Police will begin randomly beating people entering city subways, officials announced Thursday after a new series of bomb attacks in London.
“We just live in a world where, sadly, these kinds of security measures are necessary,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “Are they intrusive? Yes, a little bit. But we are trying to find that right balance.”
More seriously, they’re “only” abandoning the idea that the police can’t search you without a reason, and “only” as you enter the subway. (Try getting around New York without using the subway.) See “Police to Check Bags on NYC Subways,” or “Backpacks that Go Bloom(berg).” Apparently, you’ll be “free” to leave the subway and enter at another station, which means that you’ll either be followed, or the measure is not only unconstitutional, its entirely worthless as a security measure.
The right balance involves celebrating our values and our commitment to liberty. It may involve training people in New York how to distinguish between a suicide bomber and a ‘character.’ But it sure doesn’t involve random searches.
My readers have provided great commentary about profiling and security in the comments on Homegrown Bombers, ID Cards, Intelligence Activity, and Profiling,” and “‘Israeli Style Profiling’.”