A New York assemblyman who started his political career as a lieutenant of extremist Meir Kahane called on the NYPD to use racial profiling to target “people of Middle Eastern descent” when searching bags on mass transit. The bag searches began more than a week ago.
UPI newswire quoted Assemblyman Dov Hikind as saying, “They all look a certain way … It’s all very nice to be politically correct here, but we’re talking about terrorism.” Ironically, Hikind’s profile on the NY State Democratic Committee website describes him as “A spokesman against discrimination of any kind, Assemblyman Hikind chaired the Assembly’s Subcommittee on Human Rights”
The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and Article I, Section 12 of the New York State Constitution protect individuals against unreasonable searches of their person or possessions. Further, it is illegal for police to target people for a search based on personal characteristics like race, ethnicity, or religion.
NYPD deputy commissioner Paul Brown has responded, stating: “Racial profiling is illegal, of doubtful effectiveness, and against department policy.”