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Tag: violent crimes

FBI: Murders Surged in U.S. in 2015, While Violent Crime Rose Nearly 4%

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Via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Murders surged 10% in 2015 over the previous year, while violent crime rose nearly 4% in the same time period, according to the FBI’s annual crime report.

The increase comes after two years of declines in violent crime in the U.S.

Still, violent crime rates remain much lower than two decades ago.

“The report shows that there was an overall increase in violent crime last year, making clear what each of us already knows: that we still have so much work to do,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said Monday in Little Rock, the Washington Post reports. “Violent crime endangers lives, destroys families and paralyzes neighborhoods … In some ways, violence affects all of us — and so all of us have a responsibility to end it.”

The largest increases in homicide came in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

“But the report also reminds us of the progress that we are making,” Lynch said. “It shows that in many communities, crime has remained stable or even decreased from the historic lows reported in 2014. And it is important to remember that while crime did increase overall last year, 2015 still represented the third-lowest year for violent crime in the past two decades.”

Scott S. Smith Named As New Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Pittsburgh Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s Pittsburgh office has a new special agent in charge.

On Monday, the FBI named Scott S. Smith, a veteran agent with ties to northern Ohio, as the office’s new leader, replacing Doug Perdue, a two-year veteran of the post who is embarking on an assignment in Washington D.C., the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Smith most recently served as chief of the Employee Services Section in the Human Resources Division in Washington D.C.

Before becoming an agent in Cleveland, Smith was a deputy sheriff in Lake County, Ohio.

Since arriving at the FBI, Smith has had several roles. He worked the violent crimes desk in Cleveland, did a sting in the bureau’s International Terrorism Operations Section and organized a group of agents, analysts and language specialists in Iraq in 2005.

Justice Department to Train Law Enforcement How to Work with Transgender People

courtSteve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Transgender people are disproportionately harmed by violence – so much so that the Justice Department is training law enforcement how to handle them as crime victims.

The idea is to help identify hate crimes and build more trust with law enforcement, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said at a ceremony unveiling the program. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

Police have been criticized for their responsiveness to crimes against transgender people, according to the AP.

FBI Director Comey Delivers Good News – More Staff, Training, Resources in Beefed-up 2014 Budget

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey sought to assure agents and local law enforcement that the bureau plans to increase staff, training and resources in what will be a much less frugal 2014.

The Times-Picayune reports that Comey, during his visit to the bureau’s New Orleans Field Office on Thursday, said the beefed-up budget will mean a stronger focus on violent crimes, terrorism, human trafficking, cyber crimes and public corruption.

“As of six weeks ago, the FBI became adequately funded again,” Comey said. “We’re going to invest in the personnel, training and technology we need to face the challenges before us.”

The good news came in January when Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill.

“We had been forced to eliminate over 2,000 positions because of the budget Armageddon of the last 18 months,” he said. “I plan to fill those positions again and then some, ranging from field agents to (support personnel). We also need to resume investing in new technology and training after those things came to a halt.

“We got an enormous budget increase, which I think is something the FBI deserved. We need to explain to the taxpayers how we’re going to spend that money, and I’m going to do that.”

Violent Crimes Dropped 5.4% Nationwide for First Half of 2013, Showing More Positive Trends

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Violent crimes dropped by 5.4% in the first half of 2013, compared with the same period in 2013, the New York Times reports.

The decline is part of a long reduction in violent crime nationwide.

According to the FBI statistics, property crimes also fell.

“We have had almost 25 years of a decline in crime, but on a year-to-year basis it’s hard to come up with a story,” John Roman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, said, referring to efforts to pinpoint reasons for the lower numbers. “But over all, this shows how we’ve gotten smarter on policing, immigration and gentrification in the cities and elsewhere.”

Murders dropped by 6.9%, aggravated assaults by 6.6% and robberies by 1.8%, the Times wrote.

 

FBI Seminar Simulates Dangerous Crimes

By Mark Naymik
The Plain Dealer

I recently shot and killed a woman.

Leaning into her car’s open passenger-side window, I fired my weapon just as she pulled out a pistol, partially hidden under her thigh, and pointed it at me.

I was lucky.

I should have noticed the pistol sooner. Had I been a split-second slower in pulling the trigger, the outcome would have been different.

I was lucky because the incident was a simulation at the FBI Citizens’ Academy.

The academy is a series of six classroom seminars the Cleveland FBI office offers to a couple dozen community leaders each year to give them a behind-the-scene glimpse of the bureau’s work investigating public corruption, cyber theft, domestic terrorism and child prostitution, among many other crimes.

To read more click here.

FBI: Violent MS-13 Gang Members in Custody, Facing Murder and Other Charges

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Consider the streets of Suffolk County, N.Y. that much safer: Five members of the violent street gang MS-13 were named in a indictment unsealed on Monday, the FBI announced later that day. The charges include murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, armed robberies, firearms offenses, and related conspiracy charges.

Jose Alvarenga, also known as “Fosforo,” and Hector Torres, also known as “Smiley,” face murder charges over the death of 15-year-old Christopher Hamilton in 2009, and Rigoberto Gomez in 2010, both in Brentwood, New York.

All of those charged are now in custody, the FBI says. Alvarenga and Torres were arraigned on Monday, while the other three will be arraigned later in the week.

Authorities alleged that on November 20, 2009, Alvarenga, the leader of the Brentwood Locos Salvatruchas (BLS) clique of  the MS-13, ordered gang members to attack suspected rival gang members at a house party in Brentwood, says the FBI.

He armed his men with a .22 caliber rifle and a semi-automatic handgun, then led them to the house. At least three rifle shots were fired into a crowd outside the home moments after they arrived. One of the shots fatally hit Christopher Hamilton in the temple.

The indictment also alleges that in August 2010, members of an MS-13 clique known as the Sailors suspected that another MS-13 member, Rigoberto Gomez, was working with local law enforcement, so they put a “green light” on Gomez, which allowed other members to kill Gomez on sight, says the FBI.

“They lured Gomez into the car, inviting him to smoke marijuana with them at the nearby Freeman Avenue Park,” says the FBI. “After exiting the car, Torres stepped behind Gomez and fired a bullet from a .357 caliber revolver into the back of Gomez’s head, and fired a second shot into Gomez’s head after the victim fell to the ground. Torres then handed the gun to the other MS-13 member, who fired a third shot into Gomez’s head.”