In this Dec. 5, 2013, file photo, William Bratton, left, speaks while New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio looks on during a news conference in New York introducing Bratton as de Blasio's choice for New York City police commissioner.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
In this Dec. 5, 2013, file photo, William Bratton, left, speaks while New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio looks on during a news conference in New York introducing Bratton as de Blasio's choice for New York City police commissioner. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The New York Police Department has shuttered a unit designed to spy on the city’s Muslims. The controversial unit never generated a lead in its 13-year existence, according to the New York Times.

From the Times:

The Police Department's tactics, which are the subject of two federal lawsuits, drew criticism from civil rights groups and a senior official with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who said they harmed national security by sowing mistrust for law enforcement in Muslim communities.

To many Muslims, the squad, known as the Demographics Unit, was a sign that the police viewed their every action with suspicion. The police mapped communities inside and outside the city, logging where customers in traditional Islamic clothes ate meals and documenting their lunch-counter conversations.

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While campaigning for office last year, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was “deeply troubled” by police surveillance of Muslims. New NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said the department will try to mend its relationship with the city’s Muslim communities, according to the Times.

Scalese can be reached at roberto.scalese@globe.com or via Twitter @BertoScalese.