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Archive for January 14th, 2022

Weekend Series on Crime: Mexico’s Powerful Cartel

Wray Op-Ed Focuses on Law Enforcement Officers Killed in Line of Duty in 2021

FBI Director Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling

One law enforcement officer was killed every five days on average last year, the highest number since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, FBI Director Christopher Wray wrote that the death toll “hasn’t received the attention it deserves.” A total of 73 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2021.

Among those who died in the line of duty were FBI Special Agents Laura Schwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin, who were killed while serving a search warrant at a home in Florida early last year.

FBI Task Force Officer Greg Ferency of the Terre Haute, Ind., Police Department also was killed in an ambush outside an FBI office in July.

Wray wrote:

“When I started as FBI director, I made it my practice to call the chief or sheriff of every officer intentionally killed in the line of duty. I have now made more than 200 such calls. Each conversation reminds me that behind the uniform, the badge, and, yes, sometimes the flashing lights in your rearview mirror, there are real people. With each call, I think about the families and friends who lost someone they loved, the children who will grow up without a parent, and the communities deprived of a public servant.  

“We owe it to them to redouble our efforts to take the most violent offenders off the streets and to make sure officers have the resources, equipment and training they need to do their jobs safely. Even more, we need to ensure the brave men and women know that the communities they serve have their backs. 

“Every day, officers willingly put themselves at risk not knowing what dangerous situation or traumatic event they might encounter. I won’t pretend every person who carries a badge is beyond reproach, but the overwhelming majority do the job with the professionalism and commitment to equal justice citizens rightly expect. ” 

To read the entire op-ed, click here.

Oath Keeper Leader Charged with Seditious Conspiracy for Role in Jan. 6 Riot

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The leader and founder of the extremist far-right group Oath Keepers and 10 others were arrested and charged with seditious conspiracies and other crimes for their involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Stewart Rhodes, 56, was arrested in Little Elm, Texas. 

The Oath Keepers is a loosely organized group that focuses on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement and first-responder personnel. 

According to the indictment, the defendants were wearing paramilitary gear and using a military formation to navigate the crowds and enter the Capitol. 

They assaulted U.S. Capitol Police and conspired to storm the Capitol to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, prosecutors said. 

The indictment marks the first time anyone has been charged with sedition for participating in the riot. 

Since the riot, more than 725 people from nearly every state has been charged in connection with the insurrection. Of those, 225 have been charged with assaulting or impending law enforcement.