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Tag: Thomas Perez

Justice Department Sues Georgia Over Voting Violation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department filed suit against Georgia and its chief election official to ensure that residents who are in the military overseas can vote in the state’s Aug. 21 federal primary election, the federal government announced today.

The suit was filed because Georgia wasn’t planning to send absentee ballots to service members within the required 45 day before an election, the Justice Department said in a press release.

“Our uniformed service members and overseas citizens deserve a full opportunity to participate in all elections of our nation’s leaders including runoff elections for federal office in states where they are held” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a press release.

To meet the deadline, Georgia officials must send the ballots before July 7.

New Orleans Cops in Danziger Bridge Shooting Get Whacked at Sentencing

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A group of New Orleans cops convicted in connection with the shootings at the infamous Danziger Bridge got whacked at sentencing on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

Four of the officers got sentences ranging from 38 to 65 years in prison. A fifth officer, who was just involved in the cover up, got six years, the Justice Department announced.

The sentencing capped an ugly chapter in New Orleans history.

Days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the cops were involved in the shootings of six civilians. Two of the civilians died.

“We hope that today’s sentences give a measure of peace and closure to the victims of this terrible shooting, who have suffered unspeakable pain and who have waited so patiently for justice to be done. The officers who shot innocent people on the bridge and then went to great lengths to cover up their own crimes have finally been held accountable for their actions,” Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez said in a statement. “As a result of today’s sentencing, the city of New Orleans can take another step forward.”

U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Englehardt the long sentences as follows:

  • Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, 40 years.
  • Sgt. Robert Gisevius, 40 years.
  • Officer Robert Faulcon, 65 years.
  • Officer Anthony Villavaso,38 years.
  • Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, 6 years.

 

 

Justice Dept. Probing Newark Police Dept.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is going after another major police department.

Nearly a year after it  announced plans to look into questionable practices of the New Orleans Police Department, Justice officials on Monday said they were setting their sites on the Newark Police force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Perez and U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman of Newark made the announcement, saying they want to fix the problems.

“As Paul mentioned already, the Civil Rights Division, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, conducted a preliminary inquiry and concluded that it would be necessary and appropriate to begin a formal civil pattern or practice investigation,” said Perez.

“Our investigation will focus on allegations of excessive force, unconstitutional stops, searches, arrests and seizures, discriminatory policing, whether officers retaliate against people who observe and/or record police activity and conditions of confinement at the Green Street Lockup,” Perez added.

“U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and I have put together a top notch team of lawyers and staff. We are retaining experts in policing, and we will reach out to a wide range of stakeholders. We will hear from officers in the NPD, people elsewhere within the administration, key stakeholders in the criminal justice system, and the community at large.”

White Supremacist Gets 18 Months for Mailing Noose to Ohio NAACP Official

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A white Supremacist from Oregon is off to prison.

A federal judge in Toledo sentenced Daniel Lee Jones of Portland to 18 months in prison for sending the president of the Lima, Ohio, chapter of the NAACP, a noose by mail. He pleaded guilty in May.

In his plea agreement, Jones admitted to mailing F.M. Jason Upthegrove a hangman’s noose which was delivered on Feb. 14, 2008, the Justice Department said.

Jones said he sent the noose as a threat because Upthegrove was an African-American who publicly advocated for better police services for African-Americans in Lima, the Justice Department said.

Upthegrove also “spoke out in the media against Jones’s white supremacist group’s mailing of hate flyers related to the shooting of an African American woman by a member of the Lima Police Department,” the Justice Department said.

“A noose, an unmistakable symbol of hatred in this nation, was used by this defendant as a threat of violence aimed at silencing a civil rights advocate,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who use threats of violence to attempt to silence proponents of racial equality.”

White Supremacist Sentenced in Plot to Kill African-Americans Including Obama

Daniel Cowart

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Tennessee White Supremacist who planned to go on a killing spree of African-Americans and kill Barack Obama during his campaign for the presidency is off to prison for 14 years.

Daniel Cowart, 22, of Bells, Tenn. was sentenced Friday in Tennessee after he pleaded guilty earlier in the year to a host of charges including conspiracy, threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm upon a major candidate for the office of President of the United States, interstate transportation of a short-barreled shotgun and interstate transportation of a firearm for the purpose of committing a felony, the Justice Department said.

Cowart  admitted to conspiring with Paul Schlesselman of West Helena, Ark., to go on the killing spree. Schlesselman was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“Threats of violence fueled by bigotry and hate have no place in the United States of America, and they will not be tolerated,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Although the heroic intervention of law enforcement spared us from a tragedy, this conspiracy and its associated crimes demanded a severe sentence. The sentence imposed constitutes serious punishment for a serious crime.”

Justice Dept. Clears FBI in Fatally Shooting of Detroit Imam

Luqman Ameen Abdullah

Luqman Ameen Abdullah

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that the FBI agents who shot and killed Detroit imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah last October during a raid did not violate federal civil rights laws and did not “warrant further federal criminal investigation.”

The announcement came nearly two weeks after the Michigan Attorney General concluded the FBI violated no state laws when it fatally shot a  the Detroit mosque leader during a raid of a suburban warehouse.

A Justice Department press release issued Wednesday said “the department conducted a complete, thorough, and independent review of this matter. The review included examining all documents witness accounts, forensic evidence and reports, and operational plans and procedures that were generated by an FBI Inspection Division inquiry, a Dearborn Police Department investigation, and the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office.”

Read more »

Justice Dept. Civil Rights Official to Meet With Arab Americans in Michigan

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A senior Justice Department civil rights official plans Wednesday to visit the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and meet with Arab-American and civil rights leaders to discuss civil rights concerns, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The official, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, will also attend a press conference on Wednesday where Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade will announce the formation of a civil rights unit, the Free Press reported.

The paper reported that Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, who will be part of the meetings said of Perez: “We welcome him. It’s part of an important dialogue that is needed.”

Justice Dept. Showing Face in Assessment of New Orleans Police Dept.

new-orleans-map-istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is starting to show its face in the New Orleans police department as part of a wide-scale assessment of the troubled police force.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that on Friday  “a handful of representatives from the Department of Justice’s Special Litigation Section sat silently, taking in the scene and jotting down occasional notes” a the department’s weekly command meeting on crime.

The paper reported that the Justice Department is on the ground in New Orleans beginning the assessment of a department that has recently seen several current and former cops indicted in connection with the shooting of civilians and the cover up of those cases.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez recently announced the inquiry, which will assess systemic problems that need correcting.

To read more click here.