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Rev. Sharpton: FBI Director Was Wrong to Suggest Public Stop Recording Police

camera policeBy Rev. Al Sharpton
for Huffington Post

Last week a federal grand jury indicted officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in South Carolina, on several charges including violating civil rights laws. During that same week, FBI director James Comey came out with more shocking statements claiming videos are somehow stifling police officers from doing their job and may lead to homicide rates and crime increasing. If Walter Scott’s tragic death were not caught on videotape, officer Slager likely would have never been charged and his family may have never known the truth. Reducing crime and keeping communities safe is what we all want, but if we are to ever separate good cops from the bad ones and reform policing in this country, we must push for more videotaped evidence and transparency (as a start), and not blame videos. New technology should be embraced instead of scapegoated.

While homicide rates have increased in certain places, in cities like New York and many others, they have gone down. There is no conclusive evidence as to what is either causing or decreasing these rates, and definitely no evidence of a so-called ‘Ferguson effect’. For the director of the FBI to even insinuate that such a thing exists is irresponsible, dangerous and unacceptable. Secondly, videotaping police misconduct is adding to the enforcement of law, not taking away from it because police misconduct is in fact a crime. How can anyone say that citizens should not videotape crime and it be used against alleged criminals? When security and surveillance cameras are everywhere in order to catch the bad guys, we should utilize cell phone videos to do the same – even if those bad guys happen to be wearing a police uniform.

To read more click here. 

Trump’s Friend, Ex-Butler Unfazed by Secret Service Probe of Threats Against President

Donald Trump and former butler Anthony Senecal.

Donald Trump and former butler Anthony Senecal.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s friend and personal butler for nearly two decades didn’t change his tone after the Secret Service questioned him about death threats he appeared to make toward President Obama.

“I think they wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go in there with a rifle,” Senecal told The Martinsburg Journal . “I told them it was too far to drive. I lived in Washington and hated it. I’m glad I got the hell out of there.”

Senecal previously said Obama “needs to be hung for treason.”

But now he says that he doesn’t want to kill the president himself, but he hopes someone else does.

“I think it should have been done by the military in the first term—they still have a chance to do it,” he said.

Texas Businessman Takes Case Against FBI to Supreme Court

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The owner of a trucking company in Texas, where FBI agents used an 18-wheeler without permission and the driver was killed, wants to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Houston Chronicle reports that owner Craig Patty filed a $6.4 million lawsuit for damages following the November 2011 incident, which involved a botched Zetas Cartel sting.

In March, an appeals court dismissed the suit. Now Patty is appealing the case to the Supreme Court.

“The facts of this case are straight out of a Hollywood movie, and yet are completely true and undisputed,” Houston lawyer Andy Vickery states in recent petition to the court.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agent Wounded During Shootout with Man Wanted for Shooting Cop

Dracy Pendelton

Dracy Pendelton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent was wounded Sunday morning following a shootout with a man wanted in connection with injuring a central Illinois police officer.

The unidentified agent was hospitalized with a nonlethal gunshot wound.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Dracy “Clint” Pendleton was wanted for wounding a police officer following a traffic stop on May 7.

Police said a member of the agency’s SWAT team was wounded when authorities approached an abandoned house in the Shawnee National Forest at 5 a.m. Sunday.

A police robot found Pendleton’s body on the second floor. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he shot himself or he was shot by authorities.

Existing Walls Along the Mexico Border Are Expensive to Maintain, Difficult to Enforce

Border Fence.

Border Fence.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fences along the Mexico border are expensive to maintain and difficult to police.

Drug traffickers often smashed through the barrier with trucks. Others sneak in when it’s foggy, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

About 670 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico has a fence. In California, maintaining a fence cost $9 million a year and requires surveillance cameras, underground sensors, welders and stadium lights.

The debate over the effectiveness of fences has gained traction after Donald Trump said he wanted to build a wall along the entire border.

Border Patrol Union Criticized by Own Agents for Endorsing Trump for President

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol union’s decision to endorse Donald Trump for president has polarized the rank-and-file and attracted unwanted attention.

“Mr. Trump is correct when he says immigration wouldn’t be at the forefront of this presidential campaign if months ago he hadn’t made some bold and necessary statements. And when the withering media storm ensued he did not back down one iota,” read the endorsement letter from the union, which represents 16,500 agents.

This was the first time the union has endorsed a presidential candidate.

But many agents weren’t happy because many don’t like Trump, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

For one, about half of the agents on the Southwest border are Hispanic.

“The Border Patrol has changed tremendously in the last 10 to 20 years. It has more than doubled in size and has brought in a lot of new recruits from all over country. That has increased the diversity of the agency,” said David Shirk, an associate professor of political science at the University of San Diego.

“While all of them are committed to the agency’s mission and believe strongly in work that they’re doing, they don’t reflect some of the more traditional stereotypes of the Border Patrol as a bunch of white guys chasing Mexicans.”

Don McDermott, a former supervisor of an anti-smuggling unit in San Diego, said the endorsement, which was made by a  group of 11 union leaders, makes the agency look bad.

“It is probable that the endorsement of Mr. Trump would expose both the union and the individual members to accusations of xenophobia and even racism,” McDermott said. “The reputation of the agency and of every agent is called into question.”

First 7 Students Graduate with Newly Created Minor in Homeland Security

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany.

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The first seven students graduated with a newly created minor in homeland security and other emergency fields at a New York state college, the Washington Times reports. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the students may play an important role in responding to emergencies that range from terrorism to extreme weather.

The first academic year at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany attracted more than 270 students.

State education officials hope to soon create a major in the field.

CIA Tip Led to Imprisonment of Nelson Mandela in Apartheid-Era South Africa

Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A CIA’s tip to apartheid-era South Africa led to the arrest of Nelson Mandela, according to a deathbed interview with the agent.

The interview with former CIA agent Donald Rickard will be aired as part of British film director John Irvin’s new film, “Mandela’s Gun,” reports Newsweek. 

“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said, accordingly to The Sunday Times.

“We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”

Mandela ended up incarcerated for 27 years before the was released in 1990.

Other Stories of Interest