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Tag: Chicago

Teen Charged in Chicago with Stealing FBI-Issued SUV That Contained Guns, Tactical Gear

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with stealing an FBI-issued SUV after an agent left the vehicle running at a gas station in Chicago early Monday.

When the white 2014 Chevrolet Equinox was stolen from a gas station on the Near West Side at 1 a.m., the SUV contained several firearms and tactical gear, including a bulletproof vest.

The teen was charged as a juvenile with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, aggravated battery to a government employee and vehicular hijacking, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Later Monday, police tracked down the SUV after it received a parking ticket parked less than a half-mile away from the FBI Chicago Field Office.

A tow truck removed the SUV, and some of the stolen gear was found in another vehicle earlier in the day.

Police arrested the teen about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.

FBI Agent Carjacked in Chicago; Thief Takes Off with Guns Inside

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who left his car running at a gas station on Chicago’s west side was carjacked early Monday morning.

The stolen white Chevy Equinox contained several guns, including an M4, Glock 27 and a Glock 22, according to ABS Eyewitness News.

Authorities are hoping surveillance cameras at the Shell Gas Station near Morgan Street and Jackson Boulevard captured the carjacking, which happened around 1 a.m.

It’s unclear why the agent left the car running, especially since there were multiple guns inside.

Police are investigating and declined to provide more details early Monday morning.

One of FBI’s Top Most Wanted Expected to Arrive in Chicago on Numerous Charges

Fidel Urbina, via FBI

Fidel Urbina, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and local police had been looking for Fidel Urbina since 1998, when he is accused of bludgeoning a 22-year-old woman while he was on bond on charges of kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting a different woman in Chicago.

Urbina was placed on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list in June 2012, prompting Mexican authorities to arrest him in September in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, The Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

Urbina is expected to arrive in Chicago on Tuesday after the extradition process is complete.

He is charged with sexually assaulting both women and murdering Gabriella Torres.

“Many family members have waited a long time for this day to come and they deserve the opportunity to face the accused in a court of law,” Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office, said following the arrest.

Judge Fatally Shot Outside Chicago Home; FBI Offers $25,000 Reward

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for the information leading to the arrest of the gunman who shot and killed a judge outside his Chicago home.

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles, 66, was fatally shot while heading to the gym, police told Fox News. 

A 53-year-old woman who was with the judge was shot in the leg and expected to survive. Police believe the woman was the judge’s girlfriend.

According to the woman, she was shot by a man holding a gun near the garage of Myles’ home. When Myles heard the gunshot, he went outside and exchanged words with the gunman, who shot the judge several times.

Authorities believe the motive may have been robbery.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, Myles also “may have been targeted for one reason or another.”

New ATF Chief in Chicago Focuses on Fighting Gun Violence

Celinez Nunez, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Chicago office.

Celinez Nunez, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Chicago office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Celinez Nunez may have one of the more challenging law-enforcement positions in the nation.

The 41-year-old woman recently was named the special agent in charge of the ATF’s Chicago office at a time when the city is struggling to curtail a rising number of murders, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

In 2016, more than 760 people were killed, marking the highest murder rate in Chicago in decades. 

President Trump has claimed Chicago has done an inadequate job handling murders. According to sources, dozens of ATF agents are likely to be added to the ATF office to fight gun violence.

Nunez said she plans to meet with the acting U.S. attorney to discuss how to increase prosecutions of murderers.

“I am going to look at the cases my agents are putting together, too, to make sure they’re meeting the requirements of the U.S. attorney’s office,” she said. “I will make sure my agents are working solid cases so that when they take it to the U.S. attorney’s office for prosecution, they should not be turned down.”

Other Stories of Interest

In the Age of Social Media, The Legal Duty to Report Crime

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Over the weekend NBC News and other media reported a story of the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in Chicago by a group of juvenile boys. The painful media “angle” of the report was that the offenders had broadcast the brutal assault to 40 Facebook viewers, none of whom had reported the crime to police.

The Chicago Police Chief stated that he was uncertain whether any of the viewers would be charged criminally. He said that he was “disgusted” by their inaction and added, “Where are we going in society?”

The incident follows another one in Chicago in which 4 people taunted and beat a mentally disabled man and broadcast the crime, also by Facebook.

The most recent Chicago case occurred 53 years, almost to the day, after the notorious rape and murder of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese in March 1964, while observers saw and heard the brutal stabbing and her cries for help. A sensationalized New York Times article, two weeks after the murder, reported that 38 people had watched the murder and did nothing about it.

The article shocked readers across the country and came to represent a widespread “truth” about apathy in the big cities, the breakdown of the values of the 1950s, and the social anxieties of the years which followed.

Many of us became familiar with the Genovese case in our Psych 101 and Sociology textbooks in college, under the title “Bystander Effect” or “Bystander Syndrome,” as the supposed tendency of large groups of people who witness crimes to refuse either to come to the aid of the victim or to call the police. Dozens of movies, TV shows, books, and songs decried the “Bad Samaritan” tendency of people who predominated in modern life.

The problem with the story and its widespread consequences was that most of the reported “facts” were not true. Fifty years later studies showed that the events had been grossly exaggerated and inaccurate in many respects, especially the overstated number of  witnesses (actually probably 5 or 6, some of whom did call the police and try to help the victim). Only one man indicated that he had seen and heard  the assault and “did not want to get involved.”

Ironically the case did have some positive effects, the most obvious of which was the creation of the 911 police emergency system. And there have been other developments, good and bad, which have resulted from the popular reaction to the Genovese case.

But the media and police reports about failure of witnesses to come forward and assist in investigations have continued regularly. Which raises the question, what are the legal implications of the failure of a witness to report a crime?

It’s Misprison

The deliberate concealment of a person’s knowledge of a crime by a non-participant is called misprision. It was first recognized as a common law misdemeanor in 16th Century England and over the centuries it spread to the colonies.

Eventually statutes defining misprision replaced the common law. In the federal criminal code misprision is in 18 USC Sec. 4 (Whoever with knowledge of the commission of a felony conceals it and does not as soon as possible make it known to a person of authority is punishable by a potential $250,000 fine and a maximum of 3 years in prison.)

However, the general principle is that there is no legal duty to report crimes. Mere silence does not constitute criminal concealment. Misprision requires as elements a knowing and an affirmative act of concealment of the crime.

Although misprision has been a crime in the U.S. since 1789, it continues to be misunderstood and rarely employed by prosecutors. It is often confused with the crimes of acting as an accessory after the fact and obstruction of justice, each of which focuses on giving aid to a criminal.

Commonwealth v. Lopes (Mass. 1945) illustrates some of the difficulty with the statute as well as its legal distinctions with other offenses. There the defendant failed to report the discovery of a child’s body because to do so would expose his having an affair. The conviction was reversed because the defendant’s intent was to protect his exposure from a crime (adultery) not to conceal the discovered crime. But compare the case with US v. Baumgartner (6th Cir.2014)(misprision conviction upheld where a Tennessee judge lied to prosecutors and another judge to protect one of his former criminal defendants with whom he was having an affair and receiving drugs).

There are important exceptions to the general rule that failure to report a crime (without an act of concealment) is not a crime. These have been enacted by the states in particular situations. A few states (like Texas), for example, penalize the failure to report an offense resulting in a serious injury or death. Also there are “mandatory reporters,” such as parents, teachers, doctors and ministers, who are required to report certain crimes. Vets are required in some states to report animal abuse, and photo processers must report child pornography photos or videos. Some states make it criminal for a nurse or nursing home staff not to report abuse of the elderly or disabled. Additionally, there are “mandatory reporting crimes,” the most common of which is the failure to report child abuse.

Because even these exceptions are rarely prosecuted, few courts have tested their limits. What if the witness has a recognized legal privilege not to reveal a confidence? What if reporting could have 5th Amendment implications?

What if a judge, prosecutor, or federal agent receives information of a crime in another jurisdiction by a cooperating witness? Is he or she bound to disclose the information to the appropriate authorities in view of 28 USC Sec. 1361’s compulsion for officers of the US to perform their legal duty?

As the Bystander Syndrome encounters the social media obsession in the 21st Century, the duty to report crimes to law enforcement will continue to be more of an ethical and moral issue, as well as an important public policy subject.

Rap songs and t-shirts with inscriptions like “Snitches Get Stitches” will continue to challenge law enforcement’s need for pubic cooperation in order for officers and agents to protect and serve. The use of statutes like misprision will accomplish little to satisfy this need.

 

Parker: The Legal Duty to Report Crimes in the Age of Social Media

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.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Over the weekend NBC News and other media reported a story of the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in Chicago by a group of juvenile boys. The painful media “angle” of the report was that the offenders had broadcast the brutal assault to 40 Facebook viewers, none of whom had reported the crime to police.

The Chicago Police Chief stated that he was uncertain whether any of the viewers would be charged criminally. He said that he was “disgusted” by their inaction and added, “Where are we going in society?”

The incident follows another one in Chicago in which 4 people taunted and beat a mentally disabled man and broadcast the crime, also by Facebook.

The most recent Chicago case occurred 53 years, almost to the day, after the notorious rape and murder of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese in March 1964, while observers saw and heard the brutal stabbing and her cries for help. A sensationalized New York Times article, two weeks after the murder, reported that 38 people had watched the murder and did nothing about it.

The article shocked readers across the country and came to represent a widespread “truth” about apathy in the big cities, the breakdown of the values of the 1950s, and the social anxieties of the years which followed.

Many of us became familiar with the Genovese case in our Psych 101 and Sociology textbooks in college, under the title “Bystander Effect” or “Bystander Syndrome,” as the supposed tendency of large groups of people who witness crimes to refuse either to come to the aid of the victim or to call the police. Dozens of movies, TV shows, books, and songs decried the “Bad Samaritan” tendency of people who predominated in modern life.

The problem with the story and its widespread consequences was that most of the reported “facts” were not true. Fifty years later studies showed that the events had been grossly exaggerated and inaccurate in many respects, especially the overstated number of  witnesses (actually probably 5 or 6, some of whom did call the police and try to help the victim). Only one man indicated that he had seen and heard  the assault and “did not want to get involved.”

Read more »

Judge Refuses FBI Request to Force Potential Targets to Give Fingerprints to Unlock iPhones

fingerprint-smaller-version

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The battle over privacy and devices continues.

This time it’s taking place in Chicago.

A federal judge in Chicago has rejected a request by the FBI to force potential targets to provide fingerprints to unlock any iPhones or Apple devices in child pornography case, Jason Meisner and Steve Schmadeke of the Chicago Tribune report.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Weisman decision came in response to a request for a warrant to search a residence where investigators suspect someone was using the internet to traffic images of child pornography, the Trib reports. 

The Trib reports:

The prosecution filing seeking the search warrant on the FBI’s behalf remains under seal, but the judge’s opinion said the government requested “the authority to compel any individual who is present at the subject premises at the time of the search” to provide a fingerprint or thumbprint needed to unlock an Apple device.

Weisman, a former federal prosecutor and FBI agent, wrote in his 14-page opinion last month that the government hadn’t presented enough facts in its application that would justify such sweeping “intrusions,” including any specific information about those who might be living at the residence or their connection to the child pornography investigation.