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Muslim activist threatens to SUE after being handcuffed for refusing Staten Island Ferry bag check

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“I have no doubt that many (people) are in fact stopped randomly, but the manner this was done in my particular case made it feel different.”

Nonsense. Anyone can get checked. The NYPD is very careful, in today’s politically correct environment, not to single out Muslims. El-Meligy is just trying to make it impossible for Muslims to be checked at all. Then jihadis can go about their business without fear of being stopped before they can commit mass murder. Is that what he wants?

“Activist is handcuffed after refusing Staten Island Ferry bag check,” by Kyle Lawson, Staten Island Advance, March 9, 2017:

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A religious and political activist on Staten Island claims he was placed in handcuffs, frisked and issued two summonses by NYPD officers based on the way he looks.

Hesham El-Meligy, a Muslim who was born in Egypt, was temporarily detained and searched by police at about 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George, after he refused a random bag check.

After a search of his backpack, he was issued summonses for trespassing and disorderly conduct and allowed on to the ferry, police said Thursday.

El-Meligy, founder of the Islamic Civic Association on Staten Island and chairman of the Staten Island Libertarian Party, said he believes the bag check wasn’t so random.

He took to Facebook hours after the incident, saying he felt singled out because his Egyptian heritage.

“I have no doubt that many (people) are in fact stopped randomly, but the manner this was done in my particular case made it feel different,” said El-Meligy.

He said there were at least five people in front of him carrying purses and backpacks when an NYPD officer walked in to the crowd, extended his arm and ordered him to a table for a bag search.

“I said ‘no thank you,’ said El-Meligy. “He replied that he’s not asking me, but telling me, and I replied again, ‘no, thank you.'”

A spokeswoman for the NYPD said there’s no set guidelines as to which passengers are selected, such as every fifth or tenth person.

“There’s no science to it,” said Det. Kellyann Ort. “It’s like flipping a coin.”

She said El-Meligy was not personally selected.

“Many other people had their bags checked during that same time frame.”

But El-Meligy argued police were in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The Amendment protects the right of the people against “unreasonable searches and seizures… and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.”

NYPD policy states a passenger is not required to hand over their bag, however, they would have to find an alternate form of transportation.

A policy that El-Meligy said also is a rights violation.

“It is an infringement of my right to travel freely without molestation and due process of the law.”…

In an emailed statement from the New York Civil Liberties Union in regard to the incident, Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn wrote the following:

“The NYPD cannot single out Muslims, or people police perceive to be Muslims, for bag checks.”

El-Meligy said Thursday he was in the process of seeking legal counsel….

He said after he was searched, he engaged in dialogue with the officers about how the ferry terminal is a “government (public) travel facility, not a privately owned building where the owner has the right to discriminate against who they allow in.”

“We engaged in a deeper discussion about this and related issues, and at the end I hugged the few officers who were there and told them again that it is not personal.”

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