Chalk one up for freedom: NYC Sued Over Police Subway Bag Searches


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Lone_Gunman
August 4, 2005, 10:32 PM
Here we have the ACLU actually doing the right thing for once! I hope they are successful in their lawsuit.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050804/ap_on_re_us/transit_security_lawsuit

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Desertdog
August 5, 2005, 12:29 AM
Maybe the ACLU officials will be the victims of the first bombs that they helped get through to the mass transit systems :what: .

Probaly not though, they are probobaly driven home in chauffered limos.

RooK
August 5, 2005, 12:42 AM
Desertdog, you better hope the ACLU wins. It isn't a far jump from searching people's possessions at random without PC for subways to searching your car without PC for public highways.

Justin
August 5, 2005, 01:17 AM
DD- You might have a point, if not for the fact that these sorts of searches are instituted primarily as a way to placate the public into believing that the police are "keeping us safe" and not because there are any real-world gains in stopping terrorists from blowing stuff up.

New York's subway system provides nearly 5 million rides on the average weekday. The city is not releasing precise figures, but the Times reports police are searching "thousands" of bags a day. Even allowing for the fact that not every rider carries a bag, the chance that any given bag will be selected for a search is minuscule. -Is Your Fanny Pack Breeding Terrorists? (http://www.reason.com/sullum/072905.shtml) by Jacob Sullum

DelayedReaction
August 5, 2005, 01:21 AM
This is one of the reasons that, the moment I join the NRA, I'm also joining the ACLU. Both organizations, though flawed, are ultimately fighting for the same thing.

If we're going to spend money on security, it shouldn't be spent on placebos.

Pilgrim
August 5, 2005, 01:22 AM
I think the big issue here is that the NYPD decided to search baggage without any enabling legislation authorizing such searches. Who decides where these searches will take place next?

Pilgrim

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 01:40 AM
Both organizations, though flawed, are ultimately fighting for the same thing.
The ACLU only fights for their own agenda, which is distinctly tilted to the left. Look at their stance on the 2nd amendment for an example.

Technosavant
August 5, 2005, 01:50 AM
I admit I am torn on this one.

On one hand, I do think that the ACLU goes out of their way to louse things up; their leftist agenda causes them to be hell-bent on ruining some parts of this nation.

On the other hand, I agree that these searches are ludicrous. Using public transportation should not be considered as granting consent to a search. The next step WILL be random searches of vehicles on public roads.

I think the conservative commentators are coming down on the wrong side of this one. This might well save lives, but it is far more likely to take us down a path where life isn't as worthwhile anymore.

ACORN
August 5, 2005, 09:19 AM
Has the ACLU ever sued to stop DUI "Checkpoints"? The parallels are obvious. While the safety of the people as a whole may be improved, the individuals rights are violated. No probable cause, just that they want to check you out.
"Your papers, Please"

Logistics
August 5, 2005, 09:44 AM
I just find it simply incredible that so many people in this so called "America" still find "law enforcement" to be a worthy profession. When was the last time you ever, EVER heard a cop saying he woulden't do a search because it was against his oath? They recruit kids these days SO young that they don't know what they are getting into, then in a few years they have a family, pension, and house over their heads paid for by good ole uncle sam and the police state. How can you POSSIBLY say "no" to a search when all of your personal well being is directly related too your unconstitutional searches and seizures justified by your employer? How do people just get it through their heads that working for the govt is NOT a worthy profession??? Why not actually go out in the world and produce something instead of being a leach onto society? Anyone else feel this way?

Henry Bowman
August 5, 2005, 10:14 AM
Why not actually go out in the world and produce something instead of being a leach onto society? Anyone else feel this way? Perhaps even leaches serve an important, if unrecognized, place in our socio-political ecosystem.


Views on this subject (searches) help to define the differences between "conservative" and "libertarian." I am very conservative, but I'm becoming more and more libertarian every day.

scubie02
August 5, 2005, 10:22 AM
90% of the jobs out there don't "produce" anything. Sure, we'd all love to be custom cabinet makers or sculptors or write thr great american novel. But then reality kicks in and you get by. I do think that its hard for most cops to say they think something is wrong, but that's true of most jobs. My bosses pull just despicable crap regularly, but you can't just quit if you can't find something else that will allow you to pay the bills.

I actually DO know at least one cop who quit in disgust, and know another who privately told me he is thinking about what else he could do, because he's uncomfortable with the way things are starting to go and with unethical things he sees done. There are still some good ones.

But there do seem to be more thugs and disreputable types these days who enter law enforcement. I'm a teacher and we were doing honor society interviews recently for prospective candidates--if you have the grades, you are eligible now--you aren't allowed to automatically not consider one for character or silly things like that (there is a general vote though where that CAN come into play). Anyway, we were interviewing this one who is pretty much totally morally bankrupt, has been caught cheating repeatedly, answered the question of "what would you like to see change here at school or in society" with "people need to learn to relax, what's it matter if you are late to school or smoke some pot, its not really a big deal"., and when we asked him what he wanted to do as a career in the future, I was sitting there thinking "how much do you want to bet he says law enforcement" and BINGO, that is exactly what he said...*sigh*...unfortunately I havwe seen that over and over.

rick_reno
August 5, 2005, 10:30 AM
This suit might have some luck in the lower courts - in the end I'm pretty sure they'll lose.

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 10:43 AM
But there do seem to be more thugs and disreputable types these days who enter law enforcement.
How did this thread go from random searches of bags on the NYC subway, to cop bashing?

Newsflash - the searches were implimented by the politicians, not the police. If you need to bash someone, bash them.

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 10:51 AM
the searches were implimented by the politicians, not the police. If you need to bash someone, bash them.

I agree. Police bashing was not my intention in this thread, and really has nothing to do with it.

I also did not mean to imply I thought the ACLU was some great organization. They selectively support some rights, and ignore others.

But in this case, I am willing to take help from anyone who will give it, and am glad the ACLU has taken this case up. Random subway searches must be stopped, and our politicians need to know this kind of thing won't be tolerated.

There is no difference between a random subway search without cause and a random search for standing on a city right of way or public road. Once we get accustomed to that, its only a small step away from being randomly searched in privately owned institutions that are open to the public, like malls, sports arenas, etc. Our children are already being indoctrinated into allowing for random searches, as they occur daily at schools (public and private).

Werewolf
August 5, 2005, 11:04 AM
In this case the ACLU is doing the right thing. In fact - IMO - they normally do the right thing. Their only real fault is their stand on the 2nd Amendment which I have never been able to understand considering their stand on all the others.

That said:

Think frog...
Think kettle...
Think warm water in kettle...
Think frog in warm water in kettle...
Think fire under kettle...

That's really what the searches are all about at the macro level. The police aren't at fault they're just doing what they're told (think Nuremburg).

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 11:09 AM
In fact - IMO - they normally do the right thing.
I disagree - also look at their stand against the Minutemen, and their harrasment of them.

Their view of "civil rights" is very, very selective, only issues those which advance their hard-left agenda are taken on.

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 11:15 AM
Rebar, as you pointed out this thread was not about cop bashing, but I would ask you to remember it isnt about ACLU bashing either.

It is about freedom. The ACLU is doing the right thing here. I hope you agree with that?

Henry Bowman
August 5, 2005, 11:24 AM
While the price of freedom is still high (think military casualties and deaths, the risk that a citizen or visitor may act out in a deadly way), the perceived value seems to be at an all time low. I.e., no level of risk is an acceptable price to pay for something we don't even use.

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 11:34 AM
It is about freedom. The ACLU is doing the right thing here. I hope you agree with that?

Actually, not really. I think the whole thing is overblown and some folks are getting hysterical over nothing.

We submit to 100% searches whenever getting on an airplane, up to and including strip searches, without screams of "totalitarianism" or the ACLU suing the airline companies. Now some will say it's different, the subway is for the "public" while airlines are "private". Yet it's government employees who do the searching, and there are plenty of reasons for an expectation of safety when using the subway.

A feel-good policy by one city for one method of transportation is hardly the beginning of the apocolypse. I bet that even without being sued, they would have called off the searches in a few weeks anyway, since it's obviously unworkable. If the people of NYC really don't like the searches, let them kick the politicians responsible out of office. That's how democracy works. Of course the ACLU doesn't give a damn about democracy.

The ACLU is just grandstanding with this, and their record shows their true agenda.

Justin
August 5, 2005, 11:41 AM
When was the last time you ever, EVER heard a cop saying he woulden't do a search because it was against his oath?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure we've got several of 'em volunteering their time as mods on this forum.

scubie02
August 5, 2005, 11:42 AM
How did this thread go from random searches of bags on the NYC subway, to cop bashing?

It was not my intention to "cop bash"--apparently you read over my first statements that basically said they are no worse than anyone else.

I was simply stating that, at least in my area, there DO seem to be more cops of less than savory character, or of a different character than in the past. Sorry, thats my observation. Still a few good ones, more not so good ones. But then, thats people in general.

Mad Man
August 5, 2005, 12:00 PM
I don't want to dwell on constitutional analysis, because our view has never been that civil liberties are necessarily coextensive with constitutional rights. Conversely, I guess the fact that something is mentioned in the Constitution doesn't necessarily mean that it is a fundamental civil liberty.



Nadine Strossen
President of the American Civil Liberties Union (http://www.aclu.org)
"Life, Liberty, and the ACLU (http://reason.com/Strossen.shtml)"
Reason (http://reason.com/), October 1994 (http://reason.com/9410/october94.shtml)



followup: Letters in the January 1995 issue (http://reason.com/9501/dept.letters.jan.shtml)

dolanp
August 5, 2005, 12:02 PM
We lose all of our rights, including our firearms rights, through the apathy towards the incrementalist approach. That's why the ACLU is so hard against even the smallest step towards something bigger and much uglier. I have issues with them, but this action I support.

Mad Man
August 5, 2005, 12:09 PM
Finally, there are many organizations that endorse gun prohibition but are not primarily concerned with the gun issue. For example, Common Cause is probably best known for its efforts to reform campaign financing. However, in a 1972 statement presented to a House Judiciary Subcommittee, the organization endorsed a "total ban on the sale and manufacture of all handguns" as well as a proposal that "private ownership of handguns also be prohibited." Likewise the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Democratic Action, the National Alliance for Safer Cities, the National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A., and the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union have all at some time endorsed banning the private possession of handguns. 37


37. Gottlieb, The Gun Grabbers, 97; Joseph D. Alviani and William R. Drake, Handgun Control...Issues and Alternatives (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Conference of Mayors, 1975), 45-46. The ACLU has explicitly abandoned support for prohibition, or for any form of gun control.


Gary Kleck (http://www.guncite.com/gcwhoGK.html)
"Absolutist Politics in a Moderate Package: Prohibitionist Intentions of the Gun Control Movement (http://www.saf.org/JFPP13ch1.htm)"
Journal on Firearms and Public Policy (http://www.saf.org/journal.html) Vol. 13 (Fall 2001)
PDF copy available at http://saf.org/jfpp/jfpp13.pdf (about 1 MB)

Mad Man
August 5, 2005, 12:11 PM
http://www.saf.org/viewoe.asp?id=99


Dear Air Travelers, ACLU: Welcome to the world of insidious background checks

By Dave Workman

The American Civil Liberties Union – which recognizes nine of the first ten amendments in the Constitution, that section known as the Bill of Rights – is in something of a huff, as are a growing number of airline passengers, over new and intrusive security checks that will be instituted over the next few months.

Travelers have learned that the Transportation Security Administration – the same federal agency that is deliberately dragging its feet to prevent pilots from flying armed and providing a last line of aircraft security – will begin testing the new system soon. This invasive system will “color code” passengers, and could be accessing such things as credit history and medical records to do it, according to published reports.

Known as CAPPS II (Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening), this program will require airline passengers to provide ticket agents with their name, address, telephone number, and date of birth. This information will serve as something of a gateway to all sorts of personal data. A lawyer for the ACLU in Washington D.C., Katie Corrigan, is very unhappy about this.

Where was Corrigan, and where were all the other critics of this new program, when federal legislation was passed that requires background checks and personal information on firearms buyers, and law-abiding citizens who want to obtain concealed pistol licenses? Where was the outrage, or even the concern, about the privacy rights of millions of Americans whose only crime is that they’ve wanted to exercise the constitutional right of gun ownership?

The right to bear arms is a civil right, recognized by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and specifically delineated as an individual right by the constitutions of most states. Air travel enjoys no such constitutional protection, yet the howls of anguish about invasiveness from the ACLU – which claims through some tortured logic that the right to bear arms is some sort of “collective” right – are all over the concern of people buying a lousy airplane ride.

For years, non-gun owners have wondered why their fellow citizens who do own firearms were so offended at having to submit to a background check. After all, the reasoning went, if gun owners have nothing to hide, what’s the problem? Now airline travelers and the ACLU have suddenly discovered what the problem is. Gun owners, like rape victims, feel violated. Yet, we’ve essentially been advised repeatedly in condescending tones, the rape is inevitable so “relax and enjoy it.”

The ACLU contends that this new security system could become “a real nightmare.” You want a genuine nightmare? Try being the guy whose gun purchase was denied because he was mis-identified by the National Instant Check System (NICS) as a convicted felon. Try being the man whose vengeful ex-wife or girlfriend falsely accuses him of domestic violence and obtains a restraining order against him, thus turning him into an instant federal felon for having a shotgun with which he hunts ducks. Try being the single mother who, terrified of an abusive ex-husband or boyfriend (who typically ignore restraining orders), suddenly finds herself having to endure a waiting period and background check before she can buy a gun to protect herself and her children.

Every day in this country, some poor citizen becomes a victim of a regressive gun law. Those people frequently turn to such organizations as the National Rifle Association or Second Amendment Foundation for help, because the ACLU won’t lift a finger – other than the middle one, perhaps – about their plight.

Gun owners have been told in patronizing terms that “If it saves the life of one child,” they must be willing to submit to insidious, guilty-until-proven-innocent requirements to exercise a right. Perhaps the ACLU and millions of offended airline travelers ought to be reminded that “If it saves one high rise building or a plane load of passengers” they ought to also just shut up, sit back, enjoy the wand rape, and allow the airlines to snoop into their private lives.

Or, perhaps we ought to get together and change things.

Dave Workman is senior editor of Gun Week, a publication owned by the Second Amendment Foundation.



Bold added. NOTE: I disagree with the opening line, "The American Civil Liberties Union – which recognizes nine of the first ten amendments in the Constitution, that section known as the Bill of Rights " I don't think the ACLU recognizes the 9th or 10th Amendments, either.

buzz_knox
August 5, 2005, 12:12 PM
That's why the ACLU is so hard against even the smallest step towards something bigger and much uglier.

Actually, they support big steps when it's not something they are concerned with. They have no issue with gun control, as evidenced by their failure to take up that cause.

They are like the Mussollini of civil rights organizations; they make the "trains" run on time but have . . . issues with the rest.

Bruce H
August 5, 2005, 12:13 PM
How about a little profiling. Sixteen year old girls in skimpy clothing with a backpack probably isn't what they are looking for. Bet they get checked just the same. The five million riders comment really makes the case for looking for the threat not the numbers. The best thing is to strip search every NYC elected official on a daily basis. They might be up to no good.

Logistics
August 5, 2005, 12:15 PM
When was the last time you ever, EVER heard a cop saying he woulden't do a search because it was against his oath?



>>>Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure we've got several of 'em volunteering their time as mods on this forum.<<<

"Volunteering" someones own personal time for an internet message board is something **completely** different than vowing to do your job and uphold the constitution when you are out in your professional capacity. The two are not comparable and are entirely different.

The Real Hawkeye
August 5, 2005, 12:16 PM
Finally, the ACLU is doing something right. I disagree with their stance on a lot of things, but there has to be a stop to the steady disappearance of our Fourth Amendment rights or we will become a police state in the not too distant future. Who wants that?

I think you can blame the politicians, but the cops are also very much to be held responsible here. Tyranny can only actually arrive at your doorstep wearing a policeman's badge.

Logistics
August 5, 2005, 12:27 PM
>>>I think you can blame the politicians, but the cops are also very much to be held responsible here. Tyranny can only actually arrive at your doorstep wearing a policeman's badge.<<<

I think we can all blame the spineless judges for letting the politicians get away with it! Then you can blame the cops for enforcing it! It's a hugly vicious cycle and it's only going to end in a giant police state because people only love pointing fingers, not actually doing anything or acomplishing anything anymore, it's too media driven. If you aren't WITH the law you are a terrorist........ :barf:

Derek Zeanah
August 5, 2005, 12:46 PM
The two are not comparable and are entirely different.But the fact remains that there are quite a few non-jackbooted cops serving as moderators on this forum, and they have made their stances on these issues clear on many occasions.

He answered your question -- good cops exist. I've had my horrid experiences with cops as well, but there are quite a few good ones out there.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a rural vs urban thing, so cityfolks may be screwed in this regard.

Flyboy
August 5, 2005, 01:09 PM
I think the big issue here is that the NYPD decided to search baggage without any enabling legislation authorizing such searches.
The only "enabling legislation" I can envision making this legal would be an amendment to the US Constitution, repealing the 4th Amendment, and an amendmend to the New York Constitution, repealing Article I, Section 12.

Justin:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure we've got several of 'em volunteering their time as mods on this forum.
Nothing personal, of course, but need I bring up the famous coffee can remark? As with any broad selection of people, we have both the great and the, er, less-great. Logistics's question (though he gets pretty bitter later) still has some legitimacy: when was the last time you heard about it? Seriously--I know good cops exist, but I can't recall the last time I heard of a case like that. If I turn on the news, though, odds are better than even on any given day that I'll hear a story of a rights violation. Now, I'm sure a lot of that has to do with story selection, but it's still something with which we ought concern ourselves, especially as searches get more intrusive. We should be seeing mass resignations, given some of the searches we're seeing.

Rebar:
One of the issues here is that it's entirely possible to do without airline transportation. Matter of fact, I try my best to do so, being completely sick of their crap. Doing without the subway in NYC, however, is an entirely different matter. Traffic is horribly gridlocked, parking is unavailable; cars just aren't an option for several million residents of the city. Taking taxis would overwhelm the system by orders of magnitude--there are only 12053 of them--so that's out. Walking, given the distances that many would have to walk, isn't reasonable, and biking would rapidly reach gridlock (not to mention the safety issues in coexisting with either cars or pedestrians). In short, the subway system really isn't optional. The public ownership argument also applies, not because of who's doing the screening, but because of who owns and operates the system. The airlines are privately owned, and owe you nothing; the subway is a city-built and city-maintained resource, and owes its existence to the taxpayers.

To be fair, I don't think much of the government airline screeners (let the airlines decide to do it on their own; I guaran-damn-tee you their insurance companies will make them do it, and do it right), but the subway is a different case, and needs to be shut down hard. We all talk about the "slippery slope" in reference to our gun rights, and how no compromise is acceptable; same thing applies here. As others have said, the next step will be searching your car--especially large cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks--to make sure you're not carrying a bomb. (Actually, we already have some of that, brought to us by the War on Some Drugs, but we're not supposed to notice that....)

Edited to add:
Derek:But the fact remains that there are quite a few non-jackbooted cops serving as moderators on this forum, and they have made their stances on these issues clear on many occasions.

He answered your question -- good cops exist. I've had my horrid experiences with cops as well, but there are quite a few good ones out there.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a rural vs urban thing, so cityfolks may be screwed in this regard.
Actually, I think you've hit on something here. I don't think I've heard any of our good cops tell stories of protesting a bad search they were ordered to commit; rather, I've heard stories (notably from LawDog, but there have been others) of "if I did that in my department, I'd be sent to jail/the psych ward." The good officers seem not to have needed to protest a bad search, because they seem to be in sane departments. Your rural/urban observation probably reveals a lot more truth here than you originally intended. An even better question, then, would be why we don't hear of cases like Logistics presented more often? Could it be that abusive police departments, in their interview and selection procedures, actively screen out pro-rights candidates? Do they just assign the bad searches to the officers who've demonstrated that they'll follow orders? The problem might just turn out to be institutional, rather than individual.

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 01:24 PM
Doing without the subway in NYC, however, is an entirely different matter.
To me, that is a excellent reason why the subway needs even more security.

The terrorists seem to have a made the city a symbol of America, and I think we can all agree that if they could, they would destroy it. Without the subway, NYC would die, for the reasons stated. It's not just a convienent public transportation system, it's vital infrastructure of the first order, and needs protection of some sort.

While this searching every 5th person nonsense is clearly ineffective, it certainly isn't the start of any "slippery slope". If anything, it'll show that random searches like what's being done is a waste of time and resources.

Zundfolge
August 5, 2005, 01:30 PM
If we're going to complain that the ACLU doesn't do anything for RKBA then why don't we complain that the NRA isn't doing anything to fight censorship or seatbelt laws?


The ACLU doesn't agree with us on RKBA but they aren't activly fighting against us either ... yes many of them are leftist schmucks.


But in the areas where they are "fighting the good fight" we should support them.

buzz_knox
August 5, 2005, 01:39 PM
The ACLU styles itself as the defender of civil liberties, while the NRA focuses on two distinct issues, the 1st and 2nd Amendment. That's one difference. The other is that the NRA recognizes the existence of the other liberties, while the ACLU does not.

As for not working against us, the ACLU publicly states that the right to bear arms is not an individual right. Thus, they perpetuate something that is known to be false by every scholar, but which the people tend to believe because the ACLU says it. That is working against us, whether you want to admit it or not.

But again, people supported Mussollini because he got the trains on schedule.

AngryBassets
August 5, 2005, 01:52 PM
I just find it simply incredible that so many people in this so called "America" still find "law enforcement" to be a worthy profession. When was the last time you ever, EVER heard a cop saying he woulden't do a search because it was against his oath? They recruit kids these days SO young that they don't know what they are getting into, then in a few years they have a family, pension, and house over their heads paid for by good ole uncle sam and the police state. How can you POSSIBLY say "no" to a search when all of your personal well being is directly related too your unconstitutional searches and seizures justified by your employer? How do people just get it through their heads that working for the govt is NOT a worthy profession??? Why not actually go out in the world and produce something instead of being a leach onto society? Anyone else feel this way?


Wow...what a great reminder why I don't ever lurk/broswe here anymore.

I enjoy being a "leach". Gives me an opportunity to prevent people like you from parking rental trucks in front of buildings and blowing up children.

Like that generalization?

Derek Zeanah
August 5, 2005, 02:00 PM
Could it be that abusive police departments, in their interview and selection procedures, actively screen out pro-rights candidates?I'm inclined to think it's an indoctrination thing more than anything else.

My wording might be heavy-handed, but it's amazing what kind of transformation you can cause in an 18-19 year-old dope-smoking kid by sending him to basic training, then jump school, then on to advanced training (my experience is in the Army playing infantry, but Marines and the like are probably similar).

Take a number of kids out of high-school where they've been taught that the world that exists "out there" is exactly what they're told it is, introduce some "us versus them" mentality, teach them to view every encounter with a citizen as an interaction with a likely/possible felon, and top it all off with the "main goal is to make it home at night" philosophy, and what do you have?

Certainly not a "community-oriented police force," unless by "community oriented" you mean they've got their guns pointed at the community at large.

A better question might be this: what percentage of big-city copy embrace the "militaristic" image versus those in small towns?

buzz_knox
August 5, 2005, 02:15 PM
A better question might be this: what percentage of big-city copy embrace the "militaristic" image versus those in small towns?

Small towns have their own problems, typically the use of police power to carry out personal grudges or vendettas, for personal profit, or simply to gain power over others. Those of us who grew up in small towns can certainly remember instances of that.

Law enforcement is like any profession, in that people go into it for various reasons. Some become lawyers or doctors in order to help others, while some do it for the power/fame or God complex. It's the same with cops. The difference comes from the fact that: 1) lawyers and doctors can't combine any personal issues with the authority to use or threaten force; 2) the state often finds itself in an antagonistic position towards other professions, but not cops; and 3) conduct and excuses unacceptable in other professions ("I had to follow orders" can get most professional licenses pulled) are acceptable there.

There is one similarity: doctors, lawyers and cops, at one time, all had the respect of the population. Doctors made us healthy, lawyers kept us out of trouble by helping us understand and work with the law, and the police were here to protect us. Every profession has lost a lot of that respect by virtue of real or perceived abuses and a failure to adequately deal with said abuses.

Beethoven
August 5, 2005, 02:57 PM
Here we have the ACLU actually doing the right thing for once!

Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.

I still hate the American Communnist Lawyer's Union and everything they stand for.

Just wait....this today, but tomorrow they are going to back at work stabbing America in her back like they always do, fighting for all that is immoral and anti-American.

The Real Hawkeye
August 5, 2005, 03:09 PM
I'm inclined to think it's an indoctrination thing more than anything else.

My wording might be heavy-handed, but it's amazing what kind of transformation you can cause in an 18-19 year-old dope-smoking kid by sending him to basic training, then jump school, then on to advanced training (my experience is in the Army playing infantry, but Marines and the like are probably similar).

Take a number of kids out of high-school where they've been taught that the world that exists "out there" is exactly what they're told it is, introduce some "us versus them" mentality, teach them to view every encounter with a citizen as an interaction with a likely/possible felon, and top it all off with the "main goal is to make it home at night" philosophy, and what do you have?

Certainly not a "community-oriented police force," unless by "community oriented" you mean they've got their guns pointed at the community at large.

A better question might be this: what percentage of big-city copy embrace the "militaristic" image versus those in small towns?Best analysis I think I've read of this situation.

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 03:10 PM
While this searching every 5th person nonsense is clearly ineffective, it certainly isn't the start of any "slippery slope".

I don't know how you can be so certain. The government is not real good at just taking a little bit and stopping. Once they start taking, they continue taking with no end in sight. You have to look no farther than your own income tax form to see this.

Would you be as tolerant of random searches on city sidewalks?

Where, if ever, would you draw the line on random searches in the name of public safety?

Hot brass
August 5, 2005, 03:17 PM
Racial profiling IS WHATS needed to be done.

The bombers are of middle east desent. Go after these people.

Let them know, we are watching YOU.

buzz_knox
August 5, 2005, 03:19 PM
Which will result in their obtaining the services of Japanese terrorists, as was done in the 1970s.

Or they'll have Chechens do it. Or Americans of various ethnic backgrounds who have converted.

Profiling based on ethnicity alone is a doomed proposition as it leads to easily defeated target fixation, regardless of any concerns over rights.

svtruth
August 5, 2005, 03:28 PM
How does the TSA's CAPPS program differ from profiling?

fjolnirsson
August 5, 2005, 03:42 PM
We submit to 100% searches whenever getting on an airplane, up to and including strip searches,

And that's 100% wrong, too, IMO.
If the airlines had implemented this rule on their own, and enforced it on their own, fine. I could choose to fly on another airline, or not.
The fact is, subway searches and airline seaches are being performed by members of the government, with no basis for a search, and no warrants being issued. It's wrong.
Flame away. I'm used to it by now.

buzz_knox
August 5, 2005, 03:45 PM
If I recall correctly, it basically provides a background check on all passengers, looking for indicators of illegal or suspect activity (i.e. large deposits into an account held by someone with massive credit problems could indicate a payoff).

Profiling focuses on ethnic characteristics while this would go after everyone and look at patterns regardless of ethnicity.

Baba Louie
August 5, 2005, 04:15 PM
Racial profiling IS WHATS needed to be done. Think the ACLU wouldn't be all over that like a chicken on a june bug?

I really think that a majority of citizens of NYC and other large City citizens of today's American will gladly give up ALL of their rights in the name of safety... and end up with nothing to show for it.

And doing either racial profiling (in NYC? HAH!) or bag/body searches on mass transit will likely yield a few arrests and a few explosions and a few dead (but searched) law abiding citizens with more restrictions to soon follow.

Something about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Maybe it is time to plan your life for a thousand years, live your life like it's the last day and fight like hell for ALL of the remaining Freedom and Liberty our armed forces, police officers, firemen, etc have given their lives for while protecting our way of life.

longeyes
August 5, 2005, 04:43 PM
Pardon me, but isn't the ACLU the organization that thinks the Second Amendment enshrines a police state?

And I am supposed to trust their take on what protects individual freedom...?

dpesec
August 5, 2005, 04:49 PM
+1.
When the searches were done by private companies, even thoughI didn't like it, I think it was constitutional. The problem, as you so excellently describe, iis the government is now involved. Private companies and the government are two different issues.
I won't fly commercial anymorme because of that. Without PC the government has no right to search me, my property, or posessions. Same with the roadside stops. I think that too was the position of the minority

rick_reno
August 5, 2005, 05:04 PM
Would you be as tolerant of random searches on city sidewalks?

Assuming the subway searches are legal - there is nothing to stop sidewalk searches. Public is still public.

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 05:18 PM
Exactly right, Rick... but I am waiting on Rebar's opinion.

dpesec
August 5, 2005, 05:46 PM
Yes then we can wait for the infamous line papers please :cuss: :what:

I watch Fox News, there is an ex-Judge on several of their commentary shows. His position is they are illegal and violate the 4th amendment. Boy did he get rosted by the rest of the people. I hope the judge is righ. Knowing the overwhelming position that people want the appearance of safety over freedom I think the courts will find the policy ok.
:fire:
I'm not against safety, but let's do something that's constitutional and effective, not just a politicial knee-jerk reaction.

scubie02
August 5, 2005, 05:55 PM
How does the TSA's CAPPS program differ from profiling?

its done with a computer, isn't as obvious, and alot of people won't really even realize what is going on...so it differs because its more insidious basically...

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 06:20 PM
Exactly right, Rick... but I am waiting on Rebar's opinion.
Random sidewalk searches? They do that now.

Just watch a few episodes of "Cops", in a high-crime/drug area, they will put everyone just standing around on a corner against a wall and search them. Happens all the time, as I'm sure LEO here can attest to.

Vang
August 5, 2005, 06:25 PM
If you get consent...

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 06:34 PM
Come on Rebar. You can do better than that.

I am not talking about a high crime/street drug area, and you know that. The constitutionality of those kinds of searches should be the topic of another thread.

I am talking about random sidewalk searches on Main Street in Anytown, USA for the purpose of homeland security.

You would be ok with stopping every fifth person there? If you don't want to answer, just say so, but don't put up a smoke screen with an unrelated issue.

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 06:44 PM
Come on Rebar. You can do better than that.
Nice dodge.

You get all bent out of shape that "the man" is going to start random sidewalk searches and turn America into a police state, yet they've been doing the exact same thing for decades, without totalitarianism breaking out.

You're just afraid it'll be you instead of some minority, so you're choosing now to get all in a lather. If you were really concerned about the issue, you'd gotten more active a long time ago.

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 06:49 PM
If you were really concerned about the issue, you'd gotten more active a long time ago.

I have never at any point supported random searches of anyone, so I am not sure why you are accusing me of that.

Am I more concerned about the issue now that it might affect me? Heck yes, I won't deny that.

You still haven't answered the question I asked though. Would you be tolerant of random sidewalk searches as I described in my previous post?

they've been doing the exact same thing for decades, without totalitarianism breaking out

I disagree with your sentiment, if not with your wording. We are a long way from totalitarianism, but I see this as another limitation on our civil liberties, and most certainly we have moved a little further down the slippery slope. The very searches you say have been occuring for years have no doubt given the police the idea they can expand their searches wherever they want.

I am really not trying to get into a personal argument about whether or not I should have protested in the streets when police conducted searches in the past. I guess in retrospect I should have. But now we are faced with police with increased search powers. I think we need to wake up and stop this.

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 07:21 PM
Your question is that random subway searches might grow into sidewalk searches. My response is that we've already had random sidewalk searches for decades. My response answers your question completely, but it seems it's not the answer you wanted to hear.

Not getting into the right or wrong of it, the fact remains we've already had these type of searches for a long long time, to be worried that NYC subway searches will grow into something more, when it's already been more for quite some time, is not logical.

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 07:55 PM
I see your point Rebar.

I guess I was wanting to discuss the philosophical, legal, and constitutional issues of random searches, and not just whether or not the searches were occurring. I think we all agree they are occurring.

If you, or anyone else, wants to discuss their personal opinion on the "right" and "wrong" of these searches, please feel free to return to the discussion.

R.H. Lee
August 5, 2005, 08:12 PM
If they would round up and deport persons here illegally, then carefully scrutinize people with visas and expel those here under questionable circumstances, it would substantially decrease the need and the threshhold for searches.

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 08:25 PM
If you, or anyone else, wants to discuss their personal opinion on the "right" and "wrong" of these searches, please feel free to return to the discussion.
I'm sure there are considerable legal president for the sidewalk searches. In my opinion, if it's ok for South Central LA, then it's ok for Main Street USA.
If they would round up and deport persons here illegally, then carefully scrutinize people with visas and expel those here under questionable circumstances, it would substantially decrease the need and the threshhold for searches.
+1 to that.

longeyes
August 5, 2005, 09:17 PM
Random searches? Rather, ranDUMB.

All of this is part of the Left's crusade against common sense. Profiling, racial or otherwise, is a form of deductive reasoning, sound detective work.

Reasoning is the real enemy, when you dig deeper.

Lone_Gunman
August 5, 2005, 10:39 PM
All of this is part of the Left's crusade against common sense.

The left???

Most of the current search policy has been set by our good friends, the Republicans (of which I am one, by the way).

Now if you are saying they have moved to the left, I will agree.

Rebar
August 5, 2005, 11:43 PM
Most of the current search policy has been set by our good friends, the Republicans
Yeah, because we all know NYC is a snakepit of evil neocons and their insidious plans.

LawDog
August 5, 2005, 11:58 PM
Edited.

LawDog

atek3
August 6, 2005, 12:10 AM
If I recall correctly, it basically provides a background check on all passengers, looking for indicators of illegal or suspect activity (i.e. large deposits into an account held by someone with massive credit problems could indicate a payoff).

Profiling focuses on ethnic characteristics while this would go after everyone and look at patterns regardless of ethnicity.

That policy is orwellian. Why does the government even have access to that data (your bank transactions and your credit rating) unless you're actively under investigation of a crime? Throwing every American into a sorting and sifting database is the architypal behavior of the kind of government that exists in 1984.

atek3

atek3
August 6, 2005, 12:13 AM
And hey you pro-random search gun nuts... these random searchs are about a thousand times as likely to nail non-terrorists with illegally concealed handguns and dime bags of pot as actual bomb wielding terrorists. And if you think the world would be a better place throwing people with guns or pot in jail, maybe you should get your F-meter checked.

atek3

Lone_Gunman
August 6, 2005, 12:55 AM
Rebar, I thought Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of NYC who is leading the charge on the subway searches, was a Republican. Am I wrong on that?

Rebar
August 6, 2005, 01:14 AM
Bloomberg is a RINO, just like any other "republican" who wins office in NYC.

dinosaur
August 6, 2005, 08:22 AM
Profiling, racial or otherwise, is a form of deductive reasoning, sound detective work.

I'm taking Longeyes quote a little out of context. Sorry Long but your statement does prove you've been at this cop thing for a long time. We called it Reasonable Suspicion which by itself would not hold up in court but could lead to Probable Cause. Any good cop has either which brings me to my point, I hope.

The only way to curb terrorist attacks is by Intelligence. If the bomber has reached the subway it's too late. There's little difference if he explodes in the subway or outside during rush hour. The current searches ordered by RINO Bloomberg and Ray "Popeye" Kelly is to calm the sheep.

Those of you who traverse the big cities and especially NY right after 9/11 saw a high level of activity including heavily armed police officers. So What! A bomber isn't afraid of being caught in the act. Catching/stopping them before they can act is the only way to keep people safe. It's not possible and people will die. Look at Isreal who is light years ahead of us in security by necessity. It's going to take a lot of bombings here for folks to get it through their heads that life as they know it is over.

BTW good Intelligence leads to No Knock Warrants. Get over it.

As a former (retired) NYC Police Officer why would I want to stand in a subway and search for bombs? If Achnod gets close enough and it's been said their bombs have a range of 150 to 300 feet, Why the Heck Would I want to be There!!

Speaking of Achnod who set the bombs off in Bali? Middle Eastern Muslims or Muslims who look like the general population of the area? IOW what does an Islamic fanatic look like?

Glad I'm retired and live in the sticks.

charliew
August 6, 2005, 09:38 AM
How many people here that are against their bags/backpacks being searched getting onto the subway would not say a one word when they enter Disney World (or any other theme park) and they have to consent to a search or leave ?

Logistics
August 6, 2005, 09:47 AM
>>>Wow...what a great reminder why I don't ever lurk/broswe here anymore.

I enjoy being a "leach". Gives me an opportunity to prevent people like you from parking rental trucks in front of buildings and blowing up children.

Like that generalization?<<<

Hmmm....must have been a rough day upholding the constitution in that beautiful crime free state of yours.....Hope you are having a better day today.

;)

Lone_Gunman
August 6, 2005, 10:05 AM
How many people here that are against their bags/backpacks being searched getting onto the subway would not say a one word when they enter Disney World (or any other theme park) and they have to consent to a search or leave ?

Disney is private property, and as such, the owners can establish rules for entry. It is no different than your own home. You get to decide who enters, and they have to follow your rules, or leave.

Disney World is optional, for millions of New Yorkers, the subway really is not.

Logistics
August 6, 2005, 10:07 AM
FINALLY someone that gets it .

longeyes
August 6, 2005, 12:15 PM
"I'm taking Longeyes quote a little out of context. Sorry Long but your statement does prove you've been at this cop thing for a long time."

I'm not an LEO, nor do I play one on TV. I don't even approve of the subway searches. It is sad that it has come to this.

My point was that a flight from "profiling" is part of the Left's strategy to discredit any form of reason or even common sense and replace it with politically correct, agenda-serving actions that decrease freedom without increasing security. (I consider all "diversity" programs to fall under this rubric, by the way, substituting demographics for individual merit.) Real security comes from a society in which certain civilized norms are honored and shared, responsibly, by all who reside in that society. We are promiscuous in who we admit to our family, that is what I am saying.

Orwell starts inside us, when we begin to forget what our nation is based on and fail to take the courageous steps to defend our basic rights and insist on proper social behavior.

Subway searches are pathetic--and dangerous Band-Aids--that don't address the real dangers. We already know, or should not, where the real threats are coming from, and we need to use all lawful means to go after the perps where they breed.

longeyes
August 6, 2005, 12:20 PM
"That policy is orwellian. Why does the government even have access to that data (your bank transactions and your credit rating) unless you're actively under investigation of a crime?"

It starts when you're always afraid
Man come and take you away

~Buffalo Springfield

Our education, on all levels, needs to be geared to producing responsible, courageous, adaptive, freedom-loving individuals. That is the only way to avoid an "Orwellian" future. Is it too late?

Flyboy
August 6, 2005, 02:06 PM
LawDog:

Why don't we bring up the "famous coffee can remark".

It started here:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthre...48&page=2&pp=25

The coffee can was brought up by Centac, who may or may not have actually been a cop. During the course of that thread, two Moderators here who are LEOs - myself and Jeff White - both told Centac he was full of it, as did every other THR Member who is known to actually be a cop, as opposed to wannabe cop.

In response to Justin stating that several of the Moderators here were good cops, you stated: "Nothing personal, of course, but need I bring up the famous coffee can remark?"

This indicates that the "famous coffee can remark" contradicts Justins statement.

So. Would you care to explain where the "famous coffee can remark" makes THR Mods/LEOs out to be bad folk?

Don't bother apologizing, if you can't. I seriously doubt if your apology is worth anything.
I did not mean to suggest that the mods were bad people; in fact, in the same post, I mentioned you by name as an example of a good one. Rather, I meant to point out that among THR members in general, we get a wide selection of people. I thought the quoted passage was more concerned with police officers than moderators, and was addressing that we have good cops and bad cops. Re-reading what I wrote shows it to be pretty suggestive that I'm talking about the mods. I wasn't, but I should have chosen a better way of phrasing things, or left out the comment about the mods entirely, as it confuses the context. I should also have considered that centac may not actually be an officer. Again, my mistake.

I apologize. I apologize for the confusion, and I apologize for offending you and the other mods. I should have been more careful in my words; I did not mean to slight you guys.

Actually, while I know in the abstract that several of the mods are officers, you're the only one I really know of for sure (maybe Coronach, now that I think about it); I have to say that I have particular respect for you, and your department, based on everything you've said here (again, not slighting the other guys, but LawDog's stories tend to be pretty memorable). I meant no disrespect toward any of the mods, or any other good cop.

You can also expect an apology in your PM as soon as I get done writing it. If anybody else was offended by my comment, please PM me and I'll write each of you one as well.

The Real Hawkeye
August 6, 2005, 03:42 PM
You can also expect an apology in your PM as soon as I get done writing it. If anybody else was offended by my comment, please PM me and I'll write each of you one as well.Yes, I took great umbrage as well. Many of my distant cousins (multiple generations removed) are cops. When do I get my apology? :neener:

dinosaur
August 6, 2005, 05:22 PM
Longeyes said;
I'm not an LEO, nor do I play one on TV. I don't even approve of the subway searches. It is sad that it has come to this.

Sorry my friend. It seems reasonable suspicion is harder to justify in the flat, black and white world of the net. :D Your point doesn't lose its validity.

charliew
August 7, 2005, 12:42 AM
Lonegunman said "Disney is private property, and as such, the owners can establish rules for entry. It is no different than your own home. You get to decide who enters, and they have to follow your rules, or leave.

Disney World is optional, for millions of New Yorkers, the subway really is not."


I don't disagree at all, it is private property. What about airlines ? They search too...

Graystar
August 7, 2005, 01:26 AM
Rebar, I thought Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of NYC who is leading the charge on the subway searches, was a Republican. Am I wrong on that?Bloomberg is a Democrat. He switched parties when he ran for mayor because the Dems already had a candidate. Obviously, he doesn’t care much about his affiliations.

DRZinn
August 20, 2005, 11:21 PM
What about airlines ? They search too...Actually, the government does, and none of those airline really has the option to say no.

Sorry to resurrect this one...

benEzra
August 22, 2005, 04:36 PM
Lonegunman said "Disney is private property, and as such, the owners can establish rules for entry. It is no different than your own home. You get to decide who enters, and they have to follow your rules, or leave.

Disney World is optional, for millions of New Yorkers, the subway really is not."


I don't disagree at all, it is private property. What about airlines ? They search too...

Actually, subways are generally public property, are they not? Just like roads.

If one takes the position that systematized warrantless searches of subway passengers, without probable cause, are not a violation of the 4th amendment, then you have just opened the door to systematic warrantless searches of people using roads and sidewalks without probable cause. After all, one has about as much choice not to use the roads as many New Yorkers have to not use the subway...

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