Hikind Stands By Call To Employ Racial Profiling In Subway Searches
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Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is not backing down from his controversial request that local law enforcement officials use ethnic profiling in their fight against terrorism.
Hikind is urging the New York Police Department to use terrorist profiling when it conducts subway bag searches.
In a statement released Sunday, Hikind said that "We have to give the NYPD every single tool in the war on terrorism. It's a fact of life that the London suicide bombers on July 7th and July 21st fit a very precise intelligence profile."
In response, the NYPD released a statement saying: "Racial profiling is illegal, of doubtful effectiveness, and against department policy."
But on Monday, Hikind reiterated his recommendation that authorities abandon the current policy of random searches in favor of a more targeted approach.
"Those responsible for the attacks on America, the 19 people involved in the World Trade Center dastardly act — and the London bombers — when we look at the list of the most-wanted people by the FBI in terms of terrorism, they fit a profile," Hikind said Monday. "They look a certain way, they are young, and they come from a certain part of the world."
Authorities believe Islamic extremists of European descent were responsible for both London terror attacks this month, as well as the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
Hikind, who says he initially supported legislation banning racial profiling, says that performing purely random bag checks now leaves the city's transit system "outrageously vulnerable."
However, many law enforcement disagree with the use of ethnic profiling as a security tool.
"The Arab-American community in the United States and Muslim community in general is highly assimilated, very American, not radical," says Charles Strozier of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "There's no reason to believe that it is from this community that you're going to find anyone who is likely to be a bomber."