According to the local ACLU, whom I’d called to volunteer my services, the news story quoted below is all wrong:
This is a story the AP screwed up in two significant ways and they will soon be releasing a revised, corrected version. First, Chief Fernandez called AP to complain that he did not say that the Miami police would be stopping and demanding identification from people. Second, [executive director of ACLU of Florida,] Howard [Simon] was not told of the alleged stop and ID plan when he was contacted. Howard has talked to the reporter and will now be quoted as saying “If the Miami police plan on stopping people and demanding identification without any reason to believe that there is criminal activity, that is unconstitutional.”
Sounds like maybe it’s all a a false alarm!
Update: Here’s how the start of that AP story reads now:
Police are planning “in-your-face” shows of force in public places, saying the random, high-profile security operations will keep terrorists guessing about where officers might be next.
As an example, uniformed and plainclothes officers might surround a bank building unannounced, contact the manager about ways to be vigilant against terrorists and hand out leaflets in three languages to customers and people passing by, said police spokesman Angel Calzadilla. He said there would be no random checks of identification.
“People are definitely going to notice it,” Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said Monday. “We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don’t want people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our eyes and ears.”
“No Random checks of identification“
I only caught the end of the interview, but the Miami Cheif of Police was on CNN around 7:15pm tonight talking to Wolf Blitzer about the program. So it may not be entirely a false alarm because the titles under the interview were things like “Miami Police to ID in public areas” and other such headings.
Are you blogging from an alternate time period some 65 years ago in Europe…