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Tag: Eric Holder

Justice Department Launches Plan to Identify Radicals with U.S. Passports As ISIS Threat Grows

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department opened a new front on the war against radicals.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced plans to identify radicals with U.S. passports.

The idea is to identify Americans before they travel abroad.

“We have established processes for detecting American extremists who attempt to join terror groups abroad,” Holder said.

Holder has said that dozens of Americans are joining terrorists in Syria.

“In the face of a threat so grave, we cannot afford to be passive,” he said in Oslo two months ago.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: DOJ Investigation Must Go Beyond Ferguson

By St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Editorial Board

A few numbers indicate a civil rights investigation of the Ferguson Police Department is long overdue. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Department of Justice will begin such an inquiry. This is an important and positive step forward, but we suspect when he gets into the numbers, and examines the reality of North St. Louis County, Ferguson will play but a small role in a larger investigation.

First, those numbers:

• As we noted Aug. 10, the day after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, blacks in Ferguson were 37 percent more likely to be pulled over in 2013 than whites, as a percentage of their respective populations. Those black drivers who were pulled over were twice as likely to be searched for contraband, such as drugs, than white drivers, even though police found contraband, percentage-wise, more often in the cars of white drivers.

• In a city that is two-thirds black, only three of its 53 police officers are black.

• And this, from a recent report from Arch City Defenders: “Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400. In 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.”

None of these things, on their own, are proof positive of institutional racism or civil rights violations. But together, they help paint a picture that explains why tens of thousands of African-Americans in the St. Louis region have taken to the streets in anger, not just over the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer, but over years of being subject to different rules when dealing with the justice system partly, if not mostly, because of the color of their skin.

To read more click here.

Attorney General Eric Holder Expresses Sympathy for Black Americans Who Distrust Law Enforcement

Attorney General/DOJ file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder understands why many black Americans distrust police , he said in Ferguson where protesters have been rallying since an officer shot an unarmed black teen, Fox News reports.

Holder met with about 50 community members to talk about law enforcement issues.

Holder said his trip was meant to reinforce that the federal government is concerned about civil rights issues.

“I understand that mistrust,” Holder said. “I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man.”

Holder relayed a story of being stopped twice and having his car searched.

“I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me,” Holder said.

 

Attorney General Eric Holder Visits Ferguson

Justice Department: More than 40 FBI Agents Conducting Investigation in Ferguson

Attorney General/DOJ file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that more than 40 FBI agent are investigating the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed white teen who was shot by an officer in Ferguson.

Holder issued the following statement Monday after President Obama held a briefing.

“As I informed the President this afternoon, the full resources of the Department of Justice are being committed to our federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

“During the day today, more than 40 FBI agents continued their canvassing of the neighborhood where Michael Brown was shot. As a result of this investigative work, several new interviews have already been conducted.

“Moreover, at my direction, an additional medical examination is being performed on the body of Michael Brown. This autopsy is being performed today by one of the most experienced medical examiners in the United States military. I am confident this additional autopsy will be thorough and aid in our investigation.

“In addition to updating the President on these developments, I informed him of my plan to personally travel to Ferguson Wednesday. I intend to meet with FBI investigators, and prosecutors on the ground from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office officials about the ongoing investigation.

“I realize there is tremendous interest in the facts of the incident that led to Michael Brown’s death, but I ask for the public’s patience as we conduct this investigation. The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me. No matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to preserve the integrity of its investigation. This is a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond.

“In order to truly begin the process of healing, we must also see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Those who have been peacefully demonstrating should join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters and others seeking to enflame tensions.

“To assist on this front, the Department will be dispatching additional representatives from the Community Relations Service, including Director Grande Lum, to Ferguson. These officials will continue to convene stakeholders whose cooperation is critical to keeping the peace. Furthermore, as the President has announced, Ron Davis, our Director of the COPS office, will arrive on the ground in Ferguson Tuesday. Ron has been in touch with local and state officials since last week, providing technical assistance on crowd control techniques and facilitating communications between Missouri officials and other law enforcement officials whose communities have faced similar challenges in the past.”

Two Influential Senators Demand to See Report on Protections for FBI Whistleblowers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two powerful U.S. senators are getting impatient with a long overdue Justice Department report that is supposed to examine the effectiveness of the FBI’s whistleblower protections for bureau employees.

The Oregonian reports that Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, expressed frustration that the report has not yet been released, even though Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. pledged to deliver a report by April 8, 2013.

Holder submitted the report in June, but no one has turned it over.

“Whistleblowers play a critical role in holding the government and its employees accountable,” Wyden wrote in a joint news release with Grassley. “The FBI has had special rules for its own employees for decades that desperately need to be updated. It’s important for the Justice Department to explain whether they will fix this on their own, or if Congress needs to step in.”

Prosecutors Change Their Tune on Deterrence Involving Corporate Wrongdoing

FBI Director James Comey

By DEVLIN BARRETT and KIRSTEN GRIND 
Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—In extracting multibillion-dollar fines from Citigroup Inc. and other big banks, prosecutors say they are trying to deter future corporate wrongdoing by making shareholders angry enough to demand changes.

It is a significant shift in tone for the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, which have argued for years that sending people to prison is the best way to prevent white-collar crime.

In the past month, top officials including FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Eric Holder said future corporate misdeeds can be avoided by imposing large or record-breaking penalties on companies. On Wednesday, Associate Attorney General Tony West said one factor the Justice Department considers in imposing stiff penalties is whether the fine “could be regarded by shareholders and management as merely the cost of doing business.”

To read more click here.

Attorney General Holder Urge Global Allies to Adopt Anti-Terrorism Tacts Used by FBI

attorney general/doj file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Calling the Syrian conflict a “global crisis in need of a global solution,” Attorney General Eric Holder urged U.S. allies to use tactics employed by the FBI to root out extremists before they strike, Huffington Post reports.

Speaking to Norwegian officials in Oslo, Holder suggested that other countries adopt pre-emptive counterterrorism tactics that include enticing suspects into developing terrorist attacks.

The idea is to stop homegrown terrorists before they travel to Syria.

“If we wait for our nations’ citizens to travel to Syria, to become radicalized, and to return home, it may be too late to adequately protect our national security,” Holder said.

Holder lauded the FBI’s role in cracking down on terrorism.

“We have found undercover operations -– which the Federal Bureau of Investigation pioneered in fighting transnational organized crime -– to be essential in fighting terrorism as well,” Holder said in the speech. “In the United States, the FBI has already conducted undercover operations that have identified individuals with intentions to travel to Syria. These operations are conducted with extraordinary care and precision, ensuring that law enforcement officials are accountable for the steps they take -– and that suspects are neither entrapped nor denied legal protections.”