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Archive for April 20th, 2015

Bill Will Allow Retired Federal Agents to Carry Concealed Pistol in Restricted Zones

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

LANSING — On April 14th, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 53 that will correct an oversight in a law for retired federal law enforcement agents. The bill will take effect 90 days after the signing.

Michigan statutes regulating the licensing of individuals to carry a concealed pistol had designated certain places “gun free zones,” such as schools, places of worship, sports arenas, taverns, etc. Retired law enforcement officers with a concealed pistol license were exempt from the gun free zone restriction.

The problem: The statute had defined a retired LEO as an individual who was a police officer certified pursuant to Michigan law and retired in good standing from their agency. Consequently, under the statute retired federal LEOs by definition were not retired LEOs and were not exempt from the gun free zone restriction.

The amendment to the the statute (SB 53) signed by Gov. Snyder adds federal LEOs as defined retired LEOs. Now, retired federal agents will be exempt from the gun free zone restriction.

PHOTO ABOVE: 

Greg Stejskal, Detroit Chapter SFAFBI; William Hampstead, Pres. Mich. chapter FLEOA; Mark Holloway, retired Border Patrol; Gov. Rick Snyder; Sen Rick Jones, who introduced the bill and was formerly Sheriff Eaton County; Sandra McCormick, Senator Jones’ Chief of Staff; Bob Getschman, W. Mich. Chapter SFAFBI.

All of the above pictured with the governor were involved in helping shepherd the bill through the legislative process.

Elite FBI Forensic Unit Gave Bad Testimony in Cases Involving Hair Evidence

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Justice Department admitted for the first time that forensic unit for the bureau provided false testimony in nearly every trial that involved hair analysis, The Washington Post reports. 

All but two of the 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit “overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far” in a 20-year period before 2000, the Post wrote, citing the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocent Project, which are helping the government review sketchy forensic evidence.

Of those cases, 32 defendants were sentenced two death, and 14 have been executed or died in prison.

Whether the errors will force retrials is unknown. The government is alerting defendants in 46 states of the flaws.

The Washington Post wrote:

“The admissions mark a watershed in one of the country’s largest forensic scandals, highlighting the failure of the nation’s courts for decades to keep bogus scientific information from juries, legal analysts said. The question now, they said, is how state authorities and the courts will respond to findings that confirm long-suspected problems with subjective, pattern-based forensic techniques — like hair and bite-mark comparisons — that have contributed to wrongful convictions in more than one-quarter of 329 DNA-exoneration cases since 1989.”

FBI Arrests 6 in Minneapolis, San Diego in Connection with Terrorism Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI terrorism investigation netted six arrests in Minneapolis and San Diego on Sunday.

Information was murky early Monday, but a press conference later in the day is expected to shed light on the charges and allegations.

“There is no threat to public safety,” Ben Petok, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Andy Luger, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Among those arrested were members of Minneapolis’ sizable Somali population.

“The community is in a state of confusion,” Jamal said Sunday night. “They don’t know what is going on. … This is a very serious issue. We as a community are concerned about losing our kids to [ISIL].”

2 Border Patrol Agents Injured in Boat Collision Near U.S-Mexico Border

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Border Patrol agents were injured Sunday evening when their agency boat and another boat collided on the Rio Grande outside of Anzaldaus Park in Mission, Texas, KRGV reports. 

Both agents were taken to the hospital, one by air, one by ambulance.

“First is the agents’ safety. We want to make sure they’re okay. We want to make sure they have medical attention,” said Chris Cabrera, Border Patrol Union Vice President. Obviously we have some already in the hospital. We want to make sure any injuries that haven’t come up yet get attended to. The other thing is their mental well being….make sure they have somebody to talk to if  need be. Service is really good at making sure the agents have somebody to talk to. However sometimes the agents don’t want to let their guard down until they get around their peers so sometimes we talk to them and make sure they’re ok in that aspect.”

A Border Patrol spokesman said more information will become available Monday.

IG Looking at DEA’s Handling of Informant Payments

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is under examination for its handling of informant payments.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General probe comes as the DEA spends more money on informants.

The DEA spent $33 million last year on informants but has done a poor job in the past tracking the money, wrote The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

Anne Applebaum: What FBI Director James Comey Got Wrong about His Speech on the Holocaust

By Anne Applebaum
Washington Post

The Polish ambassador to Washington has protested, the Polish president has protested, the speaker of the Polish parliament (to whom I am married) has protested — and the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw has apologized profusely. Why? Because James Comey, the director of the FBI, in a speech that was reprinted in The Post arguing for more Holocaust education, demonstrated just how badly he needs it himself.

In two poorly worded sentences, he sounded to Polish readers as if he were repeating the World War II myth that most drives them crazy: Namely, that somehow, those who lived in occupied Eastern Europe shared full responsibility for a German policy. Comey put it like this:

“In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil. They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do.”

There are a number of problems with that pair of weak sentences, starting with the vast difference between Germany and the rest. During the war, Germany had a state policy of exterminating the Jews. This policy involved not “accomplices” but hundreds of bureaucrats, tens of thousands of soldiers, train schedules and plans. Germany also encouraged the creation of collaborationist governments in other countries – Vichy France, for example – some of which used their own police officers to send their Jewish citizens into the German death camps.

Germany also occupied Poland, but there was no Polish “Vichy.” During the war, there was no Polish state at all. Indeed, it was the absence of the Polish state that enabled the Germans to create a lawless, violent world, one in which anyone could be arbitrarily murdered, any Jew could be deported — and any Pole who helped a Jew could be shot instantly, along with his entire family. Many were. Millions of others died too – Polish intellectuals, priests and politicians were all Nazi targets.

In the course of the war, most of Poland’s infrastructure, industry and architecture were destroyed. In that atmosphere, many people were frightened by or indifferent to the fate of the Jews, and some murdered in order to avoid being murdered. But that doesn’t mean that “in their minds” they “didn’t do something evil.”

To read more click here.

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