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FBI to Media: Please Stop Identifying Mass Shooters

Media coverage of Newton, Connecticut shooting

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has taken the unusual step of urging the media to stop identifying mass shooters, KSAT.com reports.

The campaign, called “Don’t Name Them,” comes after researchers at Texas State University found that fame and past mass casualties often motivated shooters.

“When the media covers it, it unfortunately puts ideas in people’s heads,” said Chris Combs, special agent in charge of the San Antonio FBI field office.

Dr. Pete Blair, a researcher with TSU, said reporters are often focused on identifying the shooters and sharing their personal information.

“We understand that the events have to be covered, but it shouldn’t be a glamor piece making this person the center point of the story,” Blair said. “We’d much rather see stories about the heroes and the victims and those sorts of things.”

Blair said people should call out news organizations on social media for naming shooters.

TSA Offers $15,000 for Ways to Improve Frustrating Screening Lines at Airports

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Security comes at a cost.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, passengers have complained about long wait times and intrusive searches.

Now the TSA is offering $15,000 for the best ideas for improving those frustrating screening lines, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The challenge, said TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein, “is about leveraging innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to find solutions to TSA’s most challenging issues.”

The person with the best idea will receive at least $5,000, while others with good ideas will get at least $2,500.

Harold Shaw Named SAC of Intelligence in FBI’s New York Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Harold H. Shaw has been named special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division at the New York Field Office.

Since April 2013, he has served as a section chief and deputy director for law enforcement at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) as a liaison between the FBI and the CIA, the FBI said in a press release.

Shaw joined the FBI in 1999 and was first assigned to the New York Field Office where he worked as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and investigated international and domestic terrorism cases, including the USS Cole bombing.

In 2003, he was promoted to FBI Headquarters as a supervisory special agent detailed to the CTC. In this role, he served as one of the first liaison officers between the FBI and CIA,the FBI press release said.

He later served as the deputy director for law enforcement for the CTC-International Terrorism Department.

In 2005, Shaw was promoted to field supervisor in the New York Field Office and oversaw a JTTF squad responsible for international terrorism tied to the Middle East.

In November 2011, Shaw was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the FBI New York Field Office’s Counterterrorism Division.

 

FBI Agent Who Combats Child Porn Charged with Assaulting Teen at Missouri Home

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who works on a task force to combat child porn in Missouri has been charged with assault for allegedly choking a 13-year-old boy until he became unconscious, the Riverfront Times reports.

Special Agent Scott Armstrong, 37, is due back in court Tuesday after pleading not guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault charges.

Armstrong works with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force to combat child porn.

It’s unclear why the child was at Armstrong’s home, but police said Armstrong strangled  the boy until “temporary unconsciousness.”

In his probable cause statement, Armstrong admitted to “placing his arm around” the teen’s neck until he lost consciousness.

Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey said the FBI never contacted him about the assault.

“The FBI never did contact me,” Carey said. “I wasn’t happy about that.”

Man Who Killed 6, Seriously Injured Rep. Giffords Planned More Serious Follow-Up Attack

Jared Loughner/pima county sheriff photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man who killed six people and severely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords planned a second attack that could have been more deadly, according to newly released FBI records obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

FBI agents searching the Tucson, Ariz., residence of Jared Lee Loughner found a small safe containing bomb-making components. Agents found batteries, a circuit board, wires and a numeric keyboard system.

Loughner was not captured on the morning of the 2011 attack.

The new records suggest Loughner had an even more violent attack planned, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Republicans Blame Environmental Protections on Curtailing Flow of Illegal Immigration

Rep. Ted Cruz

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republicans are complaining that environmental laws intended to protect land and wildlife are hampering efforts to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, The Hill reports.

About 800 miles along the Mexico-U.S. border – or 40% of the land – is controlled and protected by the Interior Department.

The federal land protections are restricting CBP’s access to the border and its ability to build infrastructure or install surveillance equipment.

“There is no doubt that the restrictions on accessing land along the border have made it more difficult for the Border Patrol to do their job,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Republicans said smugglers exploit areas they know are protected.

“It seems a commonsense reform to say that the border patrol should be able to fully access and patrol the border,” Cruz said.

Democrats disagree with the assessment that CBP’s work is hampered by environmental laws.

“If they’re talking about the most recent influx, it’s happening in areas that have nothing to do with protected federal lands,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. “So I think it’s a specious argument to continue their anti-conservation agenda.”

Editorial: Extending Arrest Power to Guard Troops Is Unnecessary

By Editorial Board
Beaumont Enterprise  

If there’s anything worse than Gov. Rick Perry sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border to boost his presidential hopes, it’s Sen. Ted Cruz calling for them to have federal arrest powers – to boost his presidential hopes.

That’s a bad idea, and someone like Cruz who says he’s a strict constitutionalist should know that. Members of the National Guard and regular military have long been restricted by U.S. laws and customs from these kinds of police duties. Their job is to fight wars. If they are deployed domestically, invariably it’s in response to a natural disaster.

Guard troops have no training in arresting or detaining illegal immigrants. While that’s not an extremely complicated practice, it’s also not something you just start doing on a whim. There’s no reason this task can’t be handled by law enforcement or Border Patrol agents, who already know what they’re doing.
Texans should not be misled by these political stunts. Perry called out the National Guard to impress the people of Iowa and New Hampshire as much as those in Texas. Now Cruz realizes that he has to ratchet up the noise to keep pace with his rival in Texas.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Parker: Law Enforcement Fatalities Up in First Half of the Year

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

 The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty went up 31%  during the first half of 2014, compared to the same time period last year. Of the 67 officers killed, 26 were in traffic-related incidents, 25 were killed by gunfire, and 16 due to job-related illnesses and other causes. 

Despite the increase, the overall trend of officer fatalities continued to trend downward from the the 1970 when 140 officers were killed during the same period.

The number of annual firearm-related deaths has decreased from 62 in the 1970s to 24 on average during the period since 2000. The statistics were compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  (Their full report can be viewed by clicking here. 

Particularly disturbing were the sharp increases in deaths by gunfire (56%) and in fatal on-duty heart attacks (62%). Gunfire deaths were caused primarily by handguns either while the officer was investigating suspicious persons or circumstances or was the victim of an ambush.

Federal officers killed in the line of duty so far this year include three territorial officers and a military officer. In addition, LA County Sheriff Detective/DEA Task Force Officer Al Riveria passed away after surgical complications for an on the job The most dangerous places for law enforcement officers were California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Virginia. Michigan and nineteen other states have had no fatalities so far this year.

The deadliest day of the week was Monday (15) and Tuesday (5) the least deadly.  The deadliest month overall was May and April had the fewest fatalities.

The average age of the officer killed in the line of duty was 42 with an average of 13 years of service. He (64) or she (3) had an average of two children. The spike in the number of officer fatalities, even with an overall downward trend, is a grim reminder that law enforcement continues to be a dangerous job performed to keep the rest of us safe.