Over the past four years, journalists have been seeking information about the NYPD’s secret fleet of unmarked X-ray vans. These vans use backscatter X-ray technology to allow police to look into passing vehicles or inside buildings to identify people, weapons, or drugs that would otherwise be hidden from view.
In 2012, ProPublica filed a lawsuit to force the NYPD to disclose records on when and where the vans were used and what their policy is on usage of the vans. The suit also demanded that the NYPD provide records that would “reveal whether the NYPD has taken steps necessary to protect drivers, passengers and pedestrians from exposure to potentially harmful ionizing radiation,” as X-rays are known to increase cancer risks.
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