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    Lawsuits related to police spying on Muslims in New York City were settled on Thursday, with the city agreeing to appoint an independent monitor of future counterterrorism activities, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) said in a press release on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The mayor said Muslim residents are partners in the fight against terrorism and that the agreement will help improve the city’s relationship with its Muslim community.

    “We are committed to strengthening the relationship between our administration and communities of faith so that residents of every background feel respected and protected,” the release quoted Mayor Bill de Blasio as saying.

    Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, outside scrutiny of police investigations was ended and police began infiltrating mosques, keeping tabs on worshipers and profiling Muslim communities.

    The settlement updates rules for terror-related investigations to explicitly state that the NYPD does not pursue investigations where “race, religion, or ethnicity is the substantial or motivating factor,” according to the news release.

    Under the settlement, the mayor will appoint a civilian to the internal NYPD panel that monitors counterterrorism activities.

    The agreement involves a 2013 lawsuit over Muslim surveillance and a complaint dating back to Cold War surveillance of radical Communist groups.


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