AMAL’s Statement On Mayor de Blasio’s Appointment of Civilian Monitor to Oversee the NYPD

The Association of Muslim American Lawyers (“AMAL”) is disappointed with the process by which Mayor de Blasio’s has appointed Stephen Robinson to serve as the Civilian Representative to the NYPD’s reconstituted “Handschu Committee.” In a meeting we held with his team and a follow-up letter attached we expressed the importance to consult with the community on the appointment. The post of “civilian representative” is critical in that it was created to restore public confidence in the NYPD’s intelligence gathering practices.  Specifically, the Civilian Representative is tasked with overseeing the NYPD’s intelligence investigations, and ensuring compliance with the landmark Handschu v. Special Services DivisionConsent Decree (as recently modified by Raza, et al., v. City of New York), which restricts abusive, discriminatory, and unconstitutional surveillance by the NYPD.  Despite the de Blasio Administration’s promises, the appointment of Mr. Robinson was done with neither the advice, nor the consent, nor the consultation of the New York City Muslim Community (the community victimized by the NYPD’s illegal practices).  While AMAL recognizes Mr. Robinson’s outstanding professional accomplishments, we have no assurance or confidence that this “blind” appointment will help address the very issues that gave rise to the Raza, et al., v. City of New York lawsuit in the first place.

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