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Tag: mental disabilities

Congress Slams ATF Director Over Blundered Undercover Storefront Operations

US Attorney B. Todd Jones

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF Director B. Todd Jones’ first appearance before Congress wasn’t a pleasant one.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that congressional members from both sides slammed Jones over the agency’s blunders in undercover storefront operations.

Some of the problems included using people with mental disabilities to promote undercover operations.

Jones defended the agency, saying it didn’t knowingly target people with mental disabilities.

“You don’t think that your agents, dealing with a man with an IQ in the 50s, knew he was mentally disabled?” asked U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), who used to teach children with disabilities, said people with low IQs are easy to recognize.

“Anyone with any life experience can ask simple questions,” he said. “I was surrounded by these kids. They are some of the best, nicest people who try their best and just want to please. I am appalled you would use these individuals like this and arrest them later.”

Responded Jones: “Hindsight is 20/20.”

ATF Officials Defend Use of People with Mental Disabilities in Storefront Stings Nationwide

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Top ATF officials said they did nothing wrong by using people with mental disabilities in storefront stings nationwide, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The comments came during a meeting with The Arc, a disability rights group, that was outraged by the discovery that ATF agents used rogue tactics to conduct storefront stings.

The people with disabilities were often used to promote the operations and then arrested, the Journal Sentinel found last week.

ATF officials said they used “common sense” and acknowledged it was difficult determine who has mental disabilities.

“When we pointed out that perhaps everybody would be in a better position if they had training to recognize the characteristics or red flags that they are dealing with someone with a diminished capacity, they simply agreed that it would be worthwhile and appropriate, that ‘common sense’ could be more well-informed,” Peter Berns, head of The Arc, told the Journal Sentinel.

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