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FBI Seeks Audio, Video App for Agents, Informants to Use for Evidence

cellphone-tower-photo2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is hoping to find a cell phone app that allows undercover agents and informants to secretly record audio and video that would be streamed back to government servers.

FedScoop.com reports the app will be used for “covert, evidentiary audio collection from smartphones” and will be streamed in courtroom-ready format.

“The basic capability will be audio, but GPS location information is also desired and eventually video capability,” reads a request for information’s draft technical requirements from the FBI.

The app would work on phones that run Android, iOS or Windows systems.

The FBI hopes to make the purchase by the end of next year.

Strip Searches, Racial Disparities Among Problems with Baltimore PD

baltimore police departmentBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s investigation into the Baltimore Police Department revealed a number of alarming findings.

The Washington Post examined the report and highlighted these excerpts from the investigation:

“BPD Conducts Unconstitutional Strip Searches”

“Numerous Baltimore residents interviewed by the Justice Department recounted stories of BPD officers ‘jumping out’ of police vehicles and strip-searching individuals on public streets. BPD has long been on notice of such allegations: in the last five years BPD has faced multiple lawsuits and more than 60 complaints alleging unlawful strip searches.

“BPD Ignored Prosecutors’ Warnings Against Problem Officers”

“Even where prosecutors have provided BPD with specific information on problematic officers who routinely make improper arrests, searches, or seizures, the Department has failed to meaningfully investigate the information or take appropriate action.

“BPD’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Strategy Focused on African American Neighborhoods”

“In some cases, BPD supervisors have instructed their subordinates to specifically target African Americans for enforcement.

“Racial Disparities in Arrests”

The racial disparities in BPD’s stops and searches are further reflected in BPD’s arrest practices. From November 2010 – July 2015, BPD charged African Americans with 280,850 criminal offenses, constituting over 86 percent of all charges filed for which the race of the offender is known.

Border Patrol Agent: ‘I Was Shot at by State Trooper’ in Texas

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Texas state trooper fired his weapon near a federal agent because of poor communication between the Border Patrol and Texas Department of Public Safety.

Records obtained by CBS 4 News raise questions about the Department of Public Safety’s decision to increase its presence at the border, even though many troopers aren’t familiar with the area and don’t speak Spanish.

“When you bring DPS officers from other parts of the state who aren’t really familiar with the border, it’s like going into a strange area or an unfamiliar area,” said state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen. “You’re prone to be a lot more cautious and possibly make some mistakes.”

On June 21, a game warden and Border Patrol agent were monitoring the Rio Grande when they said a trooper shot in their direction.

“I was shot at by a trooper,” the Border Patrol agent said.

Report: Secret Service Contacted Trump’s Campaign After Second Amendment Comments

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has tried to contact Donald Trump’s campaign after his suggestion that “Second Amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton from making Supreme Court picks if she’s elected, according to a CNN report. 

But Trump maintains no one tried to contact him and said the CNN report was “a made up story” for ratings.

The Secret Service said the information did not come from the public affairs office, but could not confirm whether someone else in the agency made the statement.

“Those statements did not come from our public affairs office,” said Joseph Casey, a spokesperson for the Secret Service.

This is what Trump said that caused concerns that he was promoting violence against a presidential candidate: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Secret Service Rushed to Clinton’s Aid After Protester Breaks Past Barricades

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service agents surrounded Hillary Clinton Wednesday afternoon when a protester broke past barricades at a rally and nearly reached the stage where she was speaking.

Video shows the agents tackling the protester, who was an animal-rights advocate. It wasn’t clear why Clinton was targeted at the campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa.

The protester has been identified as Kelsey Atkinson of Chicago.

Clinton continued to deliver the speech as the protester was removed.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge Doesn’t Budge on Lowering Blagojevich’s Sentence Despite Apology and Daughters’ Tears

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rod Blagojevich and his family hoped that a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday would reduce the ex-Illinois governor’s 14-year sentence during a resentencing hearing. But that didn’t happen.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Blago’s  young daughters wept openly in the front row of a federal courtroom and clutched their mom. Their dad, who is locked up at a federal prison in Colorado, appeared in court via a video transmission. He now sports stark white hair.

“I made mistakes,” Blagojevich, 59, said, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “I regret those mistakes and those judgments. And I’m sorry, your honor. I wish I could find a way to turn the clock back and make different choices. But that is not possible.”

But U.S. District Judge James Zagel was unmoved and reinstated the 14-year prison sentence despite an appellate court ruling that tossed five of Blagojevich’s convictions last year,  the paper reported.

Other politicians who have gotten stiff sentences for public corruption convictions in recent years include former New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson, who got 13 years and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was sentenced to 28 years.

FBI Director Appoints New SACs for Denver and Oklahoma City

Timothy Slater

Timothy Slater

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James B. Comey has named Timothy Slater to head up the Denver Division and Kathryn Peterson to head the Oklahoma City Division.

Slater most recently served as the deputy assistant director of the Critical Incident Response Group at Quantico, Va.

Slater joined the FBI in 1999 and began his career in the Detroit Division on the Violent Crimes Task Force, according to a press release.  He has held leadership positions in the Criminal Investigative Division, as the senior supervisory resident agent over four resident agencies in the Oklahoma City Division, in the Critical Incident Response Group, and in the Knoxville Division.

He’ll assume the new post in September.

Kathryn Peterson most recently served as an inspector in the Inspection Division at FBI headquarters.

She joined the FBI in 1990 and was first assigned to the Milwaukee Division, where she worked counterterrorism, gang, drug, and organized crime matters, the FBI said. Peterson has held leadership positions in the Chicago, Albany, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, and Inspection Divisions, and was a member of the Milwaukee Division’s SWAT team.

She will start the new job in late September.

Prior to joining the FBI, she served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence analyst.

Ms. Peterson will assume her new role in late September.

Justice Department: Baltimore Police Routinely Violated Civil Rights of Residents

baltimore police departmentBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Justice Department investigation determined that Baltimore police often are quick to stop, search, arrest and use excessive force on black residents who often did nothing wrong.

The investigation, prompted by the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, found deficiencies in training, supervision and policies “that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of federal law,” the Baltimore Sun reports. 

Part of the problem stems from a zero-tolerance policy that encouraged officers to make a lot of stops, searches and arrest without the proper training.

The investigators concluded that “supervisors have issued explicitly discriminatory orders, such as directing a shift to arrest ‘all the black hoodies’ in a neighborhood.”

Police practices in Baltimore “perpetuate and fuel a multitude of issues rooted in poverty and race, focusing law enforcement actions on low-income, minority communities” and encourage officers to have “unnecessary, adversarial interactions with community members,” the report said.