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FBI Agent Who Shot at Police in Michigan Has Been Terminated

Ruben Hernandez

Ruben Hernandez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who shot at a police sergeant in Michigan in December has been terminated, the bureau said in a statement Tuesday.

Ruben Hernandez, 35, is accused of firing three shots at a sergeant outside of a Planet Fitness in Grand Rapids.

Hernandez, who is a Las Vegas-based agent, was in Michigan conducting an investigation when the shooting occurred.

On Friday, he pleaded no contest to felonious assault.

“We hold our employees to the highest standards of professional conduct. Mr. Hernandez has been terminated from his position,” the FBI said in a statement.

Hernandez’s lawyer indicated that his client was likely paranoid after consuming too much alcohol.

Border Patrol Continues Search for Canine That Went Missing on Feb. 20

Dunja has been missing since

Dunja has been missing since Feb. 20.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol canine that went missing during a tracking operation in Arizona on Feb. 20 has not been found.

Dunja, a dog used by the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, was separated from his handler during an operation on the Tohono O’odham Nation near Papago Farms, Tucson News Now reports. 

Agents continue to search for Dunja, who is 4 years old and has worked with the Border Patrol since August 2016.

The Tucson Sector has more than 100 canines.

The dogs can fetch up to $10,000 because they are already trained.

“They do go through several weeks of training,” said  Daniel Hernandez, spokesman with the Tucson sector. “The canines become a team within the agent and they spend a very long time together as a partner. Conducting all kinds of simulations at the training facility. So there is a huge bond between the canine and the handler.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Joins Investigation of Yet Another Act of Vandalism Directed at Jews

jewish-star_of_david_3-svgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping investigate yet another act of vandalism directed at Jewish people.

The latest investigation involves a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, where an estimated 75 to 100 headstones were toppled Saturday night, CNN reports. 

Police have yet to find a motive for the vandalism at Mount Carmel Cemetery.

“The Philadelphia FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania have opened a civil rights investigation into vandalism at the Mount Carmel Cemetery,” the FBI office in Philadelphia said in an email. “The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence.”

In recent weeks, dozens of Jewish community centers across the country have been the targets of bomb threats.

“I’m a child of a Holocaust survivor, so I grew up with stories of destruction of Jewish cemeteries,” said Rebecka Hess, who helped clean up the cemetery. “I always thought we were done with that.”

FBI Special Agent Dies After Completing Mandatory Fitness Assessment

Special Agent Ricky O’Donald

Special Agent Ricky O’Donald

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI special agent in the Miami Field Office died after completing the bureau’s annual mandatory fitness assessment earlier this month.

Special Agent Rickey O’Donald suffered a heart attack soon after finishing the fitness assessment on Feb. 17, Officer.com reports.

O’Donald, a 29-year veteran of the FBI, complained to fellow agents that he wasn’t feeling himself, so he drove to a local hospital. While in the parking lot, he collapsed and was later pronounced dead.

O’Donald is survived by his wife and and their daughter.

Contributions may be directed to Christ Rock Community Church, 11000 Stirling Road, Cooper City, Fla. 33328. http://crcconline.org/

The funeral is scheduled for March 1 at Fred Hunter’s University Drive Home in Davie.

Democrat Questions FBI Director’s Willingness to Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey has shown virtually no willingness to cooperate with a Congressional investigation into potential ties between Russia and President Trump’s campaign, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Monday.

“I have yet to be convinced … by the director of the FBI that we will have the fulsome kind of cooperation that we will need,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters in the Capitol, The Hill reports.

Without the full cooperation of the FBI and Comey, Schiff said there’s little the Intelligence Committee can do.

“We can’t become the FBI, we can’t send out our own investigators spanning all over the globe,” Schiff said. “We will need their cooperation, and whether we will get that in as fulsome a manner as we need has yet to be determined, in my view.” 

Schiff’s comments came just hours after Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said he’s seen “no evidence” of ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

“What I’ve been told, by many folks, is that there’s nothing there — but we’re absolutely looking into it,” Nunes said.

Activists: Reopen Case of Emmett Till After Witness Lied About What Happened

Emmett Till

Emmett Till

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil rights activists and others are calling for the federal government to reopen its investigation of the killing of Emmett Till, a black teenager who was killed in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman.

The renewed interest in the case comes after Carolyn Bryant, who accused Till of grabbing her and asking her for a date, said she was not physically assaulted by the 14-year-old. The revelation came in a book, “The Blood of Emmett Till.”

“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” the author Timothy Tyson quoted her as saying.

On Monday, activists rallied outside the Mississippi Capitol, calling for justice for the teen, whose killers were found not guilty by an all-white jury. They later admitted they killed Till.

Activists believe Donham should be charged.

“We just don’t want a conviction,” community activist Duvalier Malone said. “We want an apology.”

What remains unclear is what Donham could be charged with.

Ex-Border Officials Question Trump’s Plan to Hire 5,000 More Officers

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s plans to add more than 5,000 border enforcement officers has caught criticism from former top officials at Customs and Border Patrol.

Three top officials at CBP told Reuters that the hiring presents logistical challenges and might be unnecessary.

Increasing employment won’t be easy and may involve relaxing screening protocols for recruits, which could invite corruption and questionable hires, the former officials said.

The officials also questioned the necessity of hiring more agents since apprehensions at the border have declined.

“Congress is going to be looking at this very carefully and looking for justification for this kind of money to make sure they don’t write a check that is not necessary,” said W. Ralph Basham who headed U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the George W. Bush administration. “The question will be do we need more agents or do we need money for technology and infrastructure,” he said.

Trump has called for a more aggressive crackdown on illegal immigration and called for the hiring of more than 5,000 border patrol agents and 10,000 ICE officers.

“At the end of the day, the goal is to get control of the border and enhance the security of the country,” said White House assistant press secretary Michael Short in an email.

Other Stories of Interest

Should TSA Fire Staffers After 11 Passengers Weren’t Screened at JFK Airport?

1024px-welcome_john_f-_kennedy_international_airport_signBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eleven passengers managed to get past a checking point at JFK Airport without being screened last week, prompting outrage from law enforcement.

Although three of those passengers set off a metal-detector alarm, they were able to walk on without the TSA alerting Port Authority police for two hours.

In a statement, the TSA wrote, “Once our review is complete, TSA will discipline and retrain employees.”

The TSA pledged to take “appropriate action” against the responsible workers.

In an editorial last week, the New York Post called for the termination of the employees involved. 

Retraining. Appropriate action. How about fired? Sorry, no: TSA staff are a protected branch of the American Federation of Government Employees, one with the hilarious motto: “Stronger Union, Safer Skies.”

Private-sector workers who mess up so badly as to put lives in jeopardy would be gone in a heartbeat. Heck, they’d be fired for far less serious breaches.

Somewhere along the road to making America great again, Mr. President, how about privatizing the damn TSA to end all the maddening “security theater?”

Other Stories of Interest