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Civilian on NYPD-probes panel reports fewer investigations

June 8, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A civilian helping review New York Police Department probes affecting Muslim communities says there are fewer requests for investigations involving First Amendment rights in the last year.

Stephen Robinson, a former federal judge, was appointed last year to the “Handschu Committee,” which reviews police probes affecting religious and political activity.

His report Thursday came in a decades-old court case that challenged surveillance of war protesters in the 1960s and ’70s.

A civilian was added to the committee after lawsuits alleged mosques and community leaders were wrongly the target of NYPD surveillance.

Robinson says fewer applications for investigations were submitted from March 2017 to this March than in the previous year.

One civil rights lawyer said the report failed to show dramatic over-policing of a minority group has ended or changed.

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