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Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 03/04/2011

ACLU to sue Metro over random bag checks

A passenger is diverted to a security checkpoint at the Braddock Road Metro stop Dec. 21, 2010. (Gerald Martineau - Washington Post)
The fight against Metro’s controversial bag searches could end up in court, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stepping up efforts to end the “security theater,” reports the Examiner.

Metro “is on a collision course with the ACLU and its partners,” said Johnny Barnes, executive director of the D.C. chapter, during a news conference in downtown Washington on Thursday, indicating that Metro ignored requests to meet with the activist group.

In response, the ACLU is launching an anti-bag search campaign — including educational fliers, a petition and even plans for two “symposia” — and the D.C. chapter of the organization is inviting those who have been searched to step forward.

“If they’re interested in legal recourse, we’ll give consideration to their legal merits,” Barnes said.

Metro officials reportedly reached out to the ACLU after Thursday’s news conference to set up a meeting. But Barnes told the Examiner the ACLU’s campaign would only be thwarted by one thing: “If they say they’ll end the searches,” Barnes said, “that changes everything.”

Metro started the bag searches in December, immediately drawing the rancor of riders.

Past coverage: Metro board debates inspections Metro begins random bag checks

More: Dr. Gridlock Transportation

By  |  11:42 AM ET, 03/04/2011

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