2005_07_subwaylug.jpgWell, it's been a weekend of the random bag checks on the subways, and Gothamist hasn't seen any sign of it a couple stations (a few of them rather high traffic: Times Square, 34th Street Penn Station, Columbus Circle) we frequent. Sure, we see police officers, but no tables set up next to turnstiles. The New York Civil Liberties Union is going to file a federal lawsuit this week, because the new system, where people who do not consent to be searched would not be allowed to ride the subway, may violate the Fourth Amendment. More groups, including 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement are voicing concern that minorities will be unfairly targeted, while the Mayor claims the random system is what keeps it legal. The NY Times article had some insight about what constitutes "random":

A supervisor at each checkpoint is supposed to determine the frequency of searches - 1 in every 5, 12 or 20 passengers, for example - based on the volume of passengers, the number of officers available and the "flow of commuter traffic."

Hmm, what if subway riders had to count off to see who would get searched? The subway searches, which will continue through next week at least, are being joined by searches for bus riders and for those starting on NJ Transit.

Reader Josh let us know that he handed copies of the Fourth Amendment over the weekend at few subway stops: "Outside a subway entrance in Jackson Heights, a neighborhood with a large immigrant population, nobody took my flyer." And what were your experiences with the new procedures?