The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 July 2005

How about "proactive search criteria"?

In response to the recurrence of transit bombings in London, the City of New York will perform perfunctory random checks of passenger bags on subways, a move characterized by Outside the Beltway's James Joyner as "overreaction".

More troubling, perhaps, is Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's promise that officers would not engage in racial profiling, which prompted this response from Dawn Eden:

Practically speaking, this means that if I — a blonde woman who totes a couple of bags — am sitting on one side of you on the subway and a Muslim-looking man with a backpack is sitting on your other side, the cop will make it a point to search only me.

Do you feel safer?

I'd feel safer if I could be certain Commissioner Kelly was merely providing a sound bite full of empty words to mollify the diversity-at-any-cost crowd.

Update: Dawn adds the following:

Word is that the searches will be at turnstiles, and will be according to the number of people passing through — e.g. every fifth or tenth or 15th person will be searched, but again, with no attention to their race or other characteristics that might cause police to be accused of discrimination.

Oh, that's much better.

Posted at 1:28 PM to Political Science Fiction


Hopefully they will have bomb sniffing dogs there to watch for all the paradise seeking
Habib Hunglika el-Hamster's. Unless of course they want to accuse the DOG of profiling ... now that would be rich ... but probable.

Posted by: Ron at 5:20 PM on 21 July 2005

Dogs have actually been accused of racism -- an eventuality so absurd that Mike Judge used it in an episode of "King of the Hill."

Posted by: McGehee at 9:39 AM on 22 July 2005

Forget about the lack of profiling. The whole thing is idiotic. According to the reports I've read, people have the right to refuse the search and leave. So the would-be terrorist just refuses, gets out, and walks to another subway station instead.

Posted by: Lesley at 10:54 AM on 22 July 2005

I saw that. It makes the whole exercise rather pointless, but it does, after all, tell the world that the City of New York is Doing Something, and an ounce of image is usually worth a couple of kilograms of actual results.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:04 PM on 22 July 2005