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NYPD: Settlement On Muslim Surveillance Should End New Jersey Lawsuit

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A proposed settlement between the federal government and the NYPD over its surveillance on Muslims should also end a lawsuit filed by Muslims from New Jersey, the NYPD said in a legal filing Friday.

As WCBS 880's Stephanie Colombini reported, the NYPD last week announced a settlement in two similar lawsuits.

The department agreed to strengthen safeguards against illegal surveillance of Muslims in terrorism investigations and install a civilian representative on a committee that reviews the investigations under the terms of the settlement.

"We're very pleased about the proposed settlements," said Glenn Katon of Muslim Advocates, which represents eight plaintiffs in the New Jersey case.

The lawsuit on behalf of New Jersey Muslims was first filed in 2012, and brought back by an appeals court two years later.

Katon said he still was not ready to make a deal.

"There are a lot of areas for abusive surveillance of Muslims not covered by the settlement," he said.

The settlement announced last week modifies and adds restrictions on surveillance set by 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 following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to allow police to more freely monitor political activity in public places.

Under the deal, the Handschu guidelines will specifically ban investigations based on race, religion or ethnicity. The civilian representative will attend monthly meetings that review the investigations and have authority to report any civil rights concerns to the mayor or the court.

When the settlement was announced on Thursday of last week, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller stressed the agreement did not weaken the NYPD's commitment to investigate and to prevent terrorist activity in New York City.

The agreement is pending a judge's approval in New York.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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