Muhammad Faridi Appointed to Serve as Civilian Representative to NYPD’s Handschu Committee

February 21, 2023

On February 21, 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the appointment of Partner Muhammad U. Faridi to serve as the independent civilian representative to the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Handschu Committee. According to the Office of the Mayor’s press release, the “Handschu Guidelines — set forth under a 1985 consent decree — regulate the NYPD’s policies and practices regarding investigations of political activity. The committee plays a critical oversight role in ensuring compliance with the terms of the agreement, including when the NYPD opens or extends investigations into political activity.”  Mr. Faridi is the city’s second independent civilian representative to the NYPD’s Handschu Committee and the first Muslim-American to serve in this role. He replaces former U.S. District Judge Stephen Robinson of the Southern District of New York, a retired Skadden partner, who served as the city’s first independent civilian representative from 2017 to present.

In a statement on Mr. Faridi’s appointment, the City Hall Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire said, “Muhammad Faridi is an accomplished attorney with exceptional judgment and a track record of effective advocacy for underrepresented groups …His historic appointment reflects Mayor Adams’ commitment to ensuring the Handschu Committee continues to benefit from an independent, rigorous, and fair-minded civilian representative.”

Mr. Faridi follows in the footsteps of the late Judge Harold R. Tyler Jr., a named partner of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, who served as the first civilian representative on the three-member Handschu Authority when it was established in the 1980s. In the City’s press release, Mr. Faridi stated: “I am honored that Mayor Adams has selected me for this role. I look forward to working with all constituents of the Handschu Committee in ensuring that there is transparency and fairness in some of the most important work that the NYPD does to keep our city and country safe.”