Police union sues over cellphone searches after rowdy party

AP News
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Posted: May 06, 2015 3:58 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A union representing Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officers has sued the agency, citing what it calls "widespread, ongoing and unconstitutional searches" of their private cellphones.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. It comes after a criminal investigation into a rowdy graduation party by out-of-uniform and off-duty rookie officers at a Hoboken, New Jersey, bar last summer. The investigation led to the firings of nine officers.

The lawsuit by the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association says Port Authority investigators intimidated officers into giving up their cellphones. It seeks unspecified damages.

The Port Authority operates area bridges, tunnels and transit hubs and owns the World Trade Center site. It says it "strongly disputes" the union's allegations. It says the investigation turned up evidence of "appalling, deeply troubling" conduct.