Court Rules NYPD Must Release Secret Unmarked X-Ray Van Records

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Photo: American Science and Engineering Inc.

Unmarked vans fitted with special equipment scan buildings for bombs as part of a secretive NYPD program. And now, a court has ruled that the police department is obligated to release records pertaining to this program to the public. This ruling is the result of a three-year ProPublica inquiry into the practice, which, in part, raised concerns about the safety of such machines. (A ProPublica release described them as “essentially a version of older airport body scanners mounted on a truck.”) Though the NYPD claimed that releasing such records would make it easier for potential future attackers to avoid detection, Judge Doris Ling-Cohan called their bluff, terming the claim “mere speculation.”