Some people in New York are wondering whether the presence of police officers toting machine guns through the city’s subway tunnels is really a necessary response to the subway bombings in Moscow on Monday.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Torey Deprisest, a tourist from Ohio, told the New York Post. “The attack happened in a different country and had nothing to do with Americans. I’d be nervous seeing cops with machine guns on the train. It makes people afraid when they don’t need to be.”
Queens resident Holly Celentang described the police response as excessive.
“It’s Easter this week, and you have families with young kids on the subway, and I’m sure cops with machine guns would scare them,” she said. “I feel there should have been a bit more of a thought process before they did this.”
“By the time most people awoke to news of yesterday’s twin terror blasts that killed dozens, the NYPD had flooded city subways with extra cops,” the New York Daily News reports. “Officers with bomb-sniffing dogs swept train cars, and cops set up tables near turnstiles to do random bag checks.”
The Post reported:
Bleary-eyed New Yorkers began their work weeks with a morning rush hour that featured city cops in full military gear, including helmets, goggles, body armor, sidearms and M16 assault rifles.
The underground arsenal startled sleepy straphangers, many of whom wondered whether the extra security was overkill.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told the Daily News that the measures are “simply a precaution,” and said there was “no indication that the Moscow bombings were related to anything planned against the New York City subway system.”
Russian authorities are preliminarily pinning the blame for the twin suicide bombings in Moscow — which at last count took the lives of 39 people on Monday morning — on the “Black Widows,” a militant group composed of the wives, daughters and sisters of Chechens who were killed at the hands of Russian forces during Chechnya’s long-running war of secession.
Some New Yorkers say they support the added security measures, even if they are a response to something unrelated to New York.
“Better overkill than under-response,” Joe Kerick of New Jersey told the Post. “If the terrorists see an under-response, they may think we are vulnerable.”