Liberty Activist Blog

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New York ACLU sues over subway searches

"In response to the New York Police Department's unprecedented policy of subjecting millions of New Yorkers to suspicionless searches, the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit to halt the practice. .... The lawsuit filed today in federal court argues that the NYPD is violating the Fourth Amendment rights of commuters by adopting and enforcing a policy of randomly searching possessions of those seeking to enter the subway system. Since the police adopted this policy two weeks ago, officers have searched the purses, handbags, briefcases and backpacks of thousands of people, all without any suspicion of wrongdoing. The NYCLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of five New Yorkers who are deeply concerned about the civil liberties and safety implications of the bag search policy." (08/04/05)


Bag search survey
New York ACLU

"The NYCLU is collecting information on police searches of persons in the New York City mass transit system. We intend to use this information to analyze and possibly challenge the constitutionality of the methods and practices used by the police in conducting these searches. If you are willing to participate in this information collection process, please fill out the form." (08/04/05)



  • First, we must stop pretending that the terrorists so far, by-and-large, have not been of the same ethnic origin. This will reasonably narrow down the search for potential perpetrators. But, it makes ALMOST as little sense to stop every Arab or North African in NYC today as it does to stop every 5th random person. Therefore, the profiling must be even more exact than race to be effective.

    Israel has been perfecting the art of profiling, and has successfully prevented El Al (national airline) hijackings since 1970. The profilers are trained to look for signs of suspicious behavior (body language), which provides effective clues of whom to question. Barring exceptional con artists, body language is a dead give away of suspicious behavior. In fact, police officers are trained to look for such clues when dealing with everyday criminals.

    The results: plenty of Arabs fly El Al, and yet enough people have been turned away to prevent terrorist attacks since 1970.

    So why not fly some Israelis to NYC to train New York’s finest on such tactics?

    By Anonymous Kira Zalan, at 12:30 PM  

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