The “tough on terror” Democrats are still stalling legislation that would protect those who say something when they see what looks like terrorist activity. Law enforcement unions are trying to break the logjam:
Police unions are offering lobbying muscle to push for language in a bill that would protect rail and airline passengers who report suspicious activities from being sued. The support is concurrent with similar legislation introduced in the New York state Assembly last week to ban such lawsuits in state courts.
Police unions say their officers cannot be everywhere to see everything and stop every crime. They offered their support in letters to Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican and author of language added to a rail- and transportation-safety bill to protect airline passengers from lawsuits.
A pending lawsuit filed by a group of Muslim imams targets passengers named as “John Does” who reported that the men acted suspiciously, which resulted in their removal from a U.S. Airways flight.
“Now that our nation is engaged in a global war on terror, it is even more important for citizens to feel that they can report suspicious activity to law enforcement and have that information be used appropriately and in good faith by law enforcement or security personnel,” said Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.
“Such lawsuits are clearly being used to intimidate witnesses, and it is altogether appropriate that Congress protect them from these frivolous suits,” Mr. Canterbury said. “Doing the right thing should not get you hauled into court.”
The federal bill, stalled in a conference committee, provides immunity from civil liability for airline passengers who report suspicious behavior in good faith.