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August 2015
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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Weekend Series on Crime History: John Connally Talks to LBJ About Conspiracy Rumors

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Fox 2’s Charlie LeDuff Puts ICE Agent’s Fatal Shooting to a Personal Test


By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — When Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy last week cleared ICE agent Mitchell Quinn of wrong doing in the fatal shooting in Detroit of Terrance Kellom, she talked about some key evidence including a hole in the attic of the house he was shot in.

Worthy, at a press conference, said that a fugitive task force had entered the home in April looking for Kellom, 20, who was wanted for an armed robbery of a pizza delivery man.

At some point, Worthy said, Kellom dropped through a hole in the attic and came after the agent with a hammer. The agent opened fire and killed him.

Kellom’s dad, Kevin Kellom, insisted all along that his son never dropped through a hole in the ceiling or had a hammer. He said his son was  shot without provocation as he was surrendering.

Worthy said that wasn’t the case, and cleared the ICE agent of wrongdoing. She also said evidence showed Kellom’s clothes and body were coated in drywall, insulation and wood from the attic.

After the press conference, the lawyer for the Kellom family, Karri Mitchell, told reporters there was no way an adult could have dropped through the hole in the attic, insisting it was far too small. Therefore, he said, the whole scenario the prosecutor laid out had no credibility.

The lawyer’s claim about the attic hole being too small was likely enough fodder for some to continue doubting the ICE agent’s version of events.

To his credit, LeDuff had a very professional, even-handed interview with the father. He asked him some tough but fair questions. Then LeDuff, as part of his report for “The Americans with Charlie LeDuff,” decided to test whether someone could have actually gone through the hole in the attic.

It’s the kind of real reporting we seldom see any more.

The father encouraged him to try, saying there’s no way that his son, who weighs 110 pounds, could have slipped through the small hole. And he suggested there was no way LeDuff, who weighs 170 pounds, could slip through the hole.

As the camera rolls, LeDuff drops through the hole to the floor below. It was a big moment. (See video below).

LeDuff then asks the father if there’s any way, because he loved his son so much, that he thinks he saw things that didn’t actually happen.

Kevin Kellom says no.

When LeDuff asks if it would have been a bigger story had the ICE agent been white instead of black. Kellom replies:

“If it was a white shooting down my son? Yup, I do (think it would get more attention). I do. I do because – I’m not racist or nothing, but that’s what people look for when you get a killing like that. They look for it to be a white officer killing a black man.

“This wasn’t no white officer. This was a black man killing another black man. That’s what’s hard for me to accept. I’m used to hearing – you see the news – a Caucasian officer shoot down a black man, but when you hear the news about a Caucasian man doing wrong – got a warrant out for his arrest – he always get arrested, don’t he? He don’t get killed.”

At the end of the press conference last week, Worthy, who is black, says:

“Yes, black lives matter. Of course, they matter. But you know what else matters? Credible facts matter.”

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Mother Sues Border Patrol After Son Fatally Shot in Back of Head

Jose Arambula/Pima County Sheriff's Department

Jose Arambula/Pima County Sheriff’s Department

By Steve Neavling

A mother is suing Border Patrol after an agent killed her son south of Tucson last year.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Elisa Beckel filed suit in federal court Friday, claiming she “has lost the love, affection, companionship, care, protection and guidance since the death” of Jose Luis Arambula.

Arambula was shot in the back of the head by Border Patrol Agent Daniel Marquez during a chase through a pecan grove.

The agent said he fired the gun because Arambula gestured as if he, too, had a gun and was about to shoo.

Marquez struck Arambula once, firing nine times.

Arambula died at the scene.

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Associated Press Sues Justice Department Over Records Related to Fake AP Story

AP LogoBy Steve Neavling

The Associated Press is suing the Justice Department after the FBI created a fake AP story in an attempt to plant surveillance software on a suspect’s computer, the Huffington Post reports.

The AP filed suit Thursday over the FBI’s failure to provide public records related to the ruse.

“The FBI both misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press and created a situation where our credibility could have been undermined on a large scale,” AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser said in a 2014 letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder.

The FBI used a fake AP story in hopes that a 15-year-old boy suspected of making bomb threats would click on the link, which would enable the software and reveal where he lived and his Internet address.

Since then, the FBI has refused to turn over documents related to the case.

“It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization,” Kaiser wrote. “The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation.”

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ATF: Man Who Killed 2 Virginia Journalists Legally Purchased Gun in July

 Vester Lee Flanagan II

Vester Lee Flanagan II

By Steve Neavling

The gun used to killed two TV reporters in Virginia were purchased legally by the man who pulled the trigger, The Roanoke Times reports. 

Vester Lee Flanagan II bought the Glock 9 mm pistol in July from a federally licensed gun dealer in Virginia, an ATF official said.

ATF spokesman Tom Faison said a proper background check was conducted.

“I have no indication that anything was done illegally or improperly, or any shortcuts were made,” Faison said.

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White House Renews Calls for Stricter Gun Control Laws After Shooting of Journalists in Virginia

gunsBy Steve Neavling

The horrific shooting of two Virginia journalists while they were broadcasting live on the air prompted President Obama to renew calls for stricter gun control.

“This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the United States,” the president’s press secretary, John Earnest, told reporters at his daily press briefing.

“While there is no piece of legislation that will end all violence in this country, there are some commonsense things that only Congress can do that we know would have a tangible impact in reducing gun violence in this country.”

Other politicians and Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton joined the call for tougher gun laws.

“We have got to do something about gun violence. And I will take it on,” Clinton said. “There are many people who face it and know it, but then turn away.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also pledged to push for stronger gun control.

“I put it up again last year. It never sees the light of day,” McAuliffe, a Democrat, said during an interview with the Washington radio station WTOP. “Everyone who purchases a gun in the Commonwealth of Virginia should have to go through a background check. You go into the store, you hand your license over. It doesn’t take … but three, four, maybe five minutes maximum.”

Other Stories of Interest

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FBI Agent at Bureau’s Indianapolis Field Office Charged with Drunken Driving

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling

An FBI agent found himself on the wrong side of the law after crashing his bureau-issued car into a motorcyclist in Indiana.

Robert Middleton, assistant special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of drunken driving in Hamilton county, the Indy Star reports. 

The agent was placed on administrative leave.

The Office of Inspector General also is investigating.

Police said Middleton was behind the wheel of a 2012 Dodge Charger that collided with a motorcycle stopped at a red light. The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital for minor head injuries.

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Head of FBI in Minnesota: Rash of Terrorism Arrests Not Stopping Others from Joining ISIS

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling

Despite a rash of well-publicized arrests of American suspected of trying to join ISIS, the terror group continues to successfully recruit U.S. residents, the head of the FBI in Minnesota said Wednesday.

In the Minneapolis area, which is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S., six men were arrested recently for allegedly plotting to join ISIS.

Still, the FBI continues to investigate what appears to be an increasing number of ISIS sympathizers, said FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Minnesota Field Office, Richard Thornton, said Wednesday.

“There are people in this community that are at various stages along the path to traveling as we speak,” he said. “I can’t tell you if there is one on an airplane as we speak, necessarily, but the arrests and the other activities have not stopped the activity across the board.”

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