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Archive for June 8th, 2011

Justice Dept. Opens Civil Rights Probe into Portland Police Bureau

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is setting its sights on the Portland Police Bureau.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez at a press conference in Portland on Wednesday announced that the Justice Department had opened a wide sweeping civil rights investigation into use of excessive force in the police department.

“Recently, the Justice Department has conducted a preliminary review of the Portland Police Bureau,” Perez said in a statement.

“The Civil Rights Division, in partnership with U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton, has reviewed the facts and determined that allegations regarding excessive force, particularly recent incidents between the PPB and people with mental illness, warrant further review, under our civil pattern or practice authority,” he said.

“In the past 18 months, there was a significant increase in officer involved shootings, and the majority involved persons with mental health issues.”

To read more go to Portland station KATU

Blago Defense Rests: Moment of Truth Nears

Blagojevich in happier days

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Soon comes the moment of truth.

The defense in the retrial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich rested Wednesday, setting the stage for the case to go to the jury, possibly on Thursday,  WGN-TV reported.

Blago did not take the witness stand in the first trial, which resulted in a conviction on only 1 of 24 counts.

This time he spent a week on the stand. Time will tell if that helps or hurts.

The verdict in the first case was an embarrassment for the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who has long been regarded as a rock star among U.S. Attorneys.

FBI’s Mueller Said After “Some Reflection” He Agreed to Take on Extension

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After “some reflection” and consulting with family and people inside and outside the FBI, bureau Director Robert S. Mueller III said Wednesday he agreed with the White House proposal to stay on for two years.

Mueller appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering a bill that would extend his 10-year term two more years. His term currently is set to expire in September.

While there were some questions raised as to whether the extension could be constitutionally challenged, and therefore undermine the director’s effectiveness,  the reception was generally welcoming and complimentary.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) thanked  Mueller for his “tremendous service” and said it was no small fete that there had been no major terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)  said of  the proposed legislation to extend Mueller’s term:  “I assume it will pass.”

Leahy added that Mueller’s wife should be thanked, considering she doesn’t get enough credit for her support of the director.

Mueller said his wife appreciates and the “much deserved” acknowledgement.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) asked about criticism of agents in management who feel its unfair that Mueller is about to get an extension while they were not allowed to stay on in their current management post.

The policy that has so irritated agents surfaced after Sept. 11, 2001. It requires FBI supervisors to move on after seven years and compete for another managerial post, retire or get demoted at the same field office with a pay decrease.

Mueller said Wednesday it was difficult decision to implement the policy, and the agency lost some good people. But he said the move has helped develop a pool of good managers.

Mueller also testified that he planned to continue focusing on terrorism and cyber crimes along with other pressing issues like the violence and drug trafficking along the Southwest border.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Mueller before the President decided to extend Mueller’s term,  testified before the committee, calling  Mueller “one of the finest public servants this nation has ever seen.”

Comey said he supported the current 10-year term limit,  but said the potentially dangerous times call for an exception at this time, and he therefore supported the extension of Mueller’s tenure.


U.S. Park Police Officer Shoots and Wounds Armed Man


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Park Police officer shot and wounded an armed man early Tuesday morning in Southwest Washington, D.C.  at Hains Point, the Associated Press reported.

The Park Police said an officer was patrolling the park about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when he spotted a man in a car with a gun in his hand, AP reported.

The officer ordered the man to drop the gun, but he refused and the man was shot outside the car, AP reported. The man suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Column: Ex-Justice Dept Official Says It’s Time for FBI Dir. Mueller to Move On

William Yeomans served as Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Justice Department official. He is now a law professor at American University.

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

By WILLIAM YEOMANS
Politico

Robert Mueller has had a stunning record of success in transforming the FBI into a domestic surveillance and security agency. That success should disqualify him from service beyond the expiration of his term in September.

That’s right, you did not misread this.

Extending Mueller’s term beyond the 10-year limit imposed by Congress — as President Barack Obama now proposes — may serve to weaken an important, and still necessary, protection designed to prevent any director from accumulating the power that J. Edgar Hoover misused.

Equally important, Mueller’s continuing as director would delay evaluation of the FBI’s profound transformation since Sept. 11, 2001.

To read more click here.

Greek Police Arrest Teen Suspecting of Hacking FBI and Interpol Computers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hackers are everywhere.

CNN reports that Greek police on Wednesday announced the arrest of an Athens teen suspected of hacking into the electronic systems of the FBI and Interpol.

The 18-year-old also hacked into personal computers and stole data that he used to get credit cards, CNN reported. His name was not released.

A raid on the teen’s home turned up 120 credit cards and thousands of euros, CNN reported.

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