and designated mosques as potential terrorist organizations.
As part of the settlement of Hassan v. City of New York, the police will use “reasonable and diligent efforts” to expunge certain information pertaining to Muslim communities in New Jersey that the Intelligence Division gathered. The Department will also give plaintiffs a chance to propose revisions to a policy guide on compliance with the Handschu Guidelines, which govern how the police may investigate political and religious activity, reports the New York Times.
Senior police officials will attend a public meeting with the plaintiffs, and the city will pay 10 businesses, mosques, student groups and individuals amounts ranging from $1,250 to $22,500 to satisfy their claims for damages. The settlement confirms that New York Police Department investigations involving political activity in New Jersey are subject to the Handschu Guidelines.
Neither the city nor the police admitted any misconduct or violation of the law.