what to do if stopped for a subway search

not so simple now, even for white guys, but maybe it never was

UPDATE: I received a very constructive comment on my last post, "bag the entrance searches, we need exits!", from Matt of the "Flex your Rights Foundation," and I thought it would be extremely useful as a post of its own.

Go here for The Citizen's Guide to Refusing New York Subway Searches. The site includes an excellent introduction to its practical advice on how to "safely and intelligently 'flex' your rights":

In response to the recent London terror attacks, New York police officers are now conducting random searches of bags and packages brought into the subway.

While Flex Your Rights takes no position on the usefulness of these searches for preventing future attacks, we have serious concerns that this unprecedented territorial expansion of police search powers is doing grave damage to people's understanding of their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

In addition, as innocent citizens become increasingly accustomed to being searched by the police, politicians and police agencies are empowered to further expand the number of places where all are considered guilty until proven innocent.

Fortunately, this trend is neither inevitable nor irreversible. In fact, the high-profile public nature of these random subway searches provides freedom-loving citizens with easy and low-risk opportunities to "flex" their Fourth Amendment rights by refusing to be searched.

The site includes a handy guide-flyer which can be downloaded and printed for giving out to friends and strangers, dressing up a refrigerator or carrying in your . . . er, . . . bag.

[image of Norman Rockwell's 1958 "The Runaway" from the artchive]

Thanks for the update and info. I've been really frustrated by what to do, so it's good that I now know what my rights are.