Muslim group sues over NYPD surveillance

June 6, 2012 at 3:03 PM
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NEWARK, N.J., June 6 (UPI) -- A Muslim group sued the New York Police Department Wednesday, asking a court to halt surveillance based on religion.

Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organization based in New Jersey, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., The Star-Ledger of Newark reported. The named plaintiffs include an Army reservist, a Vietnam veteran and several imams whose mosques were targeted by police.

Glenn Katon, the group's legal director, said he is seeking a declaration that surveillance based on religion is unconstitutional. He also hopes for a court order that the police destroy all records from unconstitutional surveillance.

"When the NYPD says all Muslims are suspects we have a clear case of government denigrating religion," Katon said.

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa recently issued a report that said New York police surveillance in New Jersey did not break the law.

"I refer you to the New Jersey AG's report and to the fact that NYPD activities in New Jersey were lawful, appropriate and in keeping with efforts there, in New York, and around the world to prevent terrorists from returning here to kill more New Yorkers," Paul Browne, the deputy commissioner of public information for the New York police, said Tuesday.

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