Perhaps you haven't all heard about this. On July 26, a supervisor with the Gray Line bus company reported that five "suspicious men" had just boarded one of the company's double-decker tour buses.
Here's why the men were suspicious: they had purchased their tickets in advance, they carried backpacks, and they were wearing something else that caused bulges to appear around their waists. Oh, did I mention they appeared to be South Asian? The men were British citizens, and Sikhs.
The Gray Line ticket-taker called his supervisor. The supervisor called the police. The police cordoned off the area. That is, Times Square.
The five men were ordered off the bus, handcuffed, and forced to kneel on Broadway while bomb-sniffing dogs searched the bus. The bulges were fanny packs. The men were questioned and released.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized to the tourists, defended the police, and criticized the Gray Line employees for overreacting. This in a city with posters and public-address announcements everyfuckingwhere repeating, "If you see something, say something." What was he expecting?
Post-apology reports from the New York Times, BBC News, The Telegraph (India) and The Hindustan Times. An interesting contrast.
Please spare me the most obvious comeback: at least they weren't shot. No harm done.
Thanks to Kyle for reminding me to blog about this.