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Government Watchdogs Investigating Use of Force by Federal Officers in Portland, Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The inspectors general of the Justice Department and Homeland Security have launched investigations into how federal agents have used force and detained protesters during demonstrations in Portland and Washington D.C.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing the use of force by U.S. Marshals in Portland and the FBI, DEA and ATF in Washington D.C., The Washington Post reports.

Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari is investigating allegations that CBP agents “improperly detained and transported protesters” in Portland, where protesters and federal officers have clashed over the past week.

In a joint statement, Democratic leaders in the U.S. House said the investigations are “critically important” as the Trump administration plans to deploy federal agents to additional cities, including Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City.

“Many of these federal agents are dressed as soldiers, driving unmarked vehicles and refusing to identify themselves or their agencies,” they wrote. “Nearly everywhere they have deployed, their presence has increased tensions and caused more confrontation between demonstrators and police.”

On Thursday night, a federal judge in Oregon issued a temporary restraining order barring federal agents in Portland from arresting or using force against journalists and legal observers.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security’s first secretary, Republican Tom Ridge, criticized the use of federal officers in cities without the consent of state and local officials.

“It would be a cold day in hell before I would consent or agree to the unsolicited, uninvited intervention in any of my cities,” Ridge told KDKA . “I certainly don’t favor that kind of action, and certainly don’t think DHS was designed for that purpose to start with.”

Ex-FBI Director James Comey to Release Second Book Ahead of Inauguration Day

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has written a new book that will be released in January, just 10 days before Inauguration Day.

“Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust” will explore Comey’s career and his call “for a return to non-partisan law enforcement centered on American values.”

“In the new book, Comey draws on his long, varied career in the law and justice system, from prosecuting mobsters as an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York in the 1980s to his tumultuous stint as FBI director working under Donald Trump, to illuminate the core values of the Department of Justice, and the path to restoring them,” the publisher Flatiron announces.

Comey made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday.

“New book coming. I hope it will be useful as our country works — starting in 2021 — to restore faith in Justice,” Comey tweeted.

The book is a follow-up to “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” a top-selling book about the Trump administration.

FBI Links Murder of New Jersey Judge’s Husband to California Slaying of Another ‘Men’s Rights’ Attorney

Roy Den Hollander, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The “anti-feminist” lawyer suspected of fatally shooting the son of a New Jersey federal judge and wounding her husband at their family home on Sunday is now a suspect in the murder of a rival “men’s rights” attorney in California.

“We are now engaged with the San Bernardino California Sheriff’s Office and have evidence linking the murder of Marc Angelucci to FBI Newark subject Roy Den Hollander,” the FBI’s said in a statement.  “This investigation is ongoing.”

Hollander, 72, who allegedly posed as a FedEx deliveryman before shooting the son and husband of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, turned the gun on himself and was found dead in Liberty, N.Y. In addition to finding a FedEx packaged addressed to Salas in Hollander’s car, authorities also found papers mentioning Marc Angelucci, who was fatally shot at his home in California, The Daily Beast reports.

The FBI said investigators found evidence that Hollander was in California at the time of the Angelucci shooting. It was not immediately clear what other evidence the FBI had to link Hollander to Angelucci’s death.

CBP Sent 3 Paramilitary-Style Units to Crackdown on Protests in Portland

Border Patrol Tactic Unit via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection has sent three specially trained, paramilitary-style units to help crackdown on protests Portland, Reuters confirms.

“We have agents and officers from our special operations groups deployed,” a CBP official said in an email.

A lot of questions have been raised since videos began circulating on social media last week that showed camouflage-clad officers in tactical gear and no insignia clashing with protesters in Portland. State and local leaders have criticized the deployment, and civil-rights advocates argue the officers are violating protesters’ free speech rights.

One of the units identified by Reuters is the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which “provides an immediate response capability to emergent and high-risk incidents requiring specialized skills and tactics,” according to CBP’s website.

The other units are the Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue and Special Response teams.

Democrats and some Republicans are questioning the wisdom of sending federal agents to quell protests in American cities.

“Donald Trump has no justification for deploying paramilitary troops to the streets of Portland or any other American city,” Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said. “These occupying forces are creating conflict, attacking peaceful protesters and making my hometown more dangerous. For Portland to find peace, Trump needs to pull unwanted federal agents out of our city immediately.”

Comey: Sending Uninvited Federal Officers to Cities Is ‘Dumb And Self-Defeating’

James Comey via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The presence of camouflage-clad federal officers in cities like Portland, against the wishes of local and state authorities, threatens to sever the longstanding relationships between federal law enforcement and communities.

So says former FBI Director James Comey in a column for The Washington Post.

“‘The FBI does nothing alone’ is how I often explained our dependence upon partnerships with local and state law enforcement,” Comey wrote. “The willingness of cities, counties and states to contribute their resources — most importantly, their people — to our task forces was at the heart of the FBI’s and DEA’s success. Town councils and mayors around the country supported those relationships because they trusted us.”

He added, “The costs to federal law enforcement will be enormous.”

President Trump has pledged to send federal law enforcement officers to cities where protests have broken out. In Portland, images of federal officers in full tactical gear clashing with protesters have enraged protesters and local and state officials, raising serious questions about Trump’s motives.

“So it’s dumb and self-defeating on many levels for the feds to engage the way they have in Portland,” Comey wrote. “No sensible law enforcement leader would approach it this way. Which begs a question: Is televised conflict the goal?”

Comey warned that the consequences could be long-lasting and devastating.

“The only thing damaged in the process will be the United States and the federal law enforcement agencies our country needs,” Comey wrote. “Yet again, the craving of our president for reelection seems to override everything.”

FBI: Suspect in Fatal Shooting at Home of New Jersey Judge Was an ‘Anti-Feminist’ Lawyer

U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The suspect accused of fatally shooting the son of a New Jersey federal judge and wounding her husband at their family home on Sunday has been identified as Roy Den Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer, the FBI announced.

Hollander, who allegedly posed as a FedEx deliveryman before shooting the son and husband of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, turned the gun on himself and was found dead in Liberty, N.Y., The New York Times reports.

In a self-published book, Hollander described Salas as “a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama.”

Salas presided over a case in which Hollander challenged the male-only U.S. military draft. He handed the case to another lawyer last summer, saying he had terminal cancer.

Salas’ husband, Mark Andrel, was in stable condition Monday evening.

The FBI led the investigation, with assistance from U.S. marshals and other federal and local law enforcement.

Wayne G. Davis, One of the FBI’s First Black Agents, Dies at Age 81

Wayne G. Davis

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Wayne G. Davis, a 25-year veteran of the FBI who served as special agent in charge of the Detroit, Indianapolis and Philadelphia field offices, died earlier this month.

Davis was 81.

Davis began his career with the bureau in 1963 after becoming one of the first African Americans to graduate from the FBI Academy. His first assignments were in Detroit, Newark and Washington, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

After leading the Indianapolis office for two years, Davis became the first Black person to serve as special agent in charge of the Detroit office in 1981.

In 1985, Davis was appointed to head the Philadelphia office.

“Wayne’s promotions to special agent in charge of the Detroit and Philadelphia offices made him one of the highest-ranking Black agents in a well-earned position of authority in the FBI,” Jerri Williams, who served as Davis’ media specialist in Philadelphia, wrote in a tribute. “Considering the times we are living in today, with tensions between the Black community and law enforcement, Wayne Davis’ life and career is something we can all celebrate.”

Davis was born in New York City, where he attended public school before earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut in 1960.

He is survived by his wife, Lois, and his daughters Adrienne and Cheryl, two grandchildren, and a brother.

Memo: Federal Agents in Portland Not Adequately Trained in Riot Control Or Mass Demonstrations

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents who were sent to Portland to quell protests were not adequately trained in riot control or mass demonstrations, Homeland Security warned in an internal memo.

The memo, dated Thursday, was written for acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who criticized local officials’ handling of protests that resulted in property damage at federal buildings, The New York Times reports.

The presence of federal officers has drawn widespread criticism and lawsuits after videos circulated on social media showing the officers in camouflage grabbing protesters from the streets and loading them into unmarked minivans.

“Moving forward, if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies,” the memo warns.

Among those sent to Portland were tactical agents from a group known as BORTAC, a SWAT-type team that typically investigates drug smuggling organizations, not protests.

Homeland Security spokesman Alexei Woltornist said the federal agents received “additional training for their deployment in the city” to help the Federal Protective Service.

The sight of federal officers shooting tear gas and non-lethal projectiles at protesters appears to have escalated “fear and violence” in the city, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosemblum argued in a lawsuit filed Friday against Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service, and CBP.