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It comes amid lawsuits against the Police Department alleging unconstitutional surveillance of Muslim communities and mosques in New Jersey and New York. And a group of plaintiffs from a 1971 lawsuit over harassment of political groups by the Police Department's so-called Red Squad has asked a judge to tighten guidelines stemming from that case on police investigations involving political or religious activity.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR-NY Welcomes City Council Vote for Increased NYPD Oversight
(NEW YORK, NY, 6/27/13) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today welcomed the New York City Council's vote to pass the Community Safety Act--a set of bills that will increase accountability and oversight in the New York Police Department (NYPD).
CAIR-NY is an endorser of the Community Safety Act and urged community members to call in support of the bills leading up to the vote. New York Muslims advocated for the bill in light of recent revelations of an NYPD program which engaged in unlawful spying of the Muslim community.
Last week CAIR-NY, along with NYPD reform activists, American Muslims and concerned New Yorkers, gathered together at 1 Police Plaza with the ACLU, NYCLU, and CUNY CLEAR for the announcement of a legal challenge to the unlawful spying of Muslim communities by the NYPD.
"Last night's vote brings us one step closer to an NYPD that does not consider a person's skin color, ethnicity or religion probable cause for an investigation," said CAIR-New York Operations Coordinator Sadyia Khalique.
"We commend the courageous leadership of the city council members who supported the Community Safety Act, and we urge Commissioner Ray Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg and the council members who voted against the bills to end their campaign of fear mongering against them."
As community activists rallied behind the bills--End Discriminatory Profiling Bill (Intro 1080) and the NYPD Oversight Bill (Intro 1079)--Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly supported an unsuccessful media campaign to influence public opinion against the bills.
"Last night's vote does not end our struggle for safer communities, but it was a historic victory for affected communities who formed a coalition to command a majority, and veto proof, vote to protect us from discriminatory policing."
CAIR-NY is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.