The New York Civil Liberties Union will file suit against the city Thursday to keep police from searching the bags of passengers entering the subway, organization lawyers said. The suit, which will be filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, will claim that the two-week old policy violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection and prohibitions against unlawful searches and seizures, while doing almost nothing to shield the city from terrorism. It argues that the measure also allows the possibility for racial profiling, even though officers are ordered to randomly screen passengers. “While concerns about terrorism of course justify — indeed, require — aggressive police tactics, those concerns cannot justify the Police Department’s unprecedented policy of subjecting millions of innocent people to suspicionless searches,” states the suit, a partial copy of which was provided to Newsday. Names of the plaintiffs — subway riders who object to the searches — were redacted in the copy, but are expected to be released Thursday morning. A city Law Department spokeswoman said that since officials had not yet received the suit, she could not yet comment. (MORE)



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