The New York City Police Department has agreed to settlement terms for two lawsuits that alleged discriminatory surveillance of Muslims. The judge will review the proposed settlement agreement at a hearing scheduled for January 15, 2016.
The lawsuits. Florida Family Association sent out several email alerts entitled Mosques' and Muslims' lawsuit trying to stop NYPD from surveilling mosques and censor public safety reports regarding Jihad. Mohammad Elshinawy, Asad Dandia, Masjid At-Taqwa, Masjid Al-Ansar, Muslims Giving Back and Hamid Raza sued (Raza et al v. City of New York et al) the City of New York in an attempt to stop the New York Police Department from surveilling them and their mosques. The lawsuit also sought to force the New York Police Department to remove their report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat.
The settlement. (Click here to read settlement.) The New York Police Department:
• Did NOT agree to stop surveilling Muslims or mosques. The mayor will appoint a civilian representative to the NYPD advisory committee; that representative is to be an attorney who is bound by confidentiality rules. NYPD says it has made standard practice in recent years, including one that bars officers from pursuing investigations in cases in which "race, religion, or ethnicity is the substantial or motivating factor."
• Did NOT compromise on the core issue of investigation. Page 13 of proposed settlement agreement states "Class Counsel and Raza counsel did not get everything that had been sought, but the settlement did address each of the goals identified above, and in the view of counsel in both cases, what was achieved is meaningful protection for the members of the plaintiff class."
• "Did not admit any wrongdoing, and the city won't pay any damages other than about $1.6 million for the plaintiff's legal fees. The department instead agreed to codify civil rights and other protections required under the court-ordered Handschu decree, which was put in place in response to surveillance used against war protesters in the 1960s and '70s. The decree was relaxed after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to allow police to more freely monitor political activity in public places." US News & World Report
• Agreed to remove their report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat from their website.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in response to the proposed settlement. "Our city's counterterrorism forces are the best in the world, and the NYPD will continue working tirelessly to keep our city safe in the fight against terror while respecting our residents' constitutional rights." NPR reports.
Florida Family Association is not content with the removal of the report or payment of plaintiffs' attorneys' fees. However, by settling this case with the terms in the proposed settlement agreement, the New York Police Department avoided being ordered to stop surveilling these and other mosques. Extended litigation and a trial could have resulted in a restaining order, punitive damages and increased legal fees. The only certainty about litigation is no one is certain of the outcome given judge and jury demographics.
The New York Police Department has led the country for years in the fight against terrorism. In many cases the New York Police Department has been the first line of defense for the country. Millions of Americans, not just New Yorkers, depend upon the New York Police Department to keep them safe from terrorism.
Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to urge New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio to preserve the New York Police Department as the first line of defense against terrorism in America.
The email for this article was deactivated after NYPD settled the case.
December 28, 2015 Florida Family Association article.
Mosques' and Muslims' lawsuit trying to stop NYPD from surveilling mosques and censor public safety reports regarding Jihad may settle on January 15, 2016.
The New York Post reported NYPD ready to settle case over spying on Muslims on December 2, 2015. On December 2, 2015 the court extended the settlement date to January 2, 216. On January 2, 2016, court extended the settlement date to January 15, 216. The New York Post November 29, 2015 article reports the following in part:
The city could be days away from settling a federal lawsuit accusing the NYPD of “religious profiling” and unwarranted spying on Muslims even as the Paris massacres have heightened terrorism fears.
Lawyers for the city and Muslim leaders have told a judge they have “reached a settlement in principle” and will meet once more to iron out a few details before Wednesday’s (December 2, 2015) deadline.
Mohammad Elshinawy, Asad Dandia, Masjid At-Taqwa, Masjid Al-Ansar, Muslims Giving Back and Hamid Raza sued the City of New York in an attempt to force the New York Police Department to remove their report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat. The lawsuit also sought to stop the New York Police Department from surveilling them and their mosques. Raza et al v. City of New York et al is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Imam Siraj Wahha who runs the Masjid At Taqwa mosque was the key note speaker at the Garland Texas Islamist rally on January 17, 2015 that called for the defeat of Islamophobia. "Ready to defeat Islamophobia? This is not an event. It is the beginning of a movement. A movement to defend Prophet Muhammad, his person, and his message. Salla Allahu Alaihe wa Sallam. This benefit will raise funds to establish a Strategic Communication Center for the Muslim community, which will develop effective responses to anti-Islamic attacks.
Florida Family Association sent out the following email alerts regarding this issue:
January 20, 2015 email alert titled Islamists demand that NYPD scrub online report on Islamist terrorism and stop surveillance of mosques.
March 18, 2015 email alert titled APT report clearly shows why US District Court should not stop the NYPD from surveilling mosques.
May 20, 2015 email alert titled ISIS recruitment from Phoenix Mosque for attack in Garland Texas clearly shows why US District Court should not stop the NYPD from surveilling mosques.
Approximately 20,100 people have sent emails to the judges and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A June 19, 2015 letter from ACLU attorneys prosecuting the case for the Mosques and Muslims states that an existing stay on a confidentiality agreement expires on September 1, 2015. The ACLU letter is addressed to a new magistrate judge, James Orenstein United States Magistrate Judge, assigned to this case. The ACLU letter also states "The parties' settlement efforts have continued, and only a few discrete items remain to be negotiated and finalized. Both parties anticipate being able to resolve these discrete items, and are working expeditiously to do so."
Plainsite.org shows at the time of the writing of this article that the last entry in the court record was a status report on August 31, 2015. Given the confidentiality agreements that have been approved by New York City and ACLU attorneys the public may not know the terms of any settlement agreement. However, the judge and/or magistrate in the case must approve any settlement agreement. Nevertheless, if the terms of settlement require the NYPD to remove their report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat from the World Wide Web it will be evident as soon as the report is removed. Additionally, it will also be evident fairly soon if any settlement agreement requires the NYPD to stop surveilling the Muslim leaders and their mosques.
ISIS proclaims that they have 71 soldiers in 15 states who will kill the leader of the "Draw Muhammad" event and everyone who supported the event. Clearly, an order by the U.S. District Court restraining the NYPD from surveilling mosques for potential terrorist activity would have dire consequences for the public safety of all Americans. In addition, censoring the NYPD report titled Radicalization in the West: The Home Grown Threat would obstruct law enforcement capabilities across the country.
Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, U.S. District Court Judges Pam Chen and Joan Azrack. The email urges the judges to make public safety a priority in this case by not tying the hands of law enforcement and by not censoring information of great importance. The settlement that this court approves or the ruling that this court makes is important to the public safety of millions of Americans. The email will be copied to the New York City Hall.
The content of the email prepared for the judges has changed to the email in the beginning of this page which is now directed to the mayor and copied to the judges.