“Be on the lookout”, on Metro

marrngtn (Manuel)

So, last week Metro Transit Police heard from a Metro-rider that two men were engaged in shady behavior at L’Enfant Plaza and on the Orange Line (via WTOP):

The rider told Metro he saw two men acting suspiciously and videotaping platforms, trains and riders.

“The men, according to the citizen report, were trying to be inconspicuous, holding the cameras at their sides,” Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel says.

The rider was able to photograph the men who were videotaping and sent the photo to Metro Transit Police.

Metro Transit Police issued an internal memo to officers telling them to “be on the lookout for” the men, a standard tactic used by police departments to share information with their officers.

However, that internal memo was leaked. Metro says the memo was meant for an internal audience only and was not intended to be a public notice.

Some photographers are alarmed at how this memo could be misinterpreted, and as a brown female who always has her camera with her (it’s part of my job!), I understand why. At the same time, I worry about how vulnerable Metro is to a terrorist attack. How vigilant is too vigilant? And how much liberty should we lose to be safe?

  • http://twitter.com/zfree zfree

    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Benjamin Franklin

    Terrorist fears just increase police state budgets, if there’s anything to fear it’s the unsafe trains, escalators and over crowded platforms that we pay way too much for.