July 22, 2005
New York City Subways Begin Random Searches of Packages and Backpacks
From NYTimes.com: Just this morning, around 5 am Eastern, 10 am locally, London Police have fatally shot a man at London's Stockwell subway station, the day after four failed bombing attempts on trains and a bus.) In response to the latest terrorist acts in London, "[t]he police last night began random searches of backpacks and packages brought into the New York City subways as officials expressed alarm about the latest bomb incidents in the London transit system. The searches, which will also include commuter rail lines, are not a response to a specific threat against the city, said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who authorized the searches shortly before he announced them at a morning news conference.
The police have previously inspected bags at major events like parades and demonstrations, and the authorities in Boston conducted random baggage searches on commuter rail lines during the Democratic National Convention last year, but officials here could not recall a precedent for a broad, systematic search of packages in the New York City subways, which provide 4.7 million rides each weekday. At some of the busiest of the city's 468 stations, riders will be asked to open their bags for a visual check before they go through the turnstiles. Those who refuse will not be permitted to bring the package into the subway but will be able to leave the station without further questioning, officials said." Story...
Related--From NYTimes.com: It's Time for Tougher Scrutiny, Many Subway Riders Concede [Mark Godsey]
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