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Archive for March, 2013

Thief Surrenders Following High-Profile FBI-Involved Shooting in Chicago

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

William Tapes, who fled authorities for three days after an FBI agent apparently opened fire on him in Chicago, has surrendered, CBS 2 Chicago reports.

“I was scared, you know, for my life. That’s why I hid,” Tapes told CBS 2 on Thursday. “I just got tired.”

According to Tapes, he was stealing hubcaps in a parking lot when two people approached him. He said he panicked and took off in a car before one of the agents apparently opened fire on this car, striking Tapes in the wrist and seriously injuring a passenger, CBS 2 reported. His car crashed into another vehicle, injuring two people.

Charges could be filed against Tapes today, CBS 2 reported.

“I just panicked and blacked out,” Tapes said.

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The Gun Issue: If Dead Kids Doesn’t Do it, What Will?

 

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s nauseating to say the least to see how spineless our Washington lawmakers are, how fearful they are when it comes to standing up to the NRA and the people who insist that universal background checks are too intrusive and assault weapons are necessary to own.

The Newtown shootings should have been enough to give lawmakers the backbone to stand up.

No, the Gabby Giffords shootings should have been enough.

No, the Aurora movie theater shootings should have been enough.

No, the Virginia Tech shootings should have been enough.

No, the Columbine shootings should have been enough.

You get the point, nothing, not dead high school kids, not dead elementary school kids, not a dead federal judge, nothing will move some of our lawmakers.

Granted, banning assault rifles at this point won’t instantly remove them from circulation. But we have to start somewhere, and banning assault rifles will eventually make them much harder to get. And the universal background checks, well, that’s another no brainer.  Currently, about 40% of guns purchased from places other than licensed gun dealer (like collectors and guns shows) do not require background checks. That would change under a new proposal in Washington that is under intense debate.

I’m afraid we’re missing the window of opportunity to enact some tougher gun laws. No, I’m not advocating taking away guns.   But we need change.  Now. Not after 10 more tragedies involving unstable people. 

In most societies, the senseless, mass deaths of kids is enough to make politicians respond.

Apparently, not in this society.

Which really really worries me.

If dead children doesn’t do it, what will?

Experts Say Too Many High-Level Justice Department Jobs Are Vacant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Experts are worried about numerous vacancies in the criminal and national security divisions of the Justice Department, Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post reports.

“There is no question that the vacancies always have an effect,” Robert Raben, an assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration, said. “Senior leadership matters in policymaking, responsiveness to Congress and making cases.”

The Washington Post wrote that high-level positions for appointees and department heads create a security threat, according to former Justice Department officials.

But Max Stier, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, said those kinds of positions often take time to be filled during the beginning of a president’s second term.

“It’s critical to have these positions filled,” Stier said. “It’s very difficult even when there are capable acting or career people in those jobs because the organization just doesn’t operate in the same way.”

Can FBI Tap Into Cell Phones without a Warrant? Arguments Begin in Federal Court Today

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s use of cell-phone tracking technology will go on trial this afternoon.

At issue is stingray devices, which use legitimate cell towers to connect to mobile devices, CNET reports.

Civil libertarians argue the devices violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to reasonable privacy and want to impose limits on them, in the same way that challenges forced restrictions on warrantless use of thermal imaging devices, CNET wrote.

Federal authorities say stingray devices are a useful tool in cracking crimes.

Columnists Offer Alternatives to Immigrant Detention That Include Private-Sector Supervision

By Julie Myers Wood and Steve J. Martin
Washington Times

Congress held two hearings this month to examine the government’s decision to release more than 2,000 immigrants from detention for budgetary reasons. The good news is that committee members of both parties used these hearings to focus on the core issue: our flawed immigration-detention system.

The government’s purpose in detaining immigrants is not to punish them, but to ensure that they show up for hearings and comply with removal orders. In many cases, though, detention is not the best way to achieve these goals. Alternatives to detention are both routine and effective. They’re employed every day, not just in the immigration system, but in the criminal justice systems of all 50 states and the federal government. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be wise to re-examine how it uses alternatives in order to best fulfill its mission.

Read more by visiting the Washington Times.

Recent Addition to 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List Surrenders in Colorado to Face Murder Charge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Less than two weeks after being added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias voluntarily returned from El Salvador to Colorado to be charged with first-degree murder, USA Today reports.

Rivera Gracias, who surrendered after the FBI announced a $100,000 reward, was wanted for the Colorado slaying of Richard Limon, 69, who had been stabbed to death.

According to an affidavit, Limon was the father of Rivera Gracias’ girlfriend and had molested her when she was younger, USA Today wrote.

“This outcome provides assurance for victims and prosecutors throughout the United States that those who commit egregious crimes will be pursued around the globe,” Steve Olson, FBI Denver acting special agent in charge, said

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Meet the New Secret Service Director Julia A. Pierson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

 It created a buzz in D.C. before the announcement.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his intention to name Julia A. Pierson as the 23rd Director of the U.S. Secret Service and the first woman to head the agency.

The following is a press release that was posted on the Secret Service website:

President Barack Obama has announced his intention to name Julia A. Pierson as the 23rd Director of the United States Secret Service.

Julia Pierson is a career law enforcement executive with more than 30 years of experience with the United States Secret Service. Ms. Pierson’s extensive knowledge of agency stems from her leadership of high impact initiatives in both aspects of its core mission of protection and investigations along with her skills in strategic planning, risk management, human capital management, program management and budget development and execution. Over the past year, Ms. Pierson led the organization’s efforts to enhance professionalism throughout the workforce by representing the Secret Service on a working group of senior level executives. Since assuming the role of Chief of Staff in 2008, her responsibilities included overseeing the Secret Service’s complex information technology and business process modernization efforts.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Pierson served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Human Resources and Training (HRT). In that position, Ms. Pierson was responsible for overseeing all human resource and training programs for the Secret Service. Ms. Pierson oversaw organizational policy development and strategic management of the agency’s Workforce Planning Programs, Personnel Division, Security Clearance Division and the James J. Rowley Training Center basic and operational training programs.

Ms. Pierson also served as Deputy Assistant Director in the Office of Protective Operations, where she was responsible for daily security operations, workforce readiness and strategic planning to support the Presidential and Vice Presidential Protective Divisions, Dignitary Protective Division, as well as National Special Security Events and Presidential Campaign activities. Beyond her operational experience, Ms. Pierson served as the Deputy Assistant Director in the Office of Administration, where she oversaw the agency’s budget and all administrative operations including strategic planning, budgeting, finance, procurement, and property management activities.

Ms. Pierson served as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Tampa Field Office and was responsible for directing Secret Service investigative and protective activities in western Florida. Ms. Pierson established an Electronic Crimes Task Force to investigate cyber crimes in the Tampa Bay area.

Ms. Pierson is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and has completed graduate course studies in public policy at The George Washington University. She has been a member of the federal Senior Executive Service (SES) since 2003 and was the recipient of an SES Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 2008. A long time proponent of law enforcement officers and their families, Ms. Pierson has been actively involved in supporting the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). A native of Orlando, Florida, Ms. Pierson began her career in the Secret Service as a special agent assigned to the Miami and Orlando field offices. Prior to joining the Secret Service, Ms. Pierson served as a police officer in Orlando, Florida.