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Tag: Justice Department

Justice Department to Release Highly Critical Report of Ferguson Police

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is preparing to release a highly critical report of police in Ferguson, accusing them of making discriminatory traffic stops and creating an environment that bred animosity among African Americans, The New York Times reports.

The report, which could be released as early as this week, says Ferguson police disproportionately ticketed and arrested African Americans, while also relying on them for fines to help balance the budget.

The report follows the police shooting death of Michael Brown in August, which led to months of protests.

But the Justice Department does not plan to charge the officer, Darren Wilson, following a civil rights investigation.

What’s different about this report is it will “give the context for the shooting, describing the mounting sense of frustration and anger in a predominantly black city where the police department and local government are mostly white,” The New York Times wrote.

Fox News Cries Foul Over Attorney General Eric Holder Denying Exit Interview

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder has given Fox News the stiff-arm on an exit interview, and the news agency is not happy, The Washington Post reports.

“The Attorney General’s decision does a deep disservice to America’s largest cable news audience and the interests of a free press,” Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente said in a statement.

An exit interview with Holder “would have been spectacular, give the backstory,” The Post wrote.

It was discovered in the spring of 2013 that the Justice Department used heavy-handed tactics in pursuing an investigation against Fox News reporter James Rosen, who was falsely accused of being co-conspirator in a case involving former intelligence analyst Stephen Kim.

Fox News said it wants a chance to address the facts.

“Ultimately, however, we’re not surprised that Holder would try to evade a thorough accounting of his record in office, including his decision to investigate our Chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen through an illegal seizure of emails and phone records of Rosen and his parents. Late today, the DOJ press office said ‘they look forward to accommodating’ FOX News at a future time.’ We’re hopeful but realistic about whether that will actually happen.”

Justice Department Closes Trayvon Martin Shooting Case without Civil Rights Charges

Trayvon Martin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
The federal investigation into the shooting death three years ago of Trayvon Martin has ended without hate-crime charges against the gunman, George Zimmerman, The New York Times reports. 

The Justice Department closed the civil rights investigation.

The family is devastated, said Benjamin L. Crump, the lawyer for Martin’s family.

“This is very painful for them; they are heartbroken,” Crump said. “But they have renewed energy to say that we are going to fight harder to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else’s child.”

The investigation was launched to determine whether there was enough evidence to show Martin was killed because of his race.

The Justice Department interviewed 75 witnesses and reviewed evidence.

Justice Department Threatens to Prosecute Supporters of ISIS on Social Media

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As ISIS turns more to social media to recruit future terrorists, the Justice Department made clear that it would prosecute people who help the extremists spread the message, The Daily Beast reports.

What remains unclear is where the government where draw the line between free speech and support of a terrorist group.

Intelligence experts say ISIS’ propaganda campaign, which includes posting beheading videos, has been at least partly effective.

John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security, said social media has provided “essentially a free form of communication that you can use to plot and plan.”

Other Stories of Interest


Justice Department Considering Suing Ferguson Over Racial Discrimination

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is prepared to sue the city of Ferguson, Mo., if city leaders balk at revising discriminatory police tactics, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to reveal the findings from two separate federal investigations into the police shooting of a black 18-year-old, Michael Brown.

Federal investigators are trying to determine whether police violated anyone’s civil rights.

While it’s unlikely that feds will charge the officer who pulled the trigger, the Justice Department is expected to allege that police targeted minorities during traffic stops.

“I think everybody will see when we announce our results that the process that we have engaged in is, as I said back at the time when I went to Ferguson, independent, thorough and based on all the facts,” Holder said Tuesday. “And I am confident that people will be satisfied with the results that will be announced.”

Google Says Surveillance Proposal Would Allow FBI to Spy on Anyone Worldwide

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Google is fighting attempts by the Justice Department to get permission for the FBI to search and seize digital data in what the search engine giant said would make it possible for the “hacking of any facility” in the world, The Guardian reports.

The Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules that is considering the proposal received a sharply worded letter from Google that warns the new FBI powers would raise “monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide.”

The proposed changes would allow the FBI to remotely search computers from anywhere in the world, “giving the US government unfettered global access to vast amounts of private information,” The Guardian wrote.

The Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules is a powerful body of mostly judges who have authority over federal rules governing the FBI.

AG Holder Says Drug Cases Down Because Less Focus on Smaller Offenders

Holder speaks in Philadelphia/doj photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors handled fewer drug prosecutions last year because of a new approach to handling smaller non-violent offenders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder said at a National Press Club address that prosecutions for drug cases fell 6% last year.

Holder said the feds are placing more focus on larger drug dealers, instead of smaller offenders.

Prior to the change in focus, Holder said drug users were getting sent to prison with no possibility of parole.

“For years prior to this administration, federal prosecutors were not only encouraged — but required — to always seek the most severe prison sentence possible for all drug cases, no matter the relative risk they posed to public safety,” he said. “I have made a break from that philosophy.”

He added: “These numbers show that a dramatic shift is underway in the mind-set of prosecutors handling nonviolent drug offenses. I believe we have taken steps to institutionalize this fairer, more practical approach such that it will endure for years to come.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

Head of Interpol in D.C. Accused of Exploiting His Power to Land Jobs for Relatives, Friends

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Warren Lewis, the executive officer at Interpol’s Washington D.C. office, is accused of exploiting his authority to get a job for his son and other relatives and acquaintances, Fox News reports.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General’s Office revealed the findings in a reported released Wednesday. Other high-ranking officials are accused of doing the same thing, contributing to what the report called “a pervasive culture of nepotism and favoritism.”

Interpol serves as a liaison between the American government and the international law enforcement body and is overseen by the Justice Department.

The report says Lewis “earmark a spot” for his son and “provide extra attention to his processing, for obvious reasons.”

His son was even hired as a contractor, according to the inspector general.

“Lewis had no personal knowledge of their professional abilities,” the report says. “After the three individuals all failed to make the certified lists of qualified applicants, Lewis took steps to overcome their exclusion.”

Other Stories of Interest