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Archive for December, 2012

FBI, Local Police Track Down 1 of 3 Escaped Chicago Inmates

Steve  Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A brazen jail escapee was arrested in Chicago Thursday without incident but a fellow inmate remains at large, the Huffington Post reports.

Joseph “Jose” Banks, 37, and Kenneth Conley made a daring escape from a high-rise jail in Chicago and hopped a taxi shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Local police and agents from the Chicago FBI’s Violent Task Force tracked down Banks at 11:30 p.m. but are still on the hunt for Conley, 38, the Huffington Post reports.

Both are serving time for bank robberies.

FBI Background Checks for Guns Often Miss Those Who Would Be Banned

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Mentally ill people, drug offenders and others who are prohibited from owning guns often are able to obtain a firearm because the required FBI background checks have significant flaws, the New York Times reports.

The nearly two-decade-old requirement to conduct background checks of prospective gun buyers isn’t working as planned because many states aren’t sharing information on who’s mentally ill or has been tested positive for drugs, the New York Times has found.

Of the 50 states, 19 submitted fewer than 100 records of people with mental illnesses, compared to more than 100,000 records disclosed by New York, the Times wrote.

Rhode Island handed over none.

The Times revealed that states aren’t required to disclose the records, causing the gaps.

Kevin Walker Named FBI’s Next Equal Employment Opportunity Officer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Kevin W. Walker, the former acting deputy director and general counsel of the National Drug Intelligence Center, was named the FBI’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) officer, the FBI announced Thursday.

Walker’s job entails overseeing discrimination complaints, the DOJ Mediator Corps, the reasonable accommodation process and the sign language interpreter program.

Between 2006 and 2007, Walker was the chief prosecutor for U.S. forces in the Iraqi theater of operations and supervised trial team involved in courts-martial.

Walker earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and has various post-graduate degrees.

DEA Declines to Help LAPD Investigate Death of Suspect Under Federal Custody

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Los Angeles Police Department investigation into the death of a man while he was in the custody of the DEA has been virtually stalled because the federal agency has refused to cooperate with the investigation, the LA Times reports.

After analyzing records, the Times wrote that LAPD investigators can’t determine how the man’s injuries were inflicted without DEA assistance.

The LAPD believes the DEA may have caused the fatal injuries, which included 21 fractures on his ribs, while handcuffing the suspect. A coroner found that the blunt force caused internal bleeding.

A DEA spokeswoman said the Justice Department’s Inspector General also is investigating.

“It is not uncommon for an agent under multiple ongoing investigations to decline specific law enforcement interviews until an inspector general investigation is completed,” spokeswoman Dawn Dearden said.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Lawyer In Ex-Detroit Mayor Public Corruption Case Blasts Judge, Accuses Her Of Helping Prosecution

Judge Nancy G. Edmunds and Attorney Mike Rataj

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — In an unusual move, a lawyer in the trial of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick  very publicly ripped into the judge after court on Wednesday.

Mike Rataj, one of three attorneys for Kilpatrick’s co-defendant Bobby Ferguson, blasted U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds during an interview with the media, implying she’s biased and is doing everything to help prosecutors ask questions properly and get in hearsay evidence that should be barred.

“For her to prop the government lawyers up every time they can’t ask a question properly, for the hearsay, the double and triple hearsay that’s coming in, it puts us at a huge disadvantage in this case,” he remarked, according to a video shown on Fox2. “We’re all frustrated because this isn’t the way that it’s supposed to work. The person that makes the statement’s got to come in and testify to it so they can be crossed examined. That’s the bottom line.”

Rataj, a former college hockey player, who is sometimes referred to as a “pitbull”,  said the disadvantage in the case is like playing a 5 on 3 hockey game, with the defense obviously being the three. The former Marine is regarded as a passionate,  top-notch attorney who can be a little tempermental,  and is not shy about expressing critical opinions on various things, including media coverage of the trial.

Still, he expressed hope the defense can still win the case.

To read more click here.

Retired FBI Official Michael Mason: Arming Teachers? Dumbest Idea Ever Proposed

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com

The recent mass shooting in Connecticut was an act of incomprehensible evil.

However, in the wake of this tragedy we need to ensure we come together to present thoughtful and effective ideas to reduce the probability of such an act ever occurring again. Arming teachers is categorically not a recommendation that should enjoy any consideration at all.

The probability of having an active shooter incident at any particular school is infinitesimally small. The ridiculous suggestion of arming teachers would actually increase that probability simply by virtue of putting thousands of guns in schools which today have none.

There is a huge difference between handing someone a gun and ensuring they receive the proper training to effectively engage that gun when required to do so.

Training is not a once and done endeavor, it must be continuous, and be required.  It is difficult enough to hit a paper target that is not shooting back at you.

Imagine the average teacher having to use that gun under the most adverse circumstances imaginable. We expect Ms. Jones, a great, compassionate, effective teacher, to now become an extension of the police department’s SWAT team?

We expect her to run to the sound of gun fire, through all the chaos and noise and effectively use that gun that has been locked in her drawer for the past 11 years? Really, can there be a more absurd notion circulating around the country.

Owning a gun and genuinely being prepared, psychologically and physically, to use it are two entirely different concepts.

I carried a gun for 23 years and in that time only experience one occasion during which I thought I was going to have to shoot another man. I did not think, “Go ahead…make my day.”

I clearly remember thinking, “Please don’t make me shoot you.” Although I was committed to doing so, I remain grateful to this day I did not have to shoot that individual. My point is that the concept of going from teacher one moment to effectively deploying deadly force in the next moment goes far beyond simply having access to a firearm.

The mass shooting in Connecticut absolutely demands that we address the issue of gun control. It is equally important that we not simply react, but rather engage in intelligent, thoughtful discussions to develop solutions that will genuinely impact this horrendous situation. Arming teachers is simply a dumb idea which deserves not a second more of serious consideration.

 

 

More Guns Show Up from Botched Gun-Trafficking Operation Fast and Furious

atf file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Two weapons linked to the botched gun-trafficking Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of a deadly drug cartel gunfight last month, the Tribune Washington Bureau reports.

The guns – an AK-47 assault rifle and 5.7 mm pistol – illustrate that some of the 2,000 weapons lost under Operation Fast and Furious remain in the wrong hands and likely will be used in crimed, the Tribune reported.

The pistol was purchased by Supervisory Agent George Gillett, who was helping oversee the botched operation.

Feds are investigating. Gillett declined to comment.

FBI Won’t Release More Information about Mass Shooter at Sikh Temple

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the nation looks closer at the motives behind mass shootings, the FBI is refusing to release more information on Wade Michael Page, who killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. before committing suicide.

This is all the FBI has to say about the motive: “The FBI investigation indicates Wade Michael Page acted alone and was not assisted in committing this violent crime killing six and wounding four other victims,” the FBI’s statement said in November. “No evidence was uncovered to conclude this attack was directed or facilitated by any white supremacist group. During the shooting at the temple, Page exchanged gunfire with two Oak Creek police officers seriously wounding one, before being shot by another officer, then turning his weapon on himself. There is also no evidence to suggest the attack was part of any ongoing threat to the Sikh community.”

Although the FBI interviewed 300 people, pursued 200 investigative leads and examined more than 200 pieces of evidence, it does not plan to release more information.

“He did not leave a note behind,” Leonard Peace, spokesman for the FBI’s Milwaukee office, said Tuesday. “The investigation did not reveal that he had communicated to anyone his intent to do this. Without any clear motive as to why, you can only speculate what his true motives were in doing this attack. That’s not what we do. We don’t sit and speculate. We have to base our investigation on finding some facts.”