ACLU-NJ Urges Commuters To Report Stories On Bag Searches

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has posted a webform - Mass Transit Random Search Report Form - to its website on which individuals can report their encounters with police conducting searches on public transportation systems. The information contained on the form will assist the ACLU-NJ in analyzing and possibly challenging the constitutionality of the methods and practices used by the police in conducting these searches.

On February 6, 2006 at the Exchange Place PATH station, the Department of Homeland Security began a three-week pilot program where airport-style scanning equipment will be used to screen passengers before boarding PATH trains.

On July 25, 2005, New Jersey Transit on its rail, bus, subway and light rail systems, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on its PATH trains and AirTrain began randomly searching bags, including backpacks, suitcases and packages, brought into their transit systems and will continue these searches indefinitely.

In addition to this practice violating people's rights, the ACLU-NJ believes this practice diverts attention and resources from efforts that provide meaningful protection against acts of terrorism.

For more information: Random Bag Checks on Transit: Neither Safe Nor Free

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