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Archive for April, 2016

Ceremony Scheduled Today for 30th Anniversary of Bloody Florida Shootout with FBI

FBI agents Jerry L. Dove (left) and Benjamin P. Grogan were killed.

FBI agents Jerry L. Dove (left) and Benjamin P. Grogan were killed.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Today is the 30th anniversary of a bloody South Florida shootout that left two FBI agents dead and another five agents wounded.

The FBI will mark the anniversary today as Director James Comey plans to speak at a ceremony at the bureau’ office in Miramar, NBC2 reports. 

The shootout with bank robbers occurred in the Miami suburb of Pinecrest on April 11, 1986.

Agents Jerry L. Dove and Benjamin P. Grogan were killed, and so were the robber suspects, William Russell Matix and Michael Lee Platt.

The FBI agents found themselves inadequately armed to fight off the robbers’ heavy fire, prompting the bureau to begin using more powerful handguns.   

CIA Director Says His Agency Would Not Resume Torture, Despite GOP Rhetoric

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan said on Sunday that his agency would not resort to torturing terrorism suspects despite rhetoric from GOP presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

“I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,”Brennan told NBC News.

Trump and Cruz have advocated using waterboarding and other torture techniques against terrorism suspects.

“If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from people,” Trump said after the Brussels terrorist attacks.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said they would not resort to torture.

When asked about waterboarding Sunday, Brennan responded, “I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.”

FBI Investigates Theft of Andy Warhol’s Iconic Screen Prints of Campbell’s Soup Cans

Campbells_Soup_Cans_andy warholBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the theft of Andy Warhol’s screen prints of the iconic Campbell’s soup can from the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri.

Springfield Police said the break-in occurred last week, when the museum was exhibiting “The Electric Garden of Our Minds: British/American Pop,” WTOP reports. 

The 1968 screen prints are worth more than $30,000 each.

“I can’t believe that would happen,” local artist Pam RuBert said. “I mean, you think of Springfield as the kind of place that this doesn’t happen in. I guess it shows the value of art and that this can happen anywhere.”

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: Chicago Mobster Sam Giancana

FBI Debates Sharing Details of Successful iPhone Hack with Apple

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is debating whether to explain to Apple how the bureau unlocked an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Director James Comey said.

During a speech Wednesday at Kenyon College in Ohio, Comey said the decision isn’t easy, CBS News reports. 

“If we tell Apple, they’re going to fix it and we’re back where we started,” Comey said. “As silly as it may sound, we may end up there. We just haven’t decided yet.”

Comey said the technology only works on iPhone 5Cs running iOS9.

The FBI’s struggle to unlock the phone prompted plenty of offers by technology companies to help, Comey said.

“Someone outside the government, in response to that attention, came up with a solution,” Comey said. “One that I am confident will be closely protected and used lawfully and appropriately.”

He added: “The FBI is very good at keeping secrets and the people we bought this from — I know a fair amount about them, and I have a high degree of confidence that they’re very good at protecting it and their motivations align with ours,” Comey said.

NYPD Corruption Investigation Prompts Commissioner to Discipline 4 High-Ranking Cops

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI corruption investigation has prompted New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to discipline four high-ranking officers.

Two of the cops – a deputy chief and deputy inspector – were transferred and their guns and badges were taken. Two other deputy police chiefs were transferred to desk duty, the New York Post reports. 

Bratton expressed disappointment with the officers.

“The public has expectations of its public officials, of the leadership of the department, and those expectations were not met,” Bratton said during a news conference. “This is not a particularly good day for the department.”

The cops are believed to be connected to Philip Banks, the former chief of the department, who sources say is a target of an investigation into improperly accepting gifts from businessman Jeremy Reichberg.

Border Patrol Reports Less Frequent Use of Force, But Accuracy of Data Questioned

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Parol agents and custom officers reported fewer incidents of resorting to force this year, saying they used firearms just seven times in the first five month of the fiscal year.

But the Los Angele Times reports that the figures released Thursday omitted at least one fatal shooting in El Paso. Because of that, some civil rights advocates questioned the accuracy of the data.

“It speaks to a lack of confidence in the statistics themselves. I don’t think there are that many firearm incidents that you can’t have a tabulation of what happened,” said Chris Rickerd, policy counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, adding that until more detailed numbers are released, “it’s very hard to have faith in these statistics.”

Last fiscal year, the agency reported using firearms 28 times, compared to 29 times the year before.

The agency released the data by geographic sector for the first time.

Travelers Launched 1,000 Complaints Against TSA Agents at Orland International Airport

airport lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Travelers launched 1,000 complaints against TSA agents at Orlando International Airport in 2014, according to records obtained by Eyewitness News 9.

The complaints varies from rude officers to inappropriate contact. Some of the complaints involved children.

But the most common complaint was that TSA officers stole property from travelers.

“We’ll pull video tape and if there’s an issue with the individual, we’ll hold them accountable. But a lot of times, there’s a lot of frustration with people arriving late to the airport, not understanding our process,” TSA Director Jerry Henderson said.

Henderson said the TSA is working hard to minimize the conduct that leads to complaints.

“(We) don’t really want any complaints, at all, so some of the things we’ve done is really partnered with the airport. We’ve done a lot of customer service training,” Henderson said.