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Archive for March, 2014

Weekend Series on Crime: The Russian Mob

Investigators Report ‘Incredible New Lead’ in Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators believe they were searching the wrong area for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The New York Times reports that authorities have moved the search area nearly 700 miles to the northeast after further radar analysis.

Analysis of the radar shows the plane was traveling far faster than previously believed and therefore lost fuel sooner.

“This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia said in a statement on Friday morning, adding that 10 aircraft, six vessels and various satellites would focus on the new search area.

Investigators believe the plane sped up either to avoid detection or to try to find a place to land.

Justice Department to Train Law Enforcement How to Work with Transgender People

courtSteve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Transgender people are disproportionately harmed by violence – so much so that the Justice Department is training law enforcement how to handle them as crime victims.

The idea is to help identify hate crimes and build more trust with law enforcement, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said at a ceremony unveiling the program. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

Police have been criticized for their responsiveness to crimes against transgender people, according to the AP.

Amsterdam Residents Barely React to News of 3 U.S. Secret Service Agents Being Forced to Leave

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While new spread across the U.S. that three Secret Service agents were sent home from Amsterdam after one of them was found passed out drunk in a hallway.

But the Washington Post reports that hard-partying Amsterdam residents barely registered the news.

The newspapers weren’t interested either.

“These are young guys. It happens,” said one driver who had been contracted to help hundreds of Secret Service agents get around the Netherlands during the logistically complicated presidential trip. “You take them to a place like Amsterdam and they have a good time,” he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because his employer had not granted him permission to talk to the news media.

Report About Deadly FBI Shooting of Ibragim Todashev in Orlando Leaves Out Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A long-awaited report on the FBI shooting of Ibragim Todashev revealed a lot of information but not the identity of the FBI agent who shot the Chechen man seven times.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that agent has remained anonymous and wouldn’t participate in an independent investigation by the state’s attorney.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton said his concern is about the objectivity of the probe.

“It would have been better if the FBI had brought in local law enforcement as the investigative agency,” Ashton said in an interview this week with the Orlando Sentinel. “When you have an agency investigating itself, there is a natural tendency to assume they’re going to cover. And even if that’s not the case, it’s just better to have an independent investigation.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Secret Service Incident in Netherlands Was on Heels of Car Wreck during Obama’s Miami Trip

secret service photo

By Carol D. Leonnig, David Nakamura and Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Secret Service arrived in the Netherlands last weekend for a presidential trip, managers were already on high alert to avoid any further em­barrassing incidents involving agents.

The agency’s director had admonished supervisors after two counter-sniper officers suspected of drinking were involved in a March 7 car accident during a presidential visit to Miami, according to several people with knowledge of the incident. The driver passed a field sobriety test and was not arrested.

So in Amsterdam on Saturday night, Secret Service supervisor George Hartford had the Miami incident in mind when he issued a warning to a group of agents gathered for dinner: Go out if you want, but stay out of trouble.

By the next morning, Hartford was pounding on the hotel door of a 34-year-old junior agent who had passed out drunk in a hallway and later had to be lifted into his room by several hotel employees, according to a hotel spokesman and two other people familiar with the incident. The agent claimed to have no memory of the events.

To read full story click here. 

 

Report on FBI’s Shooting of Ibragim Todashev Draws Critics, More Questions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Not everyone is satisfied with how the FBI handled Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen man who had ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing shooters and was killed by an agent during an alleged confession.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that state prosecutor Jeffrey Ashton and others, including civil rights groups, have some qualms with the FBI’s handling of the affair.

Boston Herald columnist Peter Gelzinis said the 161-page report on Todashev’s death was a “whitewash,” adding, “Once again the FBI waltzes away from a mess. No harm, no foul.”

The account of Todashev’s death was finally released this week after a 10-month hold during which the FBI blocked access to the medical examiner’s report, CSM reported.

“The central question of whether the killing of Mr. Todashev was justified remains frustratingly unanswered,” Baylor Johnson, an American Civil Liberties Union spokesman, told NPR after the report was released Tuesday.

Congress Introduces Bill to Increase Oversight of Border Patrol Following Deadly Confrontations

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A bipartisan bill in Congress is aimed at addressing questions about the use of force by Border Patrol agents.

AZCentral.com reports that the bill is designed to increase oversight of CBP and the Border Patrol following widespread criticism of deadly confrontations with immigrants at the border.

But political experts said the bill may not find traction.

According to AZCentral, the bill would:

  • Create an independent border-oversight commission.
  • Establish an ombudsman’s office within the Department of Homeland Security to handle complaints about border and immigration issues.
  • Create a liaison office to improve relations with border communities.
  • Require significantly more transparency about the outcomes of investigations of deadly use-of-force incidents; and provide additional training and resources to officers, agents and supervisors.

Will it pass? Unlikely, says some political observers.

“The Republicans control the House, this is an anti-immigration crowd and a pro-enforcement crowd,” said Michael O’Neil, president of Tempe polling firm O’Neil Associates. “Secure the border first, that’s their answer to everything.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST