NYPD asks federal court to dismiss lawsuit filed by New Jersey Muslims to halt spying program

NEWARK, N.J. — Lawyers for New York City on Friday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by New Jersey Muslims over its police-run surveillance program.

The lawsuit doesn’t prove its claims that the New York Police Department’s intelligence-gathering activities were unconstitutional, that they harmed the plaintiffs or that they focused on people based on religion, national origin or race, a city attorney wrote in a filing released Friday.

The plaintiffs, which include Muslim individuals and organizations, filed the lawsuit in June. It was the first lawsuit to directly challenge the NYPD’s surveillance programs that targeted entire Muslim neighborhoods, chronicling the daily life of where people ate, prayed and got their hair cut.

The surveillance was the subject of series of stories by The Associated Press that revealed the NYPD intelligence division infiltrated dozens of mosques and Muslim student groups and investigated hundreds of people.

The city’s request for dismissal repeatedly refers to the AP’s stories and documents it published. The city argued that if the plaintiffs suffered any adverse consequences from publicity about their names, businesses or places of worship, it was the AP’s act of publishing confidential materials that caused them harm.