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Archive for August 25th, 2014

CNN: Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh Seriously Injured in Car Crash in Vermont

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Louis Freeh, who served as FBI director from 1993 to June 2001, was seriously injured Monday afternoon in a single-vehicle car crash in Vermont,  CNN reported.

CNN, citing a U.S. law enforcement official, said Freeh was undergoing surgery for unspecified injuries.

CNN reported that the Vermont State Police said that Freeh was driving a GMC Yukon when it went off the road, struck a mailbox and ran over some bushes.

He was transported by helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., CNN reported.

 

Homeland Security, FBI Warn Law Enforcement to Be on Lookout for Signs of ISIS Activity

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security and the FBI have issued an alert to all law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for signs of terrorism activity, the News Center reports.

The Joint Intelligence Bulletin warns of activity from ISIS.

The FBI said there is no “specific credible threat to the U.S.,” but the public should “remain vigilant” and “report any suspicious activities to local police or the FBI.”

In the statement, the FBI stated, “We work around the clock with our partners in the law enforcement community to share and assess information.”

FBI Cancels $500M, No-Bid Contract with Motorola Following Protests from Competitors

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Protests from other vendors have prompted the FBI to cancel a $500 million, no-bid contract to Motorola Solutions Inc., the McClatchy Washington Bureau reports.

The FBI declined to use the competitive bidding process because the bureau already uses Motorola, and it would cost $1.2 billion for a complete new system.

Three vendors filed formal protests to the Government Accountability Office, which handles such cases.

In response, assistant FBI General Counsel Jack Cordes Jr. said the requirements in the FBI’s solicitations were “not clear” and that the no-bid contract doesn’t comply with Federal Acquisition Regulations.

“Therefore, as corrective action, the FBI will cancel the solicitation and reassess its requirements, as well as the acquisition strategy for meeting them,” he wrote.

FBI Investigates Hacking Attacks Targeting Law Enforcement Handling Ferguson Shooting

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating hacking attacks targeting the personal computers and accounts of law enforcement involved in the Ferguson investigation, CNN reports.

Authorities believe the attacks are coming from hackers affiliated with the group Anonymous.

Investigators are trying to determine the extent of the breach.

Included in the attacks are personal computers of investigators.

The hacking attacks are one reason police aren’t wearing their names on their uniforms, officials said.

FBI Promotes Eric Velez-Villar to Executive Assistant Director of Bureau’s Intelligence Branch

Eric Velez-Villar, FBI photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethwire.com 

 Eric Velez-Villar, a 29-year FBI veteran who has fought organized crime, terrorism and drugs, has been promoted to executive assistant director of the bureau’s intelligence branch, the bureau announced.

Velez-Villar most recently served as assistant for the intelligence directorate.

Velez-Villar joined the FBI in 1985 and began working on organized crime and drugs. In 2000, he relocated to FBI headquarters as a supervisory special agent and worked at the DEA’s special operations unit.

In addition, Velez-Villar worked as assistant special agent for the counterterrorism program in Los Angeles.

Opinion: Justice Department Needs to Oversee Substantial Reforms in Ferguson

Michael Brown

 By William Yeomans
Reuters 

The tragic killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson has brought to the surface long-simmering tensions between the Ferguson Police Department and the Missouri community it serves. In the shooting’s immediate aftermath, the focus has been on whether Wilson will be prosecuted criminally and convicted for the shooting. In the longer term, however, the focus must ultimately turn to a broader agenda, including substantial reforms in the Ferguson Police Department if it is to regain the full trust and confidence of the community.

After Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to the St. Louis suburb on Wednesday, he vowed that the Justice Department would stay involved to help heal the relationship between the police department and the public.  While many of the essential facts of the encounter between Brown and Wilson remain unknown, we do know that criminal convictions of police officers for shooting people are few and far between. The killing of Brown may turn out to be the rare incident that results in a criminal conviction by state or federal prosecutors, but statistics suggest that outcome is unlikely.

So what more can Holder and the Justice Department do?  Fortunately, whatever the outcome of the criminal process, they still have important tools at their disposal.

One crucial order of business will be to identify any credible allegations that the Ferguson Police Department used excessive force or other unconstitutional practices in responding to the demonstrations. The department’s frightening display of heavy weaponry established that it overreacted to peaceful protests, as did itsheavy-handed treatment of the press.  It will be essential to launch investigations into the credible allegations and pursue criminal prosecutions if any are appropriate.

The collection of these incidents, as well as incidents in the relatively recent past, will serve a second purpose. The attorney general has authority to investigate and file suit against a police department that has engaged in a pattern of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal laws. The investigation leading to such a suit can include an in-depth examination of the Ferguson Police Department’s use of force, its conduct in searches, surveillance and making arrests (including allegations of racial profiling and other bias) and its procedures for training, supervising and disciplining officers.

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