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Tag: shootings

FBI Says Cop Killings Are ‘the New Norm,’ Inspired by Black Lives Matter

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An internal FBI investigation concluded that the media, Black Lives Matter and politicians are to blame for the spike on attacks on police.

“Law enforcement officials believe that defiance and hostility displayed by assailants toward law enforcement appears to be the new norm,” said the internal report stamped “For Official Use Only,” The Washington Examiner reports.

On Tuesday, two Chicago cops were injured in “targeted” shootings.

The four-page report traces the spike in shootings of police back to Ferguson, where the death of Michael Brown sparked protests nationwide.

In at least a quarter of the 53 shootings that killed 60 police in 2016, the FBI found that the gunmen were targeting police to kill them. 

LA Times: Border Patrol Must Continue Accountability, Use of Force Improvements

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

Over the past three years, the Obama administration has struggled to change a culture of violence and impunity within the U.S. Border Patrol — a culture that has tolerated excessive force against suspected border crossers, including unnecessary lethal shootings. To its credit, the government has forced some improvements in both transparency and accountability, as well as reductions in the use of force, under Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, though the agency continues to face dogged problems with bribery and other underhanded actions by some of the agents.

Whether the Border Patrol will continue to improve under the Trump administration is an open question. Kerlikowske is retiring and President-elect Donald Trump has not yet nominated a successor. Mark Morgan took over as chief of the Border Patrol, answering to Kerlikowske, in October, the first outsider to be put in charge of the agency. A former assistant director of the FBI and military veteran, Morgan was brought in to the Border Patrol two years ago to revamp its troubled internal affairs department. His appointment as chief signals the seriousness with which the Obama administration is trying to force changes by challenging the institutional culture.

But Morgan will now be working for Trump, whose harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric during the campaign is well known and who has vowed to take dramatic steps (such as building an enormous wall along the Mexican border) to keep immigrants from entering the country without authorization. Despite getting little support from organized labor generally, Trump received a rare early endorsement in the primaries from the union representing border patrol agents, which has been critical of the Obama administration’s reform efforts and has accused it of seeking to “demoralize Border Patrol agents” and to “dismantle immigration enforcement.” In accepting the union’s endorsement, Trump didn’t emphasize the reforms that need to be made, but merely vowed to provide the agency with “the resources, tools and support they need to protect the United States and stop the influx of drugs, gangs and cartel violence.” Given that, there is reason to fear backsliding.

To read more click here. 

FBI Prepared to Help Chicago Combat Surge in Murders

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is prepared to help Chicago deal with the outbreak of violence in 2016, and President-elect Donald Trump said he’s prepared to listen.

Sources told Fox News that the FBI wants to help the Windy City after 3,550 people were shot and 762 murdered in 2016. 

Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Trump transition team, said the president-elect is worried about the gun violence.

“Obviously I think the President-elect would be willing to listen to anything that can be done to make sure that Americans are kept safe and if the FBI has ideas about how to do that – he would definitely be all ears to do that,” Spicer said.

In a Tweet on Monday, Trump suggested he may bring in federal help if Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel can’t solve the problem on his own.

“Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!” Trump tweeted.

Still, Chicago is not expected to have the highest murder rate in the country. Preliminary records show Detroit and Baltimore had more shootings and murders per capita.

Border Patrol Agents Cleared of Wrongdoing After 4 Shootings

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials have concluded that agents acted properly while opening fire while on duty on four different occasions, The Los Angeles Times reports. 

An internal panel for Customs and Border Protection reviewed the cases after concerns about a pattern of agents using deadline force.

CBP also is investigating 14 other shootings.

In one of the cases where agents were found to have acted properly, they repeatedly fired at the engine of a boat smuggling immigrants near Solana Beach in San Diego County in June 2015.

After the shooting, the boat crashed with the agent’s boat and capsized. One woman drowned.

Two other cases involve agents opening fire on people throwing rocks at them.

In the fourth shooting, an agent shot a suspect who was clutching a rifle and fleeing local police.

Other Stories of Interest

The Hill: How Body Cameras on Border Patrol Agents Could Save Lives

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.By Pedro Rios
The Hill

In 2010, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a husband and father of five, was handcuffed, tortured and brutally beaten to death by 12 Border Patrol agents at the San Ysidro border crossing in California. The horrifying incident witnessed by dozens of people exposed a systemic problem with the nation’s largest law enforcement agency: that Border Patrol agents operate with impunity, without meaningful accountability, and in complete opaqueness.

The abuses by agents are widespread and well documented. Since January of 2010 more than46 people have died as a result of an interaction with the Border Patrol. This past June, a woman was killed when Border Patrol agents intentionally rammed their boat into another boat carrying 20 people. In 2012, a Border Patrol agent shot 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez repeatedly in the back before he died. He was on his way to a local market to buy food staples in the Mexican city of Nogales, along the border with Arizona.

In the Hernandez Rojas case, a civilian bystander recorded the incident from the safety of an elevated pedestrian walkway. The video shows 12 Border Patrol agents, who are armed with batons and a Taser, brutally beating and tasing Rojas — who was lying on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Six years later, not one of the 12 agents has been charged or even fired.

Hernandez Rojas’s widow, Maria Puga, is leading the movement for expanded oversight and accountability, including the demand that Border Patrol agents wear body cameras, which are a proven deterrent of abuse. A study shows that when officers wear them, the use of force plummets over 50 percent. Both civilians and officers experience fewer injuries when officers wear body cameras.

 

FBI Processed Record Number of Gun Background Checks on Black Friday

gun rugerBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI processed a whopping 185,345 firearm background checks on Black Friday, marking the highest single-day number since the bureau began conducting background checks in 1998, the Associated Press reports. 

The previous record was on Dec. 21, 2012, about a week after a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school.

The background checks for gun purchases rose about 5% over the past Black Friday.

The record-number background checks come after the Planned Parenthood shootings and the terrorist attacks in Paris.

FBI Director Suggests Increased Scrutiny of Police May Lead to More Violence

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey suggested that violence may have increased because of the rising scrutiny of police following the high-profile shootings of unarmed black people.

Speaking at the Chicago Law School on Friday, Comey acknowledged he had no data to support his claims, the New York Times reports. 

“I don’t know whether that explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year,” Mr. Comey said in a speech at the University of Chicago Law School.

The Times wrote that Comey’s view is not shared by many experts and runs counter to the Justice Department holding police more accountable.

Justice Department to Begin Tallying Number of Killings by Police Nationwide

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the first time, the federal government is tallying the number of killings by police around the country.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a pilot program Monday to begin an open-source system to accurately account for every death at the hands of American law enforcement, the Guardian reports. 

The move comes after activists and lawmakers have called on the federal government to keep better track of the police killings.

The tracking program has begun but will be fully active at the beginning of 2016.

The Bureau pf Justice Statistics will run the program.