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Archive for April 4th, 2017

Justice Department May Weaken Police Reform Agreements

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department plans to review reform agreements with troubled police forces nationwide to determine if the consent decrees will sacrifice the Trump administration’s goals of establishing law and order.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the agreements between local police forces and the DOJ’s civil rights division will be reviewed by his top two deputies, the Washington Post reports. 

“The Attorney General and the new leadership in the Department are actively developing strategies to support the thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country that seek to prevent crime and protect the public,” Justice officials said in a memo. “The Department is working to ensure that those initiatives effectively dovetail with robust enforcement of federal laws designed to preserve and protect civil rights.”

The move comes after the Justice Department asked a federal judge to postpone a hearing on police reform agreements with the Baltimore Police Department for up to 90 days.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh opposed the extension request, saying the consent decree was a helpful tool in reforming the police department, Reuters reports. 

“Much has been done to begin the process of building faith between the police department and the community it seeks to serve. Any interruption in moving forward may have the effect of eroding the trust that we are working hard to establish,” she said. 

The agreement was reached in January following the death two years previously of Freddie Gray, a black man killed while in police custody.

The Justice Department wants to determine whether the consent decree inhibits the enforcement of law and order.

“The Department has determined that permitting it more time to examine the consent decree proposed in this case in light of these initiatives will help ensure that the best result is achieved for the people of the City,” they wrote, asking for a hearing set for Thursday to be postponed until June.

Senate Committee Approves Rosenstein As Deputy Attorney General

Rod Rosenstein, candidate for deputy attorney general.

Rod Rosenstein, candidate for deputy attorney general.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The nomination of Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general was approved Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, setting the stage for a full Senate vote.

Senators voted 19-1 in favor of Rosenstein. If the full Senate approves the nomination, Rosenstein will take the No. 2 spot at the Justice Department, the Hill reports. 

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations into Russia’s interference in the presidential election, Rosenstein would be in control of the high-profile probe.

“He is on the American side, not on the Russian side, and I trust that he’ll hold true to that statement,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said.

Watch Ex-FBI Agent Explain How Russian Trolls Influenced Presidential Election

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian meddling in the U.S. election was about more than the hacking of DNC emails and covert communication with Donald Trump’s campaign team.

It’s also about Russian trolls who used social media to spread fake news and propaganda, according to former FBI special agent and national security expert Clint Watts, Vice News reports.

“If you looked at [Trump’s] Twitter feed this morning, he cited a Wikileaks release essentially which was conducted by the Russians to attack Hillary Clinton, yet again, even after the election,” Watts said during a live interview Monday with VICE News. “Russia stole information. [Trump] is still using it against his opponent, and he already won the election. So he’s giving Russia a victory even after the election, and they were already winning before.”

Homeland Security Employee Gets 18 Months in Prison After Bringing Gun to Work

courtroomA Homeland Security employee who brought a loaded gun to work was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday. 

Jonathan Leigh Wienke, 46, was convicted in December of making a firearm violation of the National Firearms Act by attaching a silencer to his pistol, NBC Washington reports. 

Wienke was found with a gun, knife, pepper spray, thermal imaging equipment and radio devices at his job at agency headquarters on Nebraska Avenue in northeast Washington D.C.

A search warrant of his home turned up 19 firearms and up to 50,000 rounds of ammunition.

An agent said in cour documents that there was “probable cause to believe Jonathan Wienke was conspiring with another to commit workplace violence, and more particularly may have been conspiring or planning to commit violence against the senior DHS officials in the building.”

ICE Agents Arrest 150+ Undocumented Immigrants in 12-Day Sting

ice-agentsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents arrested 153 undocumented immigrants and others throughout Texas during a 12-day operation that ended Friday.

The arrests were made in Austin, Waco, San Antonio, Laredo and Harlingen. Of those detained, 138 were men, and 15 were women, ICE said in a news release. 

Of those arrested, 137 had criminal histories that ranged from aggravated sexual assault of a child to drug possession.

The undocumented immigrants came from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Canada and El Salvador.

Here are five summaries of those arrested:

  • A 27- year-old woman from Mexico was arrested in Laredo March 20. She has a prior conviction for injury to a child with bodily injury. She was processed and removed to Mexico.
  • A 30-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Austin March 21. He has a prior conviction for delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine). The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting him for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
  • A 48-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Harlingen, Texas, March 24. He was convicted of intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting him for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
  • A 20-year-old man from Guatemala was arrested in San Antonio March 23. He was convicted of injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury. He remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.
  • A 46-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in San Antonio March 31. He was convicted of the following crimes: aggravated sexual assault of a child (first degree felony), 2 DUIs and assault. He is in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.

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