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ICE Detains 26 Undocumented Immigrants As They Reported for Community Service

ice-agentsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 25 offenders who were reporting for community service Sunday morning in Fort Worth, Texas, were detained by ICE agents over undocumented immigration statuses.

The community service program is designed for people on probation.

ICE agents detained 26 offenders who are accused of being undocumented, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports

According to David McClelland, chief of staff for Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, the undocumented immigrants had convictions of high-level misdemeanors and low-level felonies.

ICE declined to give details.

“ICE officers are conducting ongoing immigration enforcement operations in North Texas. No further details are available until the conclusion of this operation,” Carl Rusnok, ICE spokesman for the Dallas region, said in an emailed statement. “ICE routinely conducts immigration enforcement operations locally and nationwide which help improve overall public safety by removing criminal aliens from our communities, and ultimately from our country.

The offenders were escorted into a bus.

Other Stories of Interest


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Parker: Police Officer Liability in Shootings Argued Before Gorsuch’s Arrival

Judge Neil Gorsuch

Judge Neil Gorsuch

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The muddied area of the law in civil actions against police officers involved in a shooting is one where Justice Neil Gorsuch’s participation and vote could make a difference, most likely in favor of protecting the officers. The Supreme Court heard argument last week in County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, a Section 1983 action against the county and two LA Sheriff’s Deputies.

It is an old legal adage that bad facts make bad law. From a law enforcement perspective, the case presents that kind of context.

First the present atmosphere surrounding police shootings, particularly of minority members, particularly where a rule or policy violation is present,  is very unforgiving of split second decisions by police officers in the heat of situations reasonably perceived to be dangerous.  See The War on Cops by Heather Mac Donald. One publication has described the case as involving the question if the police can “troll you and then shoot you.”

Second the atmosphere was especially stacked where the victim was, after the fact, found to be an innocent who suffered serious injuries.

The deputies were seeking a parole violator in 2010 when they knocked and announced their identity at a house in Los Angeles and then entered and searched it. In violation of the 4th Amendment, they lacked either an arrest or search warrant. Finding no one, two of them were sent to check a dilapidated shack in the backyard behind the house. Without announcing their identity or purpose, they opened the door with guns drawn. Not knowing who they were, Mendez picked up a BB gun he used to kill rats but did not point it at the officers. The deputies opened fire with 15 shots wounding Mendez and his pregnant girlfriend. Mendez later had to have his leg amputated because of his injuries.

The “Provocation” Rule

At the conclusion of the federal bench trial, the judge sustained liability and awarded the plantiffs $4 million in damages. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judgment under the alternative theories that the officers had provoked the threatening situation and that their constitutional violation, under the circumstances, was the proximate cause of the excessive force causing the injuries.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

The “provocation” rule is opposed by law enforcement because it ignores principles of qualified immunity and focuses on events prior to the reasonableness of the officers’ action at the time of the shooting. Such a rule would, they argue, encourage police to hesitate and thus result in increased danger to both them and the subjects. The legal analysis has been widely discredited by other appellate courts.

Plaintiffs argue that it is unfair to shield officers from liability for unreasonably dangerous situations which they created or contributed to by their own actions.

The wide gap in views on what legal principles and analysis should be employed by the parties and lower courts was reflected by the apparent attitudes by the 8 Justices during oral argument last week. Even the fundamentals of the law in this area are confusingly uncertain.

The case could very well end up in a 4-4 tie between the Justices who support a finding that an unconstitutional entry satisfied proximate cause for the injury (likely Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsburg)  and those who could discern no proximate cause between any constitutional violation and the result (likely Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy). A tie would uphold the 9th Circuit’s affirmance of liability and damages. Of course predicting individual votes in a murky area of the law is a perilous course taken only by the most stalwart of columnists (who have nothing to lose).

Ominously the 13 Amicus Curiae briefs are split almost equally divided in their support of the two sides of the case.

Almost Justice Gorsuch’s disciplined and conservative approach could bring clarity in this area. Of course it is likely to be a clarity very unhelpful to the victims of police shootings.


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Dennis Kucinich: FBI Director Must Recuse Himself from Russia Investigation

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Fox News

FBI Director James Comey should recuse himself from all further investigations into the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath.

Here’s why:

On Oct. 28, Comey announced the discovery of new Clinton emails, creating a media firestorm that tilted the election toward Donald Trump.

This week, testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirmed a report leaked to the media last summer that the FBI was investigating allegations of a connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Comey could have shared his concerns about both campaigns before the November election, and let the public decide. He did not.

If it was appropriate to withhold information about an investigation into the Trump campaign in July, he should have applied that same logic to the Clinton campaign in October. Hillary Clinton, charged not with a crime but by innuendo, paid the price at the polls. She was convicted in the court of public opinion.

Comey’s announcement this week that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government made national and world headlines and rocked the White House.

But why now? Why not eight months ago? Has new, substantive information been brought forward? Was there even a real investigation in July? Or did an insider leak a story to the FBI back then for political purposes?

Someone on the House or Senate Judiciary Committee should ask for the FBI agents’ time sheets over the past eight months to see if the Bureau was actually investigating, or whether this is another case of abuse of process — using an alleged investigation to smear a candidate.

To read more click here. 

 


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Poll: Public Largely Supports FBI Investigation into Russian Interference of Election

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The public is largely supportive of the FBI investigation into the possible links between Donald Trump’s campaign team and the Russian government.

The Huffington Post/YouGov poll found that Americans support an investigation by a 17-point margin, 48% to 31%.

The poll also found that about half of Americans believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election, but only about a third believe the intent was to help Trump win.

Opinions on the investigation are largely determined by whom voters supported in the presidential election. More than 80% of Clinton supporters believe the Russia story is a legitimate issue, while Trump voters disagree, 65% to 22%.


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CNN Analyst: Michael Flynn May Be Cooperating with FBI’s Probe of Russia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser who resigned after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his relations with Russia, may be talking with the FBI, a CNN national security analyst believes.

Citing sources, Juliette Kayyem said “Mike Flynn is the one who may have a deal with the FBI.”

He added, “That’s why we have not heard from him for some time.”

But Kayyem later walked back some of her claims, writing on Facebook, “I did not say on this segment that I have any confirmation that he is actually cooperating or that I have talked to anyone who does.”

Kayyem said her sources “are increasingly wondering” whether Flynn is cooperating with the FBI investigation into Russian interference during the presidential election.


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Will a New FBI Headquarters Ever Be Built? Congress Faces Spending Deadline

Current FBI headquarters

Current FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If you’re wondering whether the FBI’s new headquarters will ever be built, you could be forgiven.

For years, federal officials have been planning to build a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia. But every year passes without funding.

Now Congress is scrambling to secure more than a billion dollars by next month to proceed with the project, the Baltimore Sun reports. 

“A vague, three-sentence statement released this month by the agency overseeing the $2 billion development — as well as silence from President Donald Trump, a former real estate developer — has shifted the discussion from whether the headquarters will be built in Maryland or Virginia to whether its progress will be delayed indefinitely,” the Baltimore Sun wrote.

To keep the project going, Congress must secure $1.4 billion for the building by April 28, when current spending authority expires.


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Weekend Series on Crime: Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover Criticize the Supreme Court


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FBI Aware of Threats Against Hawaii Judge Who Blocked Trump’s Travel Ban

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal judge in Hawaii who ruled against Donald Trump’s travel ban has been receiving threatening messages, the FBI said Thursday.

The FBI said it’s prepared to help after being made aware of the threats against U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, CBS News reports. 

“The U.S. Marshals service will do a critical risk assessment, look at the threat, make an analysis, and determine the level of protection needed,” Former federal agent Tommy Aiu said.

Watson blocked the enforcement of the ban on new visas from six predominately Muslim countries. The judge also blocked the suspension of the nation’s refugee program.

The judge said Trump was unable to demonstrate that the eight countries are a danger to the U.S. and that they amount to a ban on Muslims.


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