Anyone who’s used the Metro for any length of time practically knows it by heart –two little chimes, followed by this announcement by Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn:
The Metro Transit Police will be performing random inspections of carry-on items throughout the Metro system…
Now everyone else can listen in too, thanks to the magic of digital recording devices and the tedium of switching one on every time I went into the Metro for weeks on end — except when I forgot to, which was invariably when the announcement would play.
The announcement closes, “…and remember: if you see something, say something, and call the Metro Transit Police” at 202-962-2121.
So the video above says what *we* see: suspicionless, warrantless searches, security theater, Fourth Amendment violations, and more. The video also reminds people they’re free to refuse the search, but notes that Chief Taborn has also famously warned that those who do and are turned away from the Metro system will “be observed. Be watched,” and checked out by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
We hope people will continue to tweet about bag searches in progress, using the hashtag #bagsearch and mentioning @mococivilrights, so we know about bag searches as soon as possible. Those who are stopped should consider contacting the ACLU-NCA at 202-457-0800.
DIY Metro Bag Search Counterannouncement
As videos go, the one above is OK, I suppose, but it’s not great. We think *you* can do better. So if you’re an ace videographer (or even if, like me, you’re not) download the audio-only “video” below, with just the recording of the announcement, and have at it.
We’re hoping you can do a creative, fun job of critiquing and rebutting Metro’s claims for these bag searches. To learn more, check out our “bag search” posts on this blog.
If you do make a video using this recording, please let us know by making it a video response to this one, and/or by letting us know here or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!