I am absolutely shocked at this one! Is the ACLU of Florida going to be the black sheep of the ACLU’s fold? Across the country the ACLU has been screaming about the 4th Amendment, and our rights not to be unreasonably searched. They are opposing random searches at Subways, and fighting the Patriot Act with full force. So, after reading the ACLU of Florida’s statement on Miami Police raids, I was a little shocked.
Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.
Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.
“This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It’s letting the terrorists know we are out there,” Fernandez said.
The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.
Police Chief John Timoney said there was no specific, credible threat of an imminent terror attack in Miami. But he said the city has repeatedly been mentioned in intelligence reports as a potential target.
Timoney also noted that 14 of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 attacks lived in South Florida at various times and that other alleged terror cells have operated in the area.
Both uniformed and plainclothes police will ride buses and trains, while others will conduct longer-term surveillance operations.
“People are definitely going to notice it,” Fernandez said. “We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don’t want people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our eyes and ears.”
I would expect that the ACLU would find this as a violation of the 4th amendment, but to my suprise we got this statement.
Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, said the Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people’s rights are not violated.
“What we’re dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution,” Simon said. “We’ll have to see how it is implemented.”
I don’t know what to say! Their inconsistency on this issue has me completely confused. I think I actually agree with them here. While I am for searches on airplanes, and subways, it sounds a little scary that I might just be minding my own business and…BOOM, everyone is surrounded and asked for I.D.’s. I’m not against exercizes to protect us from mad men bombing us, so…where I agree with the ACLU here is that it will all depend on how this is implemented.
I’m sure that many liberals will be double shocked with this post. I think many will be shocked at the position the ACLU is taking on this one, and perhaps shocked again that of all people, I’m agreeing with them.