NYC Reaches Settlement in Muslim Surveillance Lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) -

The city has reached the outlines of a settlement with Muslims who challenged police surveillance as unconstitutional and stigmatizing.

City lawyers said in a letter filed Friday that there’s a “settlement in principle” in a lawsuit filed by mosques, a charity and community leaders who sued the NYPD in 2013. The suit claims police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques and otherwise spied on Muslims as part of an anti-terror effort.

The city maintains that the intelligence-gathering was an appropriate and legal anti-terrorism tactic.

“Police need to be informed about where a terrorist may go while planning or what they may do after an attack,” city lawyer Celeste Koeleveld said when the suit was filed.

In the meantime, current Commissioner William Bratton disbanded the Demographics Unit last year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the settlement “a critical step forward.”