Skip to comments.New York City sued over bag searches at subways(ACLU acting up)
Posted on 08/05/2005 7:49:14 AM PDT by Alex Marko
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly and the city were sued on Thursday by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which claimed random searches of riders' bags at subway stations as an anti-terror measure violated U.S. constitutional rights of privacy.
New York's random searches began on July 22 after a second set of bomb attacks on the London transit system.
"The policy of searching thousands of subway riders daily without any suspicion that they have done anything wrong is unprecedented, unproductive and unconstitutional," said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman, whose organization filed the suit on behalf of five New York city subway riders.
"It does exact a heavy toll on our freedom," she told a news conference, adding that the searches created only an illusion of increased security, invited racial profiling and held little promise of catching someone with explosives.
New York police began to search subway riders' backpacks after four coordinated explosions hit London's bus and underground train network two weeks after 52 people were killed by bombers attacking subways and a double-decker bus in the British capital.
At the time Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the new security measures, which have taken place at more than 400 of New York's subway stations and will continue indefinitely, were "a little bit" intrusive but necessary.
Gail Donoghue, of the New York City law department, said on Thursday the searches struck a "balance between protecting our city and preserving individual rights."
"The city's policy of random subway searches meets all appropriate legal requirements," she said. "We are confident our position will prevail in court."
One of the plaintiffs, Brendan MacWade, 32, who was working in the World Trade Center when it was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, said he felt "silly and rather violated" when police searched his duffel bag outside a turnstile at a subway station on July 22.
"These searches are not going to catch the terrorists," said MacWade.
He quoted American Benjamin Franklin in saying, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little safety will deserve neither and lose both."
New York City sued over hag searches at subways(Hillary acting up)
I hope that Hell has an especially hot spot for the ACLU and its cronies. I hate this organization with a passion.
That my friend is a DAMN good point.
These ACLU types won't stop until a bomb goes off in the subway system, and then they'll back up the bombers.
Oh that's right, we aren't at war. Maybe if the terrorist blew up the ACLU headquarters that would change things.
Not advocating violence, just saying that as we are seeing with Britain, blow up America, no real biggee, blow up London, yep thats war. And if the terrorist took out Jane Fonda's or Barbara Streisand's house, well figure out what would happen then.
Probably not. Otherwise the entire democrat party would be incarcerated, save Zell Miller.
And just what does a bomb going off in a packed subway car do to the freedom of those killed by it? Freedom isn't free, in order to have the freedom to ride the subway, we need to look in your bag to make sure you aren't trying to restrict the freedom of others. When is the government going to do something about this group of nutcases? The ACLU are terrorists themselves. Make them PAY for wasting the courts time.
Time to declare the ACLU a Terrorist Organization.
Besides, riding the subway is the same as riding the airlines. If you want to ride it, we check your luggage.
At concerts, they check for drugs, cameras, recording devices.
Same for movie theatres.
If the ACLU doesn't want to be searched, then don't try using any form of public transportation, or attend events which are technically privately owned and have rules in place for those who would like to attend.
The NYCLU's overall agenda may be seditious, but in this case you'd have a very hard time proving it in a court of law -- mainly because they policy they are complaining about is one of the most useless tools against terrorism I can possibly imagine.
The irony here is that a more effective alternative -- searching each and every passenger before he or she enters the subway system -- would effectively shut down the entire city. My attitude is that if this is what the NYCLU wants, then I'd be happy to oblige them.
NYC has two of the largest airports in the world (LaGuardia and Kennedy). The searches you'll experience at these airports are much more egregious than what you'll experience in the subway.
So how is that the NYCLU chose the subways over the airports? Maybe because the airport searches are done by the Feds and the subway searches are done by LEOs?
I agree. If you go to an NFL game or baseball game they check your pack for alchohol or food. I guess the ACLU has no problem with booze, but a bomb, OMG
Islamofascist Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU has a website called www.nosubwaysearches.org where they further degrade the ability of our police etc. to keep us safe.
They have a bag search survey too. Maybe some clearheaded New Yorkers ought to fill it out and set them straight.
They make a huge deal of how this is anti Constitutional, i.e. ""the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects."
I wonder how they reconcile that with the efforts of the liberal media and the Senate lefties to dissect Judge Roberts' life, and that of his wife and children?
I was just reading in the current News India-Times about some British Sikh tourists that were detained after a bus driver alerted the police. Bloomberg apologized after they were cleared, but here is the kicker: the tourists were not insulted or upset in any way! One was quoted: "These things happen, don't they? We have no hard feelings. It certainly made our trip different, but didn't ruin it at all."
I guess the reporter got to them before the ACLU did! Seriously though, if these people aren't upset by it, why is the ACLU (yes, that is really a rhetorical question!)?
Nosubwaysearches.org has a prewritten letter you can send to the Mayor and Chief of Police.
I encourage you to use it, with a few modifications...
The New York Police Department's new policy of random searches is pro-American and an effective affirmation of my Constitutional rights. We hired you to protect us, and efforts to put roadblocks in your way is the really unpatriotic thing. The Fourth Amendment clearly protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects." In other words, I - and all New Yorkers - have the right NOT to be searched without reason. This guarantee has served us well for over 200 years, but we didn't have terrorist murderers 200 years ago. In this case though, there is a perfectly good reason to do these searches. If I have some reason that I object to being searched, I can drive, walk or take a taxi. There is no right to access to the transit system. It is a service and we are subject to the rules. Since I have nothing to hide, and value my life more than an official's glance at my belongings, I fully support the new policy of random searches, particularly in light of the events in London.
New Yorkers know all too well the horror of terrorism. But we also know that random searches will help make our subways and transit system safer. We know that we are not surrendering our basic rights by voluntarily submitting our belongings for inspection. Ignoring the potential for terrorist attacks similar to those in London will make us weaker, not stronger, as a nation, and subject us to eventual terrorism. Anything that makes it harder for the terrorists to commit their crimes is fine with me.
We live in New York City, not East Berlin or Pyongyang, where the ACLU and their ilk would not even be able to assemble, never mind harrass the police trying to do their jobs. New Yorkers should support this insignificant search in the interests of safety. I believe that every one of the 50+ people that died on 7/7 in London would have preferred searches to dying as they did.
- The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that random searches are unconstitutional. Of course, the Supreme Court once thought slavery was perfectly acceptable. They also think that a municipality should be able to seize your property for reasons of increasing tax revenue. The Supreme Court is not perfect.
- It is ineffective: even security experts say it won't increase safety, because leftist groups like the ACLU won't let you do proper and effective searches.
- It has already led to long overdue safety procedures, including subway riders being forced to show an ID just to board the train. What next? Having to show an ID to exercise my Second Amendment rights as spelled out in the Constitution (Oh, wait a minute, I have to do that already!)?
- And even members of the NYPD have said that it will lead to racial profiling, one of the necessary tools for narrowing searches to the people prone to commit acts of terrorism, and would free others from unnecessary searches.
As a New Yorker, I call on you to continue and expand the new random search policy. There is no better way to keep us safe, and preserve our liberties.
After all, if we willingly walk away from the ideals that have made us great as a nation, like the Bill of Rights, the Ten Commandments and Christmas, what do we have left?
The ACLU seems to have outlived its usefulness. They're a bunch of lawyers who have only one tool - the lawsuit. As the saying goes, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".
Of course, if these searches are unconstitional, I wonder how we got saddled with seatbelt laws, speed limits, any form of gun registration, etc.
It's all from the ACLU's selective reading of the US Constitution and the penumbra and emanations clauses that only speak to a privileged few.
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