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ACLU Raises Concerns About FBI Secretly Using Aircraft to Keep Eye on Baltimore Riots

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has acknowledged that it sent aircraft into the sky to watch over rioting in Baltimore.

The news comes after numerous sightings of aircraft over the city.

The FBI told the Baltimore Sun that the aircraft was intended to monitor criminal activity.

“The aircraft were specifically used to assist in providing high-altitude observation of potential criminal activity to enable rapid response by police officers on the ground,” Amy Thoreson, an FBI spokeswoman, said. “The FBI aircraft were not there to monitor lawfully protected first amendment activity.”

The ACLU was not happy and filed a request for records for more information.

“These are not your parents’ surveillance aircraft,” said Jay Stanley, an ACLU analyst. “Today planes can carry new surveillance technologies, like cell phone trackers and high resolution cameras that can follow the movements of many people at once.

“These are not the kinds of things that law enforcement should be using in secret.”

Baltimore Mayor Asks for Full-Scale Civil Rights Investigation of Police Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an unusual move for a city, Baltimore’s mayor is asking for a full-scale civil rights investigation into alleged abuse within the police department following a riot over the police-involved death of Freddie Gray and other black suspects.

“We all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, reports the Baltimore Sun. “I’m willing to do what it takes to reform my department.”

Spokeswoman Dena Iverson said Attorney General Loretta Lynch “is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore.”

The Justice Department has conducted investigations of police departments in 20 cities, including Cleveland and New Orleans.

The investigations typically take 18 to 24 months.

State Justice Department Employee Accused of Helping Run ‘Fictitious’ Police Department

Brandon Kiel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A state Justice Department employee was among three people arrested for allegedly operating an underground police force in California.

Brandon Kiel, 31, of South Los Angeles, was charged with seven counts of impersonating a police officer and is on administrative leave, SignalSCV.com reports. 

“We cannot comment on the ongoing personnel matter or criminal investigation,” California DOJ spokeswoman Kristin Ford said.

During a raid last week, federal investigators found badges, police ID cards, weapons and uniforms.

The suspects declared the Masonic Fraternal Police Department to be a sate agency.

Kiel has worked with the California DOJ since July 2013 as the deputy director of community affairs.

What’s unclear is whether the trio ever performed law enforcement activities, such as pulling over cars and conducting raids.

Secret Service Tough Guys? Agents Show Soft Side in Kenya Ahead of Clinton Visit

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service agents have come under heavy criticism over the past few years for reports of wild sex parties, drunken driving and other seedy behavior.

But that media attention often misses the positive side of the Secret Service.

While preparing for former president Bill Clinton’s visit to Nairobi, Kenya, several agents spotted children playing soccer with an empty milk jug and sprung to action, The Washington Post reports.

The agents bought new soccer balls, and since they didn’t want credit for it, they “gave the gifts to Clinton’s permanent detail and asked for the balls to be delivered to the school’s headmaster,” The Post wrote.

Clinton also was reportedly moved.

Other Stories of Interest


Ex-FBI Agent Ordered to Undergo Psychiatric Exam After Strange Encounter with CIA

CIA Headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent who confronted officials at NSA and CIA headquarters has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after her bizarre encounter with federal officials, the Associated Press reports.

Tunisia Davis, of Alexandria, is being held for a psychiatric evaluation after she was accused of trying to grab an officer’s gun and loudly declaring that the CIA should be bombed.

Authorities said Davis told CIA officials she was curious what would happen if she just showed up at headquarters.

Davis was a special agent from 2004 to 2010.

Officials said she has refused to eat or drink since being arrested.

Justice Department Blasts DEA for Lax Punishment of Agents Behind Cruel Detainment

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department criticized the DEA for the lax discipline of agents who detained a San Diego college student and left him without food or water for five days, NPR reports. 

Daniel Chong was handcuffed and left in a dark room during the 2012 detention in which he tried to stay hydrated by drinking his own urine.

“What happened to Mr. Chong is unacceptable,” the Justice Department said in a letter released Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The DEA’s failure to impose significant discipline on these employees further demonstrates the need for a systemic review of DEA’s disciplinary process.”

Chong settled with the government for $4.1 million.

“I didn’t stay sane,” he told All Things Considered’s Audie Cornish in May 2012, weeks after his arrest. “Eventually, by the second or third night … I went completely insane and was just trying to get a grip on reality, on what’s happening to me.”

Federal Authorities Were Investigating One of the Gunmen at Texas Cartoon Contest

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the gunmen behind the shooting at a Texas cartoon contest that featured images of Prophet Muhammad strongly hinted on Twitter that he was about to get violent about 20 minutes before opening fire, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

“May Allah accept us as mujahideen,” or holy warriors, he tweeted.

One of his hashtags read: “#texasattack.”

Federal authorities were tracking 31-year-old Elton Simpson’s Twitter account and even had an open investigation on him at the time.

Homeland Security and the FBI also issued bulletins to local law enforcement, warning that the cartoon contest in Garland was a possible terrorism target.

Simpson and his roommate, Nadir Soofi, were killed, but not before shooting a security guard in the leg.

 

ATF Finds Crude Explosives in Aftermath of Riots, Arsons, Looting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF found at least two crude explosive devises in Baltimore while investigating the destructive fires during Monday’s rioting, ABC reports. 

The devices were assembled with a small propane tank and charcoal in a bottle, material that was looted Monday, ATF said.

The devices were made to explode after being lit .

Authorities are reviewing countless hours of footage that was taken during the riots in hopes of catching the suspects.

There were seven fires during the riot.

Other Stories of Interest