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Bernie Sanders Proposes barring ‘Disreputable’ Law Enforcement Officials from Testifying in Court

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a sweeping criminal justice reform plan that includes a proposal aimed at “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials.

Sanders is calling for the creation of a list of “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials who would be barred from testifying in court so testimony from untrustworthy sources does not lead to criminal convictions.”

Sanders also proposed providing “financial support to pilot local and state level no-call lists.”

The plan does not specify the process of deeming law enforcement officials as “disreputable.”

Sanders’ nearly 6,000-word reform plan also calls for cutting the country’s prison population in half and purging the criminal justice system of “institutional racism and corporate profiteering.”


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Self-Identified White Nationalist Accused of Threatening to Shoot Up Jewish Center

James Reardon, via Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Ohio man accused of threatening to attack a Jewish community center was arrested Saturday, a day after an FBI task force made alarming discoveries at his home.

The investigation of James Reardon Jr. began after he posted an ominous Instagram video on July 11 that shows a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle. A caption below the video read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”

Reardon tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, Ohio, which alerted authorities. His Instagram account included racial slurs.

“That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation because of the way the world is,” Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio told ABC-affiiate WYTV.

On Friday, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force raided the man’s home and seized semi-automatic rifles, dozens of rounds of ammo, a gas mask and bulletproof armor. Anti-Semitic and white nationalists propaganda were also discovered at the home.

“According to charges filed, New Middletown Police Department was informed on Friday, August 16, 2019, of an online video posted by James Reardon depicting himself being identified as the shooter at an area Jewish Community Center, the shooting had not actually taken place,” the FBI Cleveland Division told USA Today.

D’Egidio said Reardon had “declared himself as a white nationalist.”

“With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure we did our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly,” D’Egidio said.

Reardon was jailed on $250,000 bond pending a court hearing Monday.
The FBI said it wasn’t immediately clear whether federal charges would be pursued.

The arrest follows a deadly mass shooting in Dayton, where nine people were killed.


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Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI Agent Talks About the Underwear Bomber


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FBI Agent Cited After Gun, Loaded Magazine Were Stolen from Car in Oakland

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent received a citation after his gun was stolen from a parked car in Oakland, Calif. last month.

A California state law requires law enforcement officials to secure their weapons in a lock box when leaving them in an unattended vehicle, a police department spokesperson told Mercury News on Thursday.

Police are investigating who stole the gun, a loaded .45 magazine, and an FBI jacket from the agent’s parked vehicle in Oakland on July 10. The gun was later found, according to the FBI, which declined further comment because it involves personnel matters.

“Leaving guns unsecured in unattended vehicles creates a serious danger and risk to the public,” Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said in a statement.

The FBI also requires agents to secure their weapons when left unattended.


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FBI Reports Applications for Special Agents Are Up, Employees Are Happier

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An increasing number of people are applying to become FBI special agents, and a new survey suggests job satisfaction is climbing among current bureau employees.

The FBI received 32,000 applications, twice the annual recruitment goal and nearly three times higher than the previous year, the bureau told NBC News.

The numbers are significant after President Trump’s incessant attacks on the FBI and the firing of former director James Comey caused a slump in morale.

The latest internal results show “more employees in FBI field offices said they were proud to work for the FBI, believe in its mission, and would recommend it as a good place to work,” reversing declines in those categories in 2017 and 2018.


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Stejskal: A Michigan Case Tested Free Speech When the Web Was In Its Infancy

The writer, an FBI agent for 31 years, retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office in 2006.

By Greg Stejskal

Free speech has limits, as a famous Supreme Court example illustrates. “Falsely shouting fire in a theater” is not constitutionally protected speech, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1919.

Featured_baker_37520
(Photo: Michigan Technology Law Review)

Nearly eight decades later, the first criminal prosecution of threats on the Internet again tested the boundary of free speech. I was a player in that 1995 landmark case.

The defendant was a 20-year-old University of Michigan student who shortened his name to Jake Baker, rather than using Abraham Jacob Alkhabaz. He was described as quiet and nice, and wrote stories with innocent titles like “Going for a Walk.”

But he harbored demons. The stories were lurid, graphic tales of kidnappng, raping, torturing and killing young women – so called snuff stories. Jake posted these at alt.sex.stories, a Usenet chat group, when the Internet was in its infancy. His case raised issues we had not faced.

Urgent questions, still

Almost 25 years later, we still face the tricky, high-stakes questions: Where does freedom of speech end and when does it become a crime? How do you predict when hateful or misogynistic speech will morph into violence? Is it a crime to threaten violence?


Greg Stejskal: Judge Avern Cohn “criticized the government and its ‘overzealous agent,’ referring to me.”

To examine the issue, it’s worth looking back at the federal case of United States v. Alkhabaz, a touchstone in the history of cyber law.

Back then, few people knew of the Internet. Baker’s writings were discovered thanks to a Michigan alumnus, who happened to be in Russia. He stumbled across one of Jake’s stories and knew from the IP address that Jake had some UM affiliation.

The story used the name of a real Michigan coed as a victim. (In court papers and media accounts, she was referred to as Jane Doe.) The real Jane was not aware of her characterization in the story or that she was about to be a player in a First Amendment controversy.

Read more »


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GOP Senator Drafts Bill to Make Domestic Terrorism a Federal Crime

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., has drafted a bill to make domestic terrorism a federal crime as experts continue to warn about a rise in white supremacy-fueled violence.

The Air Force veteran said her legislation would close a loophole that bars federal authorities from charging suspects with domestic terrorism.

“For too long we have allowed those who commit heinous acts of domestic terrorism to be charged with related crimes that don’t portray the full scope of their hateful actions,” McSally told Politico.

“That stops with my bill,” she added. “The bill I am introducing will give federal law enforcement the tools they have asked for so that they can punish criminals to the fullest extent of the law.”

McSally’s actions follow the FBI’s new warning about domestic terrorism threats after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

According to the bill, “violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence.”

The FBI defines domestic terror as acts of violence “perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”


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Acting Homeland Security Secretary Contradicts Tucker Carlson about White Supremacy ‘Hoax’

Kevin McAleenan on Fox and Friends.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan contradicted Fox News’ Tucker Carlson by saying “there is a rise” in white supremacy-fueled domestic terrorism.

Carlson, a conservative provocateur who often defends President Trump on controversial issues, has been pushing the narrative that an increase in white supremacy is a “hoax.”

When asked on Fox and Friends if domestic terrorism was really on the rise or if “it’s just being reported differently,” McAleenan responded, “I think there is a rise in the number of incidents.”

“The FBI director testified last month, about 850 domestic terrorism investigations ongoing, a number of those with racially motivated, violent extremest ideologies behind them,” McAleenan, a Trump appointee, said Wednesday.

McAleenan added that “we’ve got to get out in front of that, both on the prevention side and identifying individuals that are on a pathway to violence.” He said Homeland Security has been notifying schools and state and local officials about ways to identify potentially violent people before they act out.

“That’s what we have to do,” McAleenen said. “So there is a concern there is an increasing amount of violence in the targeted sense.”

Just three days after the mass shooting in El Paso, where the gunman wrote a manifesto about the “invasion of Hispanics” before killing 22 people, Carlson said white supremacy is “actually not a real problem in America.”

“It’s a hoax, just like the Russia hoax,” Carlson insisted. “It’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.”


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