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Archive for August 8th, 2017

Chicago Tribune: Trump Must Abandon ‘Immigration Stunt’ Against Sanctuary Cities

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel took Chicago’s legitimate defense of the sanctuary city concept to court Monday, challenging the Trump administration’s effort to compel Chicago cops to cooperate with the feds on immigration investigations.

This fight has been building since President Donald Trump took office, issuing intemperate warnings of “bad hombres” and drawing excitable connections that do not exist between immigrant populations and crime problems in Chicago and elsewhere.

We’d like to think that the sooner the sanctuary city sideshow is cast aside by the courts, the sooner Congress might take up the substantive issue of immigration reform, which would bring millions of people out of the shadows. But we’re not in the business of handicapping the courts, or Congress. All we can do is hope logic prevails, and the Trump administration is forced to abandon this immigration stunt because it’s not a recipe for making Chicago safer.

The city’s lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, challenges the Justice Department‘s attempt to, in effect, deputize the Chicago Police Department as part-time U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants police to identify and hold onto anyone they come across who appears to be in the country without permission, until ICE can investigate. When we say Sessions “wants” Chicago’s help, actually he’d be requiring cooperation in exchange for financial assistance. Unless the city agrees, the Justice Department says it will withhold federal grant money that can be used for a broad array of local crime prevention programs.

That money comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, a longstanding federal initiative created by Congress to support law enforcement. Chicago has used annual Byrne money for things like new police vehicles and community policing outreach. This year the city plans to apply for $3.2 million, but the Trump administration has changed the rules. To get the money, the Justice Department will now require the city to share information on the immigration status of arrestees and hold those people for 48 hours to give immigration officials a chance to intervene. As part of the new arrangement, the feds would be given unlimited access to local police stations and other law enforcement facilities for interrogation.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Files Suit Over Bureau for Allegedly Violating His Free Speech Rights

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who was suspended after he alerted a judge to alleged prosecutorial misconduct by the New Orleans U.S. attorney’s office, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the bureau and several superiors.

Special Agent Mike Zummer claims in the federal lawsuit that he was disciplined after sending a letter to U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt over the agent investigation of a former Louisiana district attorney accused of trading sex for leniency in more than a dozen cases, WWL-TV reports

Zummer was suspended Sept. 30, 2016, without pay after he said he spoke out about the DOJ’s failure to full prosecute former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel.

Zummer expressed disgust when the judge was only sentenced to three years in prison last year as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors on charges of obstructing a federal investigation.

In a ruling last year, the judge said Zummer raised “legitimate concerns” about the Justice Department’s leniency within its ranks.

Judge: FBI’s Investigation of Child Pornography Unconstitutional, But Refused to Dismiss Evidence

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s controversial investigation into a “dark web” child pornography network was unconstitutional, Minnesota’s chief federal judge ruled Monday.

But U.S. District Judge John Tunheim declined to toss evidence that was used to prosecute a man from Coleraine, Minn., the Star Tribune reports

The judge rejected a magistrate judge’s recommendation to throw out evidence, including statements made by suspect Terry Lee Carlson.

Carlson was among more than 900 people arrested as part of the investigation into Playpen, a “dark web” network that provided child pornography to 150,000 users.

The Star Tribune wrote:

Tunheim’s decision mirrored numerous other federal court rulings in concluding that agents unconstitutionally exceeded the scope of a Virginia search warrant. The FBI deployed a “network investigative technique (NIT),” described by some as a form of malware, to gather IP addresses and other information on users of the porn website, which formed the backbone of federal criminal cases like Carlson’s and those of at least three other Minnesotans.

But, citing a Supreme Court precedent, Tunheim wrote that because the FBI “acted in good faith and generally followed proper procedures in requesting and executing the warrant,” evidence gathered against Carlson can stand.

The FBI arrested the operator of Playpen in 2015 and seized the website’s server. But it kept a copy of the website running while deploying its NIT to target hundreds of users around the country based on a search warrant signed by a Virginia magistrate judge.

FBI Arrests Seattle-Area Couple Accused of Plotting to Drug, Rape And Record Children

Michael Kellar, 54, and Gail Lynn Burnworth, 50.

Michael Kellar, 54, and Gail Lynn Burnworth, 50.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has arrested a Seattle-area couple accused of planning to drug, rape and record children.

Federal prosecutors allege Michael Kellar, 54, and Gail Lynn Burnworth, 50, conspired to produce child pornography by recording the molestation of two young girls, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports

The couple was arrested after a passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight saw an explicit text message exchange about the plot.

In one text, Kellar allegedly wrote to Burnworth: “You can do this or are you just saying this???”

Burnworth responded: “No I think I can do it if I don’t have parents over my shoulder or worried about who’s going to walk in on me.”

When investigators confronted Kellar, he claimed he was “engaged in fantasy.”

Video: Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Saves Child from Churning River

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent rescued a girl trapped by churning water in a river in Texas.

Agent Adan Sanchez junked into the top of a dam on the Comal River in New Braunfels and save the stranger, News 4 San Antonio reports. 

“She could have drowned. She was going under. I think her feet were sideways, and she was just rolling and rolling,” Sanchez said.

The agent clutched onto the girl and rescued her from the strong current.

“Kind of hoping somebody would have done it if my child was drowning as well. So, I don’t know. I just reacted. I just did it. I don’t know why. I just did it,” he said.

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