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Archive for December 10th, 2013

Feds: 18 Charged in Sweeping Case of Abuse in L.A. County Sheriff’s Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Eighteen current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are accused of misconduct and abusing inmates in county jails, the New York Times reports.

Feds charged the defendants Monday with excessive use of force and obstruction of justice at the nation’s largest county’s jail system.

The charges follow countless complaints from inmates who say they were mistreated behind bars.

To make matters worse, two lieutenants are accused of trying to hide an FBI informant by releasing him and then rebooking him under a different name, the Times reports.

“Certain behavior had become institutionalized, and a group of officers considered themselves to be above the law,” André Birotte Jr., the United States attorney for Los Angeles, said. “Instead of ensuring the law is defended, they are accused of taking steps to prevent that.”

 

FBI Began Experimenting with Drones in 1995, But Didn’t See Them As Viable Option

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Beginning in 1995, the FBI started experimenting with drones as a tool for video surveillance.

But according to the Verge, federal authorities didn’t initially believe the drones were viable options.

Now, the FBI appears to be building a drone program, according to the Verge.

Records obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics show that the FBI’s first “operational drone deployment” was in October 2006.

Since then, the FBI has slowly but steadily moved toward using drones.

FBI Agent Testifies About 2 Police Officers Using Deadly Force on Homeless Man

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI agent John Wilson didn’t have to see much.

“That would not be good proper police procedure,” Wilson testified after watching a surveillance tape of the deadly police encounter, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wilson provided expert testimony in the trial of two Fullerton police officers who are charged in the beating death of a mentally ill homeless man, Kelly Thomas.

The video showed the homeless man being struck on the head by an officer’s gun.

“Those strikes to the head would be in excess of what a reasonable officer in this position would use to gain control of the situation.”

Dec. 8, 1963: A Look Back at Infamous Kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Just days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a group of amateur criminals plotted to kidnap Frank Sinatra Jr. in hopes of landing a big ransom, the FBI posted.

Two 23-year-old former high school classmates from Los Angels kidnapped the son of the world’s most famous singer at the time. Sinatra Jr. was taken from a dressing room, blindfolded and taken to a car waiting outside.

On Dec. 11, the singer gave up $240,000 in ransom.

But one of the conspirators got nervous and let Sinatra go, leading to the arrest of the three men.

NAACP Urges Justice Department to Probe Miami Gardens Police Action

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The NAACP in Florida is asking the Justice Department to investigate an unusual number of arrests at a convenience store in Miami Gardens, CBS Miami reports.

Civil rights leaders are concerned about numerous arrests following police activity at the 207 Quickstop.

One employee, for example, was cited for trespassing more than 60 times despite working at the store, CBS Miami wrote.

“The citizens are outraged. So many complaints have been rolling in about how they’re being treated.We know there is a lot of crime in Miami Gardens. We are not  supporting criminals. This is not that point at all. This is about ensuring that those who are law-abiding citizens are not abused. Even if they are criminals, there is a way to deal with criminals,” said Adora Obi Nweze, president of the NAACP Florida State Conference.

An officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said police are stopping people only to meet quotas.

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