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Tag: Justice Department

Bill Would Require Every Police Killing to Be Tallied by Justice Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Without a federal requirement to disclose police killings, it’s impossible to know how many cops kill civilians in any given year.

That could change under new legislation that would require all police departments to report law-enforcement killing to the Justice Department, Essence reports.

Currently the FBI keeps a tally on the number of police killings, but local departments aren’t required to produce the information. A Wall Street Journal analysis found that the FBI’s tally of law-enforcement killings between 2007 and 2012 was missing 550 deaths.

“What we know is that some places have chosen not to report these, for whatever reason,” Cooper told the Journal.

Under the new legislation, introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, all police agencies would be required to disclose every death during police custody.

“Before we can truly address the problem of excessive force used by law enforcement, we have to understand the nature of the problem, and that begins with accurate data,” Rep. Cohen said in a statement.

Called the “National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act of 2014,’ the bill likely will have to be reintroduced in January.

 

Justice Department Won’t Force New York Times Reporter James Risen to Reveal Source

Reporter James Risen

By Pete Williams
NBC News

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder has decided against forcing a reporter for The New York Times to reveal the identity of a confidential source, according to a senior Justice Department official.

The reporter, James Risen, has been battling for years to stop prosecutors from forcing him to name his source for a book that revealed a CIA effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The government wanted Risen’s testimony in the trial of a former CIA official, Jeffrey Sterling, accused of leaking classified information.

But now, according to the Justice Department official, Holder has directed that Risen must not be required to reveal “information about the identity of his source.”

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Study: Only 20% of Sexual Assaults on College Campuses Are Reported to Police

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Only one of five campus sexual assaults are reported to police, according to a new Justice Department report, PBS reports.

The reasons victims didn’t alert police range from fear of reprisal to believing the crime doesn’t rise to the level of police involvement.

The findings are based on figures from the National Crime Victimization Survey from 1995 to 2013.

Peter Lake, a law professor at Stetson University College of Law who conducts training for colleges on the topic, said some students “don’t know what their legal rights are.”

Justice Department: Indian Tribes Can Begin Selling, Growing Marijuana

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Indian tribes are now allowed to grow and sell marijuana on their sovereign lands under the same federal guidelines that apply to four states where pot is legal for recreational use, the Justice Department announced Thursday, Bloomberg reports.

The Justice Department said federal laws banning marijuana will no longer be enforced.

“The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations,” said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General’s Subcommittee on Native American Issues.

The decision to legalize marijuana will ultimately fall on tribal governments.

 Stories of Other Interest


Federal Judge Sets Deadline on DOJ’s Decision to Subpoena NYT Reporter

Reporter James Risen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal judge has given the Justice Department until Tuesday to decide whether to subpoena New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a CIA operative who allegedly leaked classified information to the journalist, the Huffington Post reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema issued the order Tuesday.

Former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling is accused of supplying Risen with classified information that was used for the journalist’s book, “State of War: The Secret History of the Cia and the Bush Administration.”

The book sparked the legal battle.

But now the judge is growing impatient and wants a decision on whether Risen will be ordered to testify.

“Since June 2, 2014, the United States has had over six months to decide whether it will subpoena James Risen to testify at this trial, which is scheduled to begin Monday, January 12, 2015,” the order read. “Because Mr. Risen’s presence or absence at the trial will have a significant impact on how the parties present their case, a decision about Mr. Risen must be made sufficiently before trial to enable the parties to prepare adequately.”

FBI Director Refuses to Say “Never” When It Comes to Agents Impersonating Reporters

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Director James Comey said he’s unwilling to pledge an end to agents posing as reporters, but emphasized that such a tactic should be rare and “done carefully with significant supervision, if it’s going to be done,” the Seattle Times reports.

The comments at a round-table discussion with reporters came after recent revelations that an FBI agent posed as an Associated Press reporter in 2007 to investigate high school bomb threats.

The AP asked that the tactic stop.

“I’m not willing to say never,” Comey responded. “Just as I wouldn’t say that we would never pose as an educator or a doctor or, I don’t know, a rocket scientist.”

The AP argues that posing as a reporter degrades a news agency’s “legacy of objectivity, truth, accuracy and integrity.”

Comey said that he’s not familiar with any other instances in which agents posed as reporters.

“I think it’s something that ought to be done carefully with significant supervision if it’s going to be done,” he said. “But I’m not in a position to say never.”

 

Justice Department Says It Won’t Reopen Criminal Probe Into Torture Cases

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department roiled civil rights advocates on Tuesday by saying it would not reopen a criminal probe into the CIA’s handling of terrorism suspects following a sobering report about torture, the USA Today reports.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report disclosed several types of abuse – water-boarding, extreme sleep deprivation and others – by the CIA.

“The true test of our nation’s character comes now,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. “Will we make excuses and try to defend the indefensible? Or will we finally acknowledge that our nation crossed a terrible line, and start talking about accountability?”

A Justice Department officials told the USA Today that investigators in the probe “reviewed the committee’s full report and did not find any new information that they had not previously considered in reaching their determination.”

Justice Department Issues Scathing Report of Cleveland Police Department’s Abusive Practices

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal examination of the practices and procedures by the Cleveland Police Department prompted the Justice Department to deliver a scatting review of the department with a mandate for sweeping changes, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder based the findings on a civil rights investigation that involved nearly 600 use-of-force incidents from 2010 to 2013.

Among the problems found were insufficient accountability, ineffective policies and inadequate training.

The 58-page report found that police have shot at suspects without justifiable case, beat people who were in handcuffs and covered up abuse by writing false reports.

“The reality is that there are problems,” Holder said. “But I also think the people of Cleveland should have a sense of hope … that these problems have been identified and that they can be rectified.”