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NYCLU Appeals Ruling On Subway Searches

The New York Civil Liberties Union today appealed the trial-court ruling issued earlier this month upholding the NYPD’s subway-search program.

“We are deeply concerned that terrorism concerns are being invoked to erode our most basic liberties,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “Never in this country have the police undertaken suspicionless searches of people simply seeking to use mass transit, and we believe the appeals court will find this program to be unconstitutional.”

Under the Police Department’s unprecedented program, hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers have been searched by police officers without any suspicion of wrongdoing while virtually all of the subway system has remained open to potential terrorists. United States District Court Judge Richard Berman upheld the program’s constitutionality in a December 2 ruling.

“Given the importance of this controversy, we intend to ask the appeals court to expedite its consideration of this case,” said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn, who is lead counsel on the case. “If the police are left free to search New Yorkers without any suspicion of wrongdoing, we will have lost one of our most cherished individual liberties.”

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