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Archive for October 24th, 2011

TN ACLU Sues ICE for Warrantless Raid: Agent Allegedly Said “The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls”


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the heat of the moment, fed agents can say the darnest things.

The website Talking Points Memo reports that the Tennessee chapter of the ACLU is suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement over an alleged warrantless raid on an apartment complex in Nashville in which an agent allegedly shouted, “we don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE.”

Oh yes, he then allegedly added as he gestured to his crotch: “The warrant is coming out of my balls.”

TPM reported that the 37-page complaint was on behalf of fifteen plaintiffs. The raid was on the apartment complex that was suspected of housing illegal immigrants.

The raid in question took place on October 20, 2010 in Nashville. TPM reports that ICE agents kicked in the door of several apartments in a complex “without a warrant, held the tenants at gunpoint, shouted racial slurs and made several arrests.”

UPDATE: 6:28 p.m. Monday: In response to an inquiry from ticklethewire.com, ICE Monday issued a statement saying:

“While ICE does not comment on pending litigation, ICE agents and officers are held to the highest standards of conduct. They treat individuals encountered during law enforcement operations with respect and professionalism, according to standard law enforcement operating procedures. Any allegations of misconduct are investigated and if wrong-doing is found, appropriate action is taken.

“In this case from Oct. 2010, ICE’s Fugitive Operations Team was on-site assisting local law enforcement with field interviews of suspected street gang members and targeted ICE fugitives. ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes our efforts on individuals that pose the greatest threat to public safety.”

To read more click here.

 

FBI Director Mueller’s Nostalgic Moment

ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO — This same time last year, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was feeling a little nostalgic when he spoke in Orlando before the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference. It was like a final victory lap, the last speech as director  before the group.

But in a move that caught almost everyone by surprise, the White House earlier this year asked him to stay on two more years beyond his 10-year term. After some consultation, Mueller, now 67, obliged and Congress confirmed his stay.

On Monday, here in downtown Chicago, that twist in the road was not lost as he spoke before a crowd  at the IACP in a cavernous auditorium at the McCormick Place convention center.

“I will admit to feeling a bit nostalgic last year, believing it was my final meeting with you. I fully intended to finish my term last month,” he said before the crowd and some Washington-based notables, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. and Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones.

“I will say when the President asked whether I would be willing to continue as FBI Director for another two years, I sought advice from many people, because I believe a leader is often the last to know when it is time to go.

‘Three considerations persuaded me to extend my term. First, it would be hard, at any time, to leave the FBI family, and indeed, the larger law enforcement family. I am lucky to work with such talented and dedicated people.

“Second, as each of you knows, there is nothing more rewarding than public service.”

“Lastly, we in the FBI do have unfinished business. We must continue to improve our technology, expand our intelligence capabilities, and adapt to meet new challenges. I did not want to miss the opportunity to be part of that.”

Mueller went on to talk about the changes at the FBI since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, organized crime and the ever-looming threat of terrorism.

“Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, and other key leaders are no longer in the picture.  Nonetheless, al Qaeda remains the top terrorist threat.”

 

Atty Gen. Holder Says 12,000 Cops to be Laid Off This Year

ticklethewire.com

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO —   Times are tough.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder brought that point home Monday morning as he spoke to a large audience at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago about the state of law enforcement in the country as departments face  budget cuts.

Holder said nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies will be laid off by the end of this year.

“Of course – as cities, states, and counties confront once-in-a-century financial constraints – this has never been more difficult,” said Holder.  “Across the country, mayors, sheriffs, and chiefs have been asked – not only to do more with less – but also to make painful budgetary cuts.

Holder, citing a recent economic outlook report conducted by the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Strategies (COPS), said nationwide that law enforcement agencies have almost 30,000 unfilled vacancies–the first-ever national decrease in law enforcement positions.

These challenges are not insurmountable, he continued.

“Block by block, city by city, department by department, the Administration is determined – and I am determined – to help build capacity, to enable our law enforcement partners to make the most of precious resources, and to encourage their most promising and effective public safety efforts,” he said.

Holder also noted that last month COPS Director Bernard Melekian announced more than $240 million in grants, which will support the hiring and retention of more than a thousand officers across the nation.

FBI Investigates Japanese Bankers’ Big Pay-Off

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com
 
Who knew an advisory roll could pay out so well? 

Hajime Sagawa and Akio Nakagawa, two Japanese bankers, spent their career moving from firm to firm on Wall Street, reports the New York Times. Then, when advising the Japanese company Olympus–largely successful in medical equipment but better known as a camera maker–on their takeover of a British company, the two bankers were paid $687 million.

“But the fee amount was more than 30 times the norm on Wall Street,” reports the Times. And now the FBI is investigating.

“This is about following the money,” Jonathan R. Macey, a professor of corporate law and governance at Yale, told the Times. “It’s very unusual and raises a classic red flag, pointing to either a waste of company assets or corruption.”

The payment went in part to “a tiny, unknown firm,” says the Times, run by the two bankers, and the rest to a Caymen Islands company with ties to one of the two men. Both firms closed up shop shortly after the payments were made.

The focus of the investigation is not yet clear, and spokespeople for the FBI declined the Times requests for comment.

To read more click here.

Gangs Expanding and Some Activity Now Includes Mortgage Fraud and Human Trafficking


fbi art

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Gangs across the U.S. are continuing to expand, with some even moving into white collar crimes like mortgage fraud and counterfeiting, alien smuggling and human trafficking, according to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment released by the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC), the FBI said.

“Gangs continue to expand, evolve, and become more violent. The FBI, along with its federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, strives to disrupt and prevent their criminal activities and seek justice for innocent victims of their crimes,” Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division said in a statement.

The gang report revealed that approximately 1.4 million gang members belonging to more than 33,000 gangs were criminally active in the U.S. as of April, 2011.

The report said gangs have been encouraging members, associates, and relatives to obtain law enforcement, judiciary, or legal employment  to gather information on rival gangs and law enforcement operations.

The report said gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat.

Gang members who learn advanced weaponry and combat techniques in the military are at risk of employing these skills on the street when they return to their communities, the report said.

The report said that gang membership increased most significantly in the Northeast and Southeast regions, although the West and Great Lakes regions boast the highest number of gang members. Neighborhood-based gangs, hybrid gang members, and national-level gangs such as the Sureños are rapidly expanding in many jurisdictions. Many communities are also experiencing an increase in ethnic-based gangs such as African, Asian, Caribbean, and Eurasian gangs.

 

FBI Reports that 56 Law Enforcement Officers Were “Feloniously Killed” in 2010; Up From Previous Year

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fifty-six law enforcement officers in 22 states and Puerto Rico were “feloniously killed” in 2010, up from 48 the year before, the FBI reported.

The annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report released Monday also showed more than 53,000 officers were assaulted in 2010.

An FBI press release summed up some of the shootings this way.

Two West Memphis Police Department officers were killed during a traffic stop when a 16-year-old passenger exited the vehicle and opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle.

A Chicago Police Department officer at the end of his shift was removing his gear near his car in the department’s parking lot when a man ambushed the 43-year-old officer and shot him with his own weapon.

A 62-year-old deputy sheriff in Mississippi was shot and killed by an uncooperative suspect while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

“Only when detectives, use-of-force investigators, supervisors and administrators examine the various components of the deadly mix will a greater understanding of these encounters emerge,” FBI researchers wrote in a study called Violent Encounters, an in-depth look at years of fatal altercations like those in today’s report.

The 2010 report also shows 72 officers were accidently killed in the line of duty, almost all of them involving vehicles.

All but one of the officers killed in a crime were shot. On was killed when a suspected used a car, the FBI said.

A further breakdown shows 15 were ambushed, 14 were in arrest situations, seven were performing traffic stops, and six were answering disturbance calls.

One in three officer assaults occurred while responding to disturbance calls, the FBI reported, and 14.7 percent occurred while officers were attempting arrests.

The average age of officers killed feloniously was 38.

 

FBI Accused of “Industrial Scale Racial Profiling”

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com
 
New documents have been obtained by the ACLU which Salon.com said over the weekend point to the FBI’s use of “industrial scale racial profiling.” The documents are related to an FBI program that used demographic information to map ethnic and racial communities and the criminal activities related to each group, according to Salon and the ACLU.

Large parts of the documents the ACLU obtained through public records requests are redacted, leaving much unknown about the mapping project and how it is used by the FBI. The agency maintains the information is used to “better understand the communities that are potential victims of the threats,” according to the FBI.

Salon.com spoke with Michael German, policy counsel at the ACLU’s Washington office and a former FBI agent, about the program. Documents from 2010, German told Salon, “showed the FBI was engaged in a program called “domain management,” which included mapping and gathering intelligence on racial and ethnic communities.”

The ACLU then filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests.

“Clearly they have been engaging in crass racial stereotyping of minority groups are linked to certain types of crime, and then using Census information to map entire communities based on their race or ethnicity,” said German.

The ACLU is calling the program unconstitutional, violating the First, Fourth and 14th amendments, said German.

In response the FBI issued a statement saying:

“The FBI joins the ACLU in opposing racial or ethnic discrimination. The AG Guidelines and the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) clearly prohibit the predication of investigative activity solely on the exercise of First Amendment rights, including freedom of religion, or on race or ethnicity. The FBI does not investigate individuals, groups, or communities based on ethnicity or race.”

“Certain terrorist and criminal groups target particular ethnic and geographic communities for victimization and/or recruitment purposes. This reality must be taken into account when determining if there are threats to the United States.”

Read more »

FBI Steps in After Chicago Police Clear One of Their Own in Shooting of Unarmed Man

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO — The FBI has decided to step in after the Chicago police department cleared a cop who fatally shot an unarmed suspect seven times, NBC Chicago reported.

Officer Gildardo Sierra fired at Flint Farmer in June and then fired some more after Farmer was already shot and lying on his stomach, the station reported. Those extra shots hit him in the back, the station reported.

The station reported that the cop fired 16 times in all, hitting Farmer seven times.

The department ruled the shooting justified homicide, the station reported. Sierra has said he feared for his life and thought Farmer had a gun.

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