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Tag: Mississippi

Acting CBP Commissioner Says ICE Raids in Mississippi Weren’t ‘Raids’

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan insisted Sunday that the arrests of about 680 people during raids at Mississippi workplaces last week were not “raids.”

“I think words matter. These aren’t raids. These are targeted law enforcement operations,” Morgan said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” disputing the definition of a raid.

“In this case, this was a joint criminal investigation with ICE and the Department of Justice targeting work site enforcement, meaning companies that knowingly and willfully hire illegal aliens so that, in most cases, they can pay them reduced wages, exploit them further for their bottom line,” Morgan said Sunday. “That’s what this investigation was about — a criminal investigation.”

ICE Raids in Mississippi Were Largest Single-State Sweep in U.S. History

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

ICE arrested about 680 people during raids of seven food processing plants across Mississippi on Wednesday in what officials described as the largest single-state sweep in U.S. history.

The raids were the result of an ongoing, year-long investigation targeting immigrants working without authorization, ICE said in a news release.

During the raids, more than 600 ICE agents were involved, fanning out to prevent workers from escaping.

“While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that, first and foremost, we are a nation of laws,” U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi told NBC News. “They have to come here legally or they shouldn’t come here at all.”

Most of those arrested were Latinos.

Retired FBI Special Agent to Lead Mississippi Department

Christopher Freeze

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze has been appointed head the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

“I am confident Christopher Freeze will do a great job leading MDHS,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement. “His intellect and leadership experience as a Special Agent in Charge at the FBI makes him an excellent fit to guide the agency during this period of transition. I am grateful he has accepted this appointment.”

Freeze, a 23-year veteran of the FBI, retired earlier this year as special agent in charge of the Jackson Division, which he led since November 2016.

Freeze held leadership positions in the Houston and Counterterrorism divisions and worked extensively in intelligence. A firearms instructor, Freeze served as a member of the SWAT and Evidence Response Teams.

In his new position, Freeze will lead an agency responsible for providing services ranging from public assistant and social services to support for children and low-income people.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Executive Director of this important agency,” Freeze said. “MDHS touches the lives of so many families within Mississippi and my goal is to help the great employees at MDHS continue to provide vital and life-changing services to Mississippi’s children and families in need.”

Justice Department Reopens the Racist 1955 Murder of Emmett Till

Emmett Till

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has reopened the racist killing of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old from Chicago who was visiting family in Mississippi in 1955, NPR reports.

The department says it has received “new information” in the case but did not provide specifics.

A new book on the killing, The Blood of Emmett Till, combined archival research with new interviews, provided hope for Till’s family.

Two white men were acquitted by an all-white jury, but the men later confessed that they killed Till.

Activists: Reopen Case of Emmett Till After Witness Lied About What Happened

Emmett Till

Emmett Till

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil rights activists and others are calling for the federal government to reopen its investigation of the killing of Emmett Till, a black teenager who was killed in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman.

The renewed interest in the case comes after Carolyn Bryant, who accused Till of grabbing her and asking her for a date, said she was not physically assaulted by the 14-year-old. The revelation came in a book, “The Blood of Emmett Till.”

“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” the author Timothy Tyson quoted her as saying.

On Monday, activists rallied outside the Mississippi Capitol, calling for justice for the teen, whose killers were found not guilty by an all-white jury. They later admitted they killed Till.

Activists believe Donham should be charged.

“We just don’t want a conviction,” community activist Duvalier Malone said. “We want an apology.”

What remains unclear is what Donham could be charged with.

FBI Investigates Fire at Black Church Where ‘Vote Trump’ Tagged on Side

2000px-washington_county_mississippi_incorporated_and_unincorporated_areas_greenville_highlighted-svgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a fire that tore through a black church in Mississippi that was scrawled with the message, “Vote Trump,” in silver spray paint.

The bureau’s civil rights investigation is in coordination with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.

The suspicious fire Tuesday night caused heavy damage to the 200-member Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, the New York Times reports. 

Mayor Errick Simmons described the fire and graffiti as a “heinous, hateful, cowardly act.”

“We consider it a hate crime … because of the political message which we believe was intended to interfere with worship and intimidate voters,” Simmons said. “This act is a direct assault on people’s right to freely worship.”

The FBI said it’s working with all levels of law enforcement.

“The FBI Jackson Division is aware of the situation in Greenville, and we are working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to determine if any civil rights crimes were committed,” state FBI spokesman Brett Carr said in an email.

FBI’s Fabled Behavioral Analysis Unit to Investigate Hanging Death of Black Man

Otis Byrd

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI will use its Behavioral Analysis Unit to investigate the hanging death of Mississippi man Otis Byrd, the USA Today reports.

The unit  “focuses specifically on criminal human behavior in an attempt to better understand criminals — who they are, how they think, why they do what they do — as a means to help solve crimes,” according to FBI.gov.

The hope is that the unit will help determine whether Byrd, 54, committed suicide or was murdered.

He was found hanging from a tree by a bed sheet near his last known residence last week.

FBI to Investigate Hanging Death of Black Man in Mississippi

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping investigate the hanging death of a 54-year-old black man in Mississippi.

Local police in the small central Mississippi town of Port Gibson requested the bureau’s help to determine whether Otis Byrd was murdered or committed suicide.

Byrd was last seen on March 2 and was found Thursday hanging from a tree in the woods.

“We want to make sure it was not a racial hate crime,” Derrick Johnson, head of the state chapter of the NAACP, told the Los Angeles Times. “We cannot stand by in 2015 and watch a lynching, if in fact that’s what happened.”

The focus Thursday was on combing the scene for evidence.

“We seen a man who had a bedsheet tied around his neck,” Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas told CNN.