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Official Record of Police Shootings Has Major Omissions, Including Eric Garner, Tamir Rice

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Their killings prompted nationwide protests about the use of force by police but their names are missing from a federal government’s official database of homicides by officers, the Guardian reports. 

The absence of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford’s names raises new questions about the government’s official record of police shootings.

FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said the database is voluntary for police departments.

“We have no way of knowing how many incidents may have been omitted,” Fischer told the Guardian in an email.

A review by the Guardian found many flaws and omissions.

“It’s just another part of the cover-up and erasing of his murder from the record,” said Eric Garner’s daughter, Erica Garner.

Computer System That Checks Passengers Against Terrorism Watch Lists Goes Down

airport-people-walkingBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security computer system designed to raise red flags about airline passengers on the terrorism watch lists stopped working at five airports on Wednesday night, The Christian Science Monitor reports. 

The system went down for about 90 minutes but did not appear to be malicious, according to CBP.

CBP officers used alternative methods to check for suspicious passengers.

It wasn’t immediately clear which airports were impacted, by NBC News reported security screening problems at John F. Kennedy Airport and airports in Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Baltimore.

Other Stories of Interest

Wall Street Journal: Obama Should Not Lobby FBI About Hillary Clinton Investigation

president obama state of unionBy Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal

President Obama’s interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday has rightly received attention for his defensiveness about Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria. But the President made other news that deserves more attention: to wit, his legal advice to the FBI and Justice Department about Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The FBI has acknowledged it is investigating the former Secretary of State’s use of a private server for official communications, especially her mishandling of classified information. Though she denied in April that classified material had crossed her server, we now know that was false. Hundreds of emails sent to or from her server contained national secrets, some highly classified. She used her own email system in violation of the Federal Records Act and in order to protect her emails from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and this evasion made her emails vulnerable to foreign hacking.

Yet when Steve Kroft asked if the server posed a security risk, Mr. Obama dismissed the idea by saying “I don’t think it posed a national security problem.” But how would he know unless his lawyers are filling him in on the investigation? Mr. Obama must know as a lawyer how inappropriate it is for a President to comment on a case being conducted by executive-branch officials who work for him.

FBI Director Comey Offers to Help Cities Deal with Escalation of Violence

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey expressed an urgency Wednesday in cracking down on a surge in violent crimes in inner cities.

Comey said he’s committed to helping local agencies with investigations and other tools, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. 

The violence, he said, was affecting “younger men of color killing each other … and there are no lives that do not matter.”

Comey noted an escalation of violence in Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago and Washington D.C.

“There are cities with nothing in common where this is happening,” said Comey, who was appointed to a 10-year term in 2013. “We have hit historic lows for violent crime recently, and if we let it slide back, we will need to explain to those who come after us what we did or didn’t to let that happen.”

Comey called for cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

“I’m not here announcing any big initiative or program … but we have a lot of smart people who we brought on board after 9/11 who may be able to help look at the issue differently,” Comey said. “We definitely need to bring more folks to bear.”

Complaints Paint Disquieting Portrait of Border Patrol Misconduct

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.Drivers routinely complain about misconduct at Border Patrol checkpoints near the Mexican border, according to newly released information, the New York Times reports. 

Among the complaints are verbal abuse, racial profiling and improper use of guns.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has accumulated 6,000 pages of complaints, statistics and other records related to alleged misconduct.

The New York Times reported:

Collectively, the documents, detailing encounters between motorists and border agents from January 2011 to August 2014, portray an agency whose fractured oversight system has enabled at least some agents working along the southern border to stretch the limits of law and professional courtesy while rarely facing meaningful consequences.

Among the 142 complaints obtained by the A.C.L.U., only one seems to have resulted in disciplinary action: An agent received a one-day suspension for unjustifiably stopping a vehicle, apparently driven by the son of a retired Border Patrol agent.

James Lyall, an A.C.L.U. lawyer dedicated to the border, said the records not only confirmed the types of stories his office regularly heard from border residents, but also suggested that Customs and Border Protection had underreported the number of civil rights complaints it had received.

Florida Police Officers Claims He Was Disciplined for Speaking to FBI

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Boynton Beach police officer who was placed on administrative leave after speaking to FBI agents is suing the Florida city.

The Miami Herald reports that Sgt. Leif Broberg, a 24-year-veteran of the department, alleges the department threatened to fire him for launching complaints about members of the force trying to conceal video of an arrest.

Broberg said his leave amounts to punishment for talking to FBI agents about a video that he says depicts officers beating a suspect after a high-speed chase.

Broberg has contended that high-ranking members of the department wanted to discard the video.

Other Stories of Interest

Retired FBI Official Michael Mason Remembers Fondly Agent Robin Ahren

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI. Thirty years ago this month, Robin Ahrens became the first female FBI agent killed in the line of duty.

Robin Ahrens

Robin Ahrens

By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com

It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since Robin Ahrens was killed in the line of duty. I met Robin briefly when our paths crossed at the FBI Academy.

I can still remember being advised that a female agent had been killed and then hearing Robin’s name. It was like a punch in the stomach. Not really because I can claim to have known her well, we were both new agent trainees and she was one class behind my class.

Rather it was because she was one of us…not just an agent, but a brand new agent. The reality of the danger of the job became very real in that moment.

It’s always a bit more sobering to hear about the passing of anyone with whom you had even the briefest of encounters. It makes the incident less anonymous. Your story made me pause and think of all the life I have lived since she was killed.

Though I am not a religious man, it is moments like this I hope there is a heaven. It is right to pause and remember those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Justice Department Creates New Position to Focus on Threats of Homegrown Extremism

department-of-justice-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The rising threat of homegrown extremism has prompted the Justice Department to create a new position to coordinate investigations, the Washington Post reports. 

The new position of domestic terrorism counsel is expected to be announced today at George Washington University.

The position will focus on threats posed by ISIS, as well as by racists and anti-government zealots.

Other Stories of Interest