Would you like to walk down the street and be subjected to a strip search that you didn’t consent to or have knowledge of? That’s what could happen once the Department of Defense and the NYPD complete their research into detecting weapons from a distance.
It’s called Terahertz Imaging Detection. It measures the energy radiating from a body up to 16 feet away, and can detect anything blocking it, like a gun.
Naturally, there are those who don’t understand that even if you don’t have anything to hide, you still have a right to privacy.
“It’s definitely a privacy issue, but it’s for our safety. So it’s just one of those things, a double-edged sword,” added Clarence Moore of Union, N.J.
“I think it’s good. I think if someone has something to hide and they’re going to worry about it, who cares?” Robert McDougall added.
Others, including the New York Civil Liberties Union, doesn’t think this way.
“It’s worrisome. It implicates privacy, the right to walk down the street without being subjected to a virtual pat-down by the Police Department when you’re doing nothing wrong,” the NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman said.
One particular comment from a person on the street should stop and make everyone think.
“If they search you, you’re not giving consent, so they can do what they want, meaning they can use that as an excuse to search you for other means. I don’t think that’s constitutional at all,” Devan Thomas said.
Whether or not you have anything to hide, there is the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY went toe to toe with the New York Police Department. An activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Thomas voiced his opinions of the NYPD police brutality that had and has been plaguing the #OWS movement.
Thomas is a 24-year-old Marine Veteran (2 tours in Iraq), he currently plays amateur football and is in college.
Thomas comes from a long line of people who sacrifice for their country: Mother, Army Veteran (Iraq), Step father, Army, active duty (Afghanistan), Grand father, Air Force veteran (Vietnam), Great Grand Father Navy veteran (World War II).
Last year, the NYPD stopped the most people since 2002, when the NYPD started releasing their statistics. The results are quite shocking.
Police stopped 601,055 people in 2010, an increase of about 4.3% from the 575,304 stopped the year before. Of those stopped, about 14% were given summonses or arrested. The remaining 86% were questioned, but not charged or issued a summons. It’s not clear how many were frisked.
Black and Latino men accounted for 85% of the stops last year.
“Unfortunately, the pattern of stopping innocent New Yorkers continues,” Lieberman said. “The pattern of stopping enormous numbers of overwhelmingly African-American and Latino men continues.”
Naturally, the NYPD objects to being labeled as targeting and profiling minorities.
Regardless of race, randomly stopping and harassing ordinary citizens is uncalled for. It’s unprofessional, unethical, and outright wrong. Over half a million people were needlessly stopped, harassed, had their privacy invaded, frisked, questioned, and possibly threatened with arrest for what? It seems that citizens still need protection from the NYPD.
The government has been using mobile surveillance towers for some time now, including at our boarders. On Bruce Schneier’s blog, he writes about their increased use in parking lots across the nation. These police towers are wholly unnerving and preparing citizens for a life of being under the constant, watchful eyes of law enforcement.
We became accustomed to security guards wandering around. Then, we got used to the fact that security cameras were everywhere. Now, we are seeing the encroachment of guard towers on private, business property. SkyWatch has been in use in New York City since 2006 and can now be seen in many areas of Manhattan. The photo below is in use in Times Square.
ICx Technology, the company behind the towers, is now a major player in the mobile surveillance business. The towers are creepy and remind people of police state tactics.