The city will pay $25,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who said he was stopped and searched in the subway more than 20 times because of his race.
Jangir Sultan was stopped at various subway stations around the city after the New York Police Department implemented a search program in response to bombings in London in 2005. Sultan said he was searched 21 times over several years -- much more than the average person. He maintained that he was profiled because of his South Asian appearance.
Police conduct stops at random times in stations around the city, setting up a table and a sign with the NYPD crest where bags are searched. Straphangers are told consistently by transit workers that all bags are subject to search by police.
The NYPD says the checks are conducted without regard to ethnicity or race. As part of the program, the NYPD at any given time places checkpoints in approximately 1,000 subway entrances throughout the city.
“The NYPD’s racial profiling has disrupted Mr. Sultan’s life making every subway trip a source of anxiety,” Donna Lieberman, NYCLU executive director said when the group filed a lawsuit on Sultan's behalf in February.
After the 13th time he was stopped and searched, Sultan filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the NYCLU said. He filed more complaints as the stops continued, routinely recording the names and badge numbers of the officers who stopped him. In June 2008, he sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg seeking help in amending the NYPD's search program.