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Tag: racism

Black Secret Service Agent Claims He Was Detained, Held at Gunpoint Because of His Race

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A now-retired Secret Service agent can proceed with his lawsuit claiming two U.S. Park Police officers arrested and held him at gunpoint because he is black, a federal judge ruled.

Nathaniel Hicks alleges in the suit that he was in his Secret Service-issued vehicle on the shoulder of a Maryland highway waiting to join Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s motorcade when he was arrested by the Park Police officers in July 2015.

According to the suit, Park Police Officer Gerald L. Ferreyra approached Hicks’ vehicle, “drew his gun, pointed the weapons at Special Agent Hicks, and began screaming at him.”

Hicks said he explained what he was doing and showed his credentials to Ferreyra, who kept his gun pointed at the agent, whose car had a police antenna and a flashing bar.

The lawsuit alleges Ferreyra called for backup anyway, and Park Police Officer Brian Philips arrived. For more than an hour, according to the suit, the officers detained Hicks, and Ferreyra yelled and “spoke to him in a degrading manner.”

Meanwhile the motorcade passed, and one of the officers “mockingly waved his hand goodbye at the motorcade as it passed.”

After a supervisor arrived, Hicks was finally released but he was not able to reach the motorcade. According to the suit, Phillips then pulled over Hicks again and demanded his identification and car registration “despite just having had possession of these documents, and continued to talk to him in a demeaning and degrading tone with no possible justification.”

Hicks was eventually let go.

The officers, who dispute Hicks’ versions of events, asked a judge to dismiss the case against them, arguing immunity because they acted in a reasonably lawful way and did not violate Hicks’ rights.

Hicks’ attorneys disagree, saying the officers had “discriminatory motives,” partly based on their hostility toward Hicks.

“Based on upon the absence of probable cause, or even any reasonable suspicion to justify his prolonged seizure, it appears that Special Agent Hicks was singled out for unlawful treatment because of his race,” the complaint alleges.

In his deposition, Hicks described a tense encounter.

“When there is a gun pointed at you, regardless of what time it is, whether it’s night or day, you’re not going to forget that,” Hicks said. “In all my years of my position as a law enforcement officer, I never had that happen before.”

U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm declined to dismiss the suit this week, saying the officers did not have a good argument for failing to release Hicks before the motorcade arrived, NBC News reports.

“It is clearly established that detaining a person under these circumstances — when the officers had a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was underway but, after some investigation, became aware that no criminal activity was happening at the scene — is a violation of the individual’s Fourth Amendment rights,” Grimm wrote.

Hicks, who retired shortly after filing the suit, is suing for compensatory and punitive damages, saying he suffered “significant embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, and the deprivation of his constitutional rights.”

“In addition to the manner in which defendants spoke to and treated him, it was particularly humiliating to be held on the side of the road as his colleagues passed by. That he was subjected to unlawful treatment because of his race compounds his emotional distress,” Hicks’ lawsuit said.

FBI Handled More Domestic Terrorism Cases Than International Terrorism This Fiscal Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of domestic terrorism arrests have exceeded international terrorism arrests in the current fiscal year that began on Oct. 1.

Domestic cases were 66, compared to 63 international cases.

The trend has prompted the FBI to focus more of its attention on home-grown extremists, a senior FBI counterterrorism official told Reuters.

One recent attack in the U.S. involved a mass shooting that left 11 people dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Many of the attacks involve racially motivated and anti-government extremism, as well as attacks on abortion clinics.

The Internet has been a key source of radicalization in the U.S.

“Terrorism moves at the speed of the Internet,” the official said.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Assault Called Migrants ‘Subhuman,’ ‘Unworthy of Kindling for a Fire’

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent accused of striking a Guatemalan man with his government-issued vehicle in December 2017 and then lying about it blasted migrants as “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of kindling for a fire,” new court documents allege.

Prosectors are trying to show that the text messages from Agent Matthew Bowen, 39, show his “great disdain” for migrants, The Arizona Republic reports.

Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, also texted, “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!”

In another text message to Agent Lonnie Ray Swartz, who was acquitted of manslaughter charges last year after shooting through a border fence in Nogales in 2012, Bowen called rock throwers “mindless murdering savages.”

Bowen was indicted by a grand jury in May 2018, accused of depriving the Guatemalan man of his civil rights and falsifying records.

Bowen’s attorney Sean Chapman is trying to prevent a jury from seeing the texts. If the judge permits the jury to see the texts, Chapman wrote that he’d argue that such language is “commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency’s culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen’s mind-set.”

FBI Spied on Civil Rights Group Over Suspected ‘Conspiracy’ to Deny KKK of ‘Rights’

KKK, via Southern Poverty Law Center.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI investigated a popular civil rights group in 2016 because agents believed the left-wing group may have been involved in a “conspiracy” to deny the “rights” of the KKK and other white supremacists, according to records obtained by the Guardian.

The records indicate that the FBI launched a “domestic terrorism” investigation into By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) after one of its members were stabbed at a white supremacist rally in June 2016.

The FBI cast the KKK as victims and labeled the activists as “extremists,” downplaying the Klan as a group “that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda.”

The bureau considered BAMN a potential terrorism threat because of the group’s advocacy against “police brutality” and “rape and sexual assault.”

The FBI’s 46-page report ignored “100 years of Klan terrorism that has killed thousands of Americans and continues using violence right up to the present day,” said Mike German, a former FBI agent and far-right expert who examined the records for the Guardian. “This description of the KKK should be an embarrassment to FBI leadership.”

The report did not conclude that BAMN violated laws.

“It’s clear the FBI dropped the investigation having no evidence of wrongdoing. It never should have been opened in the first place,” Shanta Driver, BAMN’s national chair, said.

The FBI did not comment for the story.

FBI Investigating White Supremacists Who Attacked Black DJ at Tavern in Washington

Aryan Brotherhood tattoo via The Southern Poverty Law Center.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A black DJ was minding his own business at a Washington State tavern when a group of suspected white supremacists violently attacked him and shouted racial slurs.

Now the FBI is helping investigate what appears to be a vicious hate crime that occurred early Saturday in Lynnwood, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Police arrested seven men and woman after they say the group entered the Rec Room Bar and Grill and began stomping and beating the DJ. An Asian man who came to the DJ’s defense also was injured.

The DJ was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

“The violent behavior directed at members of our community over the weekend simply because of their race is disgusting,” Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said in a news release, the Associated Press reports. “The Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the FBI in hopes of getting the strongest sentencing possible for these hate crimes.” 

Court records indicate the suspects belong to the Aryan Brotherhood, a hate group with an ugly history of violence against African Americans.

Report: Homeland Security Office ‘Rife with Offensive and Racially Hostile Behavior’

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s office in Virginia is “rife with offensive and racially hostile behavior,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared.

Investigators discovered that a supervisor had called black and Latino employees “monkeys,” and one agent’s photo showed a black child in a fried-chicken bucket, according to a report obtained by The Virginian-Pilot

Somer black employees were subjected to race-based discrimination, the repot also found.

Homeland Security plans to appeal the report’s findings.

White S.C. Man Tried to Hire Hitman to Hang Black Neighbor, Burn Cross in Yard

Brandon Cory Lecroy

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A white South Carolina man wanted to hire someone to kill and hang his black neighbor and then place a “flaming cross” in his yard.

Little did he know, the man he tried to hire turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, according tot he U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Slate reports that Brandon Cory Lecroy, 25, was  charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and use of interstate commerce facilities int he commission of murder-for-hire.

Police said the Greenwood County man found the undercover agent through a white supremacist group and offered $500 for the murder.

Lecroy told the agent he wanted “hang his neighbor from a tree” and have a “burning cross” staked in the front yard. Authorities said Lecroy even advised the agent of the best time to murder his neighbor and offered money for future murders.

Lecroy, who was arrested after he provided a $100 down payment to murder his neighbor, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Comey Assails FBI’s Treatment of Martin Luther King But Ignores Racial Profiling Under His Leadership

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

When James Comey became the FBI director in 2013, he placed atop his desk a framed copy of the letter that authorized the surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. as a reminder of the bureau’s “shameful.” 

In his new book, Comey said he deeply admired the civil rights giant and criticized the FBI’s treatment of him as “a dark chapter in the Bureau’s history.” Comey required the bureau’s entire workforce to read King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” and created a curriculum for new agents to “remember how well-meaning folks lost their way.” New recruits were ordered to visit the King memorial and write an essay about one of their favorite quotes inscribed on the wall.

But what Comey doesn’t mention is the bureau’s “same racialized tactics and assumptions in his tenure as FBI director: broadly targeting the Muslim-American community, coercing informants, trafficking in racial profiling, surveilling Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock activists, and largely standing aside amid police violence and misconduct.”

The surveillance of the civl rights movement, which went far beyond King, wasn’t largely known until activists broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania and stole the records before leaking them to the media.

“To become targets of the FBI, it wasn’t necessary for African Americans to engage in violent behavior,” said Betty Medsger, the Post reporter who broke the initial story. “Being black was enough.” Agents were required “to investigate and, if possible, infiltrate every black student organization at two year and four year colleges.”