blog Time Hath Found Us: Predictably, ACLU Sues Over NYC Subway Searches

August 04, 2005

Predictably, ACLU Sues Over NYC Subway Searches

The New York Civil Liberties Union will file a lawsuit against New York City to keep police from searching bag of people entering the subway system. The suit claims that the two-week old policy violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection and prohibitions against unlawful searches and seizures. Apparently, in the opinion of the ACLU, equal protection means that no one should be protected! Ironically, this is the same inane policy that mandates that no racial profiling be used and searches should be made at random.

From New York Newsday:
"While concerns about terrorism of course justify -- indeed, require -- aggressive police tactics, those concerns cannot justify the Police Department's unprecedented policy of subjecting millions of innocent people to suspicionless searches," states the suit, a partial copy of which was provided to Newsday.

[...]

The civil liberties union has criticized the searches as over-reaching since Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the measure on July 21, after terrorists targeted London's mass transit system for the second time in two weeks. It also calls the stops ineffective because terrorists can walk through entrances where police are not screening.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the right of law enforcement to conduct random searches, said Barry Kamins, a professor of criminal procedure at Fordham and Brooklyn law schools. But it found that those checks can be considered unlawful if their primary purpose is for law enforcement, such as searching for evidence of a crime. Rather, police must use the stops chiefly to preserve public safety, he said.

In a fit of political correctness driven denial Robert Lawson, a Bloomberg spokesman, said:
... the police already have adequate safeguards. "The mayor has repeatedly stated since the start of this policy that there would be zero tolerance for racial profiling."

That is what London thought on July 6th, 2005.
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