Yep. The New York Police Department has x-ray vans - and they really don't want to talk about them.
A fleet of counter-terrorist vehicles known as "Z Backscatter Vans" have gained unwanted publicity in recent months, with civil rights group The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filing a briefing that, if successful, would see the NYPD release information on the use of its x-ray vans.
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has taken a firm stance against the NYCLU's call for transparency, stating that their use should remain secret for security and counter-terrorism operations.
"They’re not used to scan people for weapons," Bratton said at a press briefing. "The devices we have, the vehicles if you will, are all used lawfully and if the ACLU and others don’t think that’s the case, we’ll see them in court - where they’ll lose! At this time and the nature of what’s going on in the world, that concern of theirs is unfounded.
As for how the vehicles actually work, Bratton remained tight lipped:
"I will not talk about anything at all about this - it falls into the range of security and counter-terrorism activity that we engage in."
This isn't the first time civil groups have called for more details on the Z Backscatter Vans to be released: website ProPublica requested information on the dose of x-rays the public may be subjected to back in 2012, calling into question the long-term health risks of these secret vans.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Doris Ling-Cohan had ruled in 2014 that the NYPD needed to reveal certain information about the surveillance vans, but the NYPD successfully appealed the decision.
If Bratton has his way, the x-ray vans are going to remain as clear as the solid walls they're currently being used to look through.
[Via: New York Post]