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Tag: Detroit

ICE Detains Dozens of Chaldeans in Metro Detroit, Leading to Standoff with Protesters

ice-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ICE agents arrested dozens of Chaldeans in metro Detroit on Sunday, leading to a standoff with protesters.

Witnesses and immigration advocates said roughly 40 Chaldeans Christians, most of whom have a criminal record, were detained.

If they are sent back to Iraq, it “is like a death sentence,” Martin Manna, an Iraqi-American Christian advocate who is president of the Chaldean Community Foundation based in Sterling Heights, told the Detroit Free Press.  

On Sunday night, dozens of protesters briefly blocked the bus where the detainees were placed.

Metro Detroit is home to the second largest Chaldean population in the U.S.

ICE declined to comment on specifics of the arrests.

“ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending removable aliens,” spokesman Khaalid Walls said in a statement Sunday evening.

“The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis.”

About 50 Undocumented Immigrants Detained in Detroit During Alleged Cockfighting

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Federal authorities busted an alleged cockfighting and gambling ring in southwest Detroit over the weekend, detaining about 50 undocumented immigrants.

ICE agents and law enforcement from local and state agencies executed a search warrant at 1 p.m. Saturday at an abandoned building where authorities said they found about 85 people and 100 chickens, Motor City Muckraker reports. 

ICE agents said the raid was the culmination of a months-long investigation.

About 85 people were in the building, and only one was charged criminally.

The largest concentration of Hispanic immigrants live in southwest Detroit.

Border Patrol Rescues Man Who Tried to Jump from Bridge in Detroit

The McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

The McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent rescued a man who attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the icy Detroit River from the McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

The agent was patrolling when they saw what appeared to be a couple in need of help, WWJ reports. 

The agent saw the man push his wife aside before trying to climb the railing of the bridge.

The Border Patrol agent quickly grabbed the man, preventing him from jumping.

The man was pulled to safety.

“The courage of the men and women of the law enforcement profession was evident in every aspect of protecting our community Monday,” said Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison, in statement. “The keen eye of the off duty Park Ranger noticing something out of place and quick response by the Border Patrol made for the best possible outcome in this situation.”

Other Stories of Interest

Fed Judge in Detroit Compared Illegal Immigrants to Insects

 

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — The language from the federal bench in Detroit was stark and unsettling.

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland compared illegal immigrants to an insect and menacing Japanese beetles in 2013 while sentencing a 21-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico. A couple years later, a fellow judge called that analogy disturbing.

“One little attractive iridescent emerald beetle from Japan is not really any threat at all,” Judge Cleland said. “But when it multiplies and hundreds of millions of its offspring or relatives emerge and devastate the ash tree population in the continental United States and elsewhere, it’s a serious problem.

“So the one very attractive little insect is nothing more than interesting, but it’s an example of a very large problem.  And I think that’s what I have here.”

The colorful remarks, contained in a transcript recently obtained by Deadline Detroit, seem germane at a time when immigration is a hot-button issue and more criminal cases are likely to end up before federal judges like Cleland, who continues to serve on the bench.

“It’s very offensive and racist,” comments Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington, who was contacted by Deadline. “I feel anyone coming before him would not get a fair hearing because of that racist mentality.”

Judge Cleland, appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, declined comment.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Arrests Volkswagen Executive Over Diesel Emissions Scandal

Oliver Schmidt

Oliver Schmidt

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Volkswagen executive has been arrested by the FBI on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. over diesel emissions, the New York Times reports

Oliver Schmidt is expected to be arraigned on Monday in Miami. The case is out of Detroit.

Schmidt, who led the automaker’s regulatory compliance office in the U.S. from 2014 to March 2015, is accused of fabricating data that suggested excess emissions were caused by technical problems, not cheating.

A Volkswagen spokeswoman said the automaker “continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice” but that “it would not be appropriate to comment on any ongoing investigations or to discuss personnel matters.”

CNN Political Commentator Says She Was Subjected to ‘Vaginal Pat Down’ at Detroit Airport

Detroit Metro Airport, via Wikipedia

Detroit Metro Airport, via Wikipedia

CNN political commentator Angela Rye said she was subjected to an invasive “vaginal pat down” at Detroit Metro Airport.

Rye, who wrote about the experience in an op-ed on CNN’s website, said she was told she was randomly chosen for additional screening, despite having a TSA Precheck status and is a CLEAR traveler. 

After being told that a female TSA agent would do “a backhanded pat around the upper thigh,” the search went beyond that, she wrote:

The pat-down began and was uneventful until she went down my leg, up my dress, and her hand sideways hits me right in the crack of my labia. Startled, I jump and feel a lump in my throat trying to hold back tears. What happened to the back handed pat-down?

She comes around to the front; I grow nervous and pull back a bit, afraid of the same thing happening ― and her sideways hand hits in the middle of my genitals again. I can no longer hold back the tears. 

Rye said she was told she would be escorted from the airport if she didn’t agree to the pat-down.

“Of course, we want America to be safe and protected,” Rye wrote. “But we should not violate the emotional and physical safety of our nation’s citizens at the same time.”

Book Excerpt: An Ex-Detroit Police Officer Writes About Racism and the Racial Divide on the Police Force

Mike Cowling served in the Detroit Police Department from 1972-90 and worked uniform patrol, a felony plainclothes car and 16 years as an undercover narcotics officer. The white former officer writes in his new book, “Force Divided,” about the racial divide in the department and racism he saw among white and black officers.

“Yes, the ugly force of racism is alive and well in the Detroit Police Department, and it exists on both sides,” he writes under the pen name David Stealth. Here’s the first chapter from the 368-page book, available here in hard cover, paperback or e-book.

By Mike Cowling                                                  

As I gazed at the clock, I thought. Why did I even set the alarm? I have not slept a wink all night. How could I sleep on the eve before the day I was to become part of a great fraternity, a brotherhood with approximately five thousand members. Today was the day I would become a Detroit police officer just as my father before me, a man I admired for his ethics and the fact that he was an honest lawman who loved enforcing the law.

Featured_screen_shot_2016-11-21_at_9.39.38_pm_23952

After a quick shower and a cup of coffee, I put on my newly purchased rookie uniform, which fit like a glove, if I must say so myself; I attributed my excellent physical condition to being a recently discharged Army veteran, standing at six feet and tilting the scale at approximately two hundred pounds. My sandy brown hair complimented the tan uniform; I certainly looked like a cop, my objective was now to become one.

I arrived at 1300 Beaubien (Detroit Police Headquarters) at 6:30 a.m., an hour- and- a- half early. I sure didn’t want to be late my first morning, the day I would be sworn in as one of “Detroit’s Finest.”

As I stared at this large historical, gray, multi-story building, that had obviously been built at the turn of the century, given its stately architecture along with the fabulous sculpturing in the mortar. I felt as though this grand old lady was demanding respect from all who gazed upon her including the moon that shined brightly overhead.

My stomach was in knots; the dream I had held since childhood was only a short time away from becoming true. Oh God, I thought. Please don’t let anything happen to prevent me from becoming commissioned. Just then the ringing of bells came from a distance. As I turned towards the sound a man exited a small greasy spoon that was located kitty-corner from Police Headquarters. Great, I thought, because I sure could use another cup of coffee.

The bell hanging on the door rang once again as I entered the little eatery causing the patrons to turn and look in my direction. Immediately, I observed a short chubby man dressed in the unmistakable tan student patrolman uniform, which all police rookies are required to wear during their 16 weeks in the Police Academy.

As our eyes met, we both smiled, realizing each was most likely a member of the new Police Academy class. I walked over and introduced myself, “Hi, my name is Dave Stealth; you look like a new guy, too,” extending my hand. He said, “I’m Bill, Bill Stephan” grabbing my hand and shaking it  eagerly. “Are you also being sworn in this morning?” “Yes, I guess will be classmates,” I replied. Little did I know, I had just shaken the hand of one of our class’s future fatalities.

At the end of the counter was a slightly older black officer in uniform. He was apparently deep in thought, which would explain why he ignored us, two of his new brothers in blue, oh well. We ordered breakfast; I don’t believe my food ever touched my teeth because I nervously ate so quickly. The only thing on my mind was that in less than an hour I was going to finally be sworn in as a Detroit cop!

As Bill and I entered Police Headquarters with spirits high, we observed what seemed like hundreds of officers of all ranks, detectives in plainclothes with guns and badges attached to their belts as well as those in full uniform. Some were beginning their tour of duty while others who appeared fatigued, from working the graveyard shift were obviously going home. Strangely enough, just as the black officer in the restaurant had, these officers were ignoring us as if we were apparitions. Did we exist? I didn’t expect a party; however, a simple hello or a casual nod of recognition would have been nice!

Suddenly, I realized Bill was no longer involved in our conversation or at my side. As I turned I found him silently looking at a wall that was littered with photos of Detroit officers who had given their lives in the line of duty, the Wall of Honor. There was something eerie yet holy about the shrine and I’m sure we both were sharing the same thoughts. How were they killed and would one of us experience the same fate?

It was now 7:45 a.m. as we entered the gym. Many of our fellow colleagues were now beginning to arrive, all displaying enthusiasm, and a little arrogance, on their faces. The gym quickly began filling up with tan uniforms, all awaiting our first orders or instructions. As introductions were being made between classmates, I could sense the bonding of our group taking place, even before we were officially sworn in as law enforcement officers.

Brothers in Blue

At 8:00a.m., all 28 members of Class 72 L, one of the smallest classes in the last two years, were present and awaiting the arrival of our training officers, who obviously were late. As I looked around, I noticed two distinct groups forming, one black group and the other white. Thoughts of my three years in the army came to mind where racial tension was blatant and occasionally violent. Surely the police department would be different; after all we are all brothers in blue who will be depending upon each other daily in the fi ght against our common enemy: crime.

Just then a voice from the rear shouted “Front and center people, all you wannabe’s shut up and fall into formation, now!” Our training officers, one sergeant and two patrol- men had arrived. They weren’t quite what I imagined. I had thought they would be a reflection of Sergeant Johnson, my D.I. (Drill Instructor) in the army, well built with the eyes of a shark. But these guys were your everyday Joe’s, with average builds and rather pleasant faces. The only thing outstanding about them was their police uniforms and pistols hanging from their sides.

“All right people. My name is Sergeant Mustaff and these are Officers German and Glowski. For the next sixteen weeks, we will have the misfortune of being your parents. It is our job to weed out the boys and those who just don’t have the right stuff. God only knows we don’t need any more incompetent or bad cops out there! We will teach you to respond as a team and you will learn to act as one! Now listen up for your name to be called and respond with, Here sir, student patrolmen and your last name, is that understood?” The class responded simultaneously, “Sir, yes sir!” We had an enthusiastic class, most cadets had been recently discharged from the military service, so PT (physical training) was not considered a challenge. Those of us who were physically fit would be able to assist any classmates who were having a difficult time, because we would never leave one of our own behind, a mindset we had been taught in the military.

As the weeks passed, our class began to form a strong brotherhood. We were operating as a team where color was not an issue and all were becoming more confident with each passing day. This was just how I had imagined the brotherhood to be. As well as everything was going, what could possibly go wrong?

Read more »

ICE Special Agent Charged in Alleged Pay-to-Stay Immigration Scheme

ICE Special Agent Clifton Divers.

ICE Special Agent Clifton Divers.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — An Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent is accused of a pay-to-stay immigration scheme.

Clifton L. Divers, 48, of Detroit, has been charged with bribery, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, the Detroit News reports.

Divers, who also is a local attorney, is accused of providing deferrals of deportation and other immigration benefits for non-citizens in exchange for free legal services and more than $5,000.

Divers has been charged with conspiring to impair, obstruct and defeat the lawful function of Homeland Security by dishonest means. In addition, he has been charged with destruction and falsification of records to obstruction an official investigation by the Office of Inspector General of Homeland Security.

Divers is accused of committing the crimes between 2009 and 2015.

If convicted, he faces between five and 20 years behind bars.