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CAIR-NY Denounces Mayor de Blasio’s Surprise Appointment of Intelligence Watchdog

chapter logos newyork(NEW YORK, N.Y., 3/21/17) – The New York chapter of the”¯Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights group, today denounced Mayor de Blasio’s surprise appointment of Stephen Robinson to serve as the Civilian Representative to the NYPD’s newly reconstituted “Handschu Committee.”  The civilian representative is intended to serve as an independent watchdog on NYPD intelligence division investigations, ensuring compliance with the landmark Handschu v. Special Services Division consent decree, which restricts abusive, discriminatory, and unconstitutional surveillance.

SEE: NYPD Agrees to Stronger Oversight of Investigations Into Religious, Political Groups

“Today’s surprise appointment, made without any consultation with the Muslim community, lacks the cooperation we needed to have confidence in this appointment,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “Mayor de Blasio is asking us to blindly trust his appointee will curb the NYPD’s abusive surveillance, but that trust must be earned.”

“Mr. Robinson has exemplary legal credentials, but there’s no assurance this longtime prosecutor will be willing to curtail the NYPD’s pattern of unconstitutional surveillance,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn. “Once again, Mayor de Blasio has given up a chance at lasting change to paper-over our dysfunctional and discriminatory intelligence apparatus.”

Muslim community members are asked to report any police harassment and discrimination to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at:

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.   

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006,; Legal Director Albert Cahn, 571-766-6273,

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