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Investigation: Homeland Security Missed Clear Warning Signs Before ICE Agent Shot Supervisor

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security missed clear warning signs of an ICE agent’s tendency to be violent before he opened fire on a supervisor and then was fatally shot in February 2012, the Associated Press reports, citing an internal investigation.

Ezequiel Garcia, 45, briefly had his gun and badge revoked by Homeland Security, which returned the weapon after a cursory review.

Before the shooting inside the Long Beach offices of Homeland Security Investigations, a supervisor objected to the agency from returning gun because of concerns over Garcia’s violent tendencies.

Garcia shot the regional second-in-command, Kevin Kozak, who suffered serious injuries.

Another supervisor shot and killed Garcia.

“The review revealed missed opportunities for intervention that, had they been pursued, may have prevented the tragic result,” the report said. Still, the report said “no reasonable person could have predicted” the shooting.

Woo and Rocha declined to speak to the AP through a government spokesman.

Other Stories of Interest

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI

Dennis Hastert

Dennis Hastert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert could spend six months or more in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago to lying to the FBI.

The Associated Press reports that Hastert struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors, who agreed to recommend he serve no more than six months in prison.

But a judge could still go beyond the plea agreement and send the Illinois Republican to prison for up to five years.

The plea deal also meant prosecutors would drop a banking violation charge.

Hastert was accused of handing $100,000 to an anonymous person to keep past misconduct quiet.

Bernie Sanders to Call for Marijuana Being Removed from DEA’s Schedule of Controlled Substances

medical marijuanaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democratic candidate for president Bernie Sanders plans to call for marijuana being removed from the DEA’s schedule of controlled substances in an effort to legalize pot, the Washington Post reports. 

Such a move would give states more control over marijuana. In some states, recreational marijuana is legal. In others, medicinal marijuana is legal.

But because the DEA classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, the states technically are violating federal law, which considers pot to have no medically accepted use.

“The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs,” Sanders said in prepared remarks given to the Post by his campaign. “In my view, states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco.”

Click here to see seven ways that the change would impact marijuana.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agent Admits He Tipped Off Media About Raid on Chaka Fattah Jr.’s Home

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent admitted from the witness stand Wednesday that he leaked information on the raid on Chaka Fattah Jr.’s home in Philadelphia, Philly.com reports. 

Fattah, the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah Sr., said he’s considering seeking a mistrial in a federal case involving bank- and wire-fraud charges.

FBI Special Agent Richard Haag acknowledged during testimony that he contacted a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter to ask questions about the case.

The agent said he tipped off the reporter about the raid at Fattahs home in exchange for information on contracts obtained by for-profit companies from school districts.

“I knew that someone had leaked it,” Fattah said. “But I didn’t know who.”

Fattah, who has been indicted on 23 counts of bank and wire fraud, said he lost $1 million in contracts because of the media.

My business has been ruined,” Fattah said. “My life is ruined.”

Should U.S. Build a Wall at Border of Canada? Congress Wants a Study of Threat

border patrol helicopterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republican candidates for president have been mocked for wanting to build a wall between the U.S. and Canadian border.

Now Congress is worried and passed a bill to require Homeland Security to determine whether the northern border is a threat to the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

The Northern Border Patrol Council, which represents officers, supported the move.

We’ve always said that illegal immigration is like water — it’s going to take the path of least resistance,” said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council. “The northern border is a vulnerability, and it always has been.”

About 2,000 Border Patrol agents protect the 5,500-mile border between the U.S. and Canada.

Baltimore Sun: FBI Director Comey Wrong about ‘Ferguson Effect,’ Distracts from Real Issue

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Editorial Board
Baltimore Sun

On Friday, FBI Director James Comey told an audience in Chicago that he believes that the “YouTube effect” — that is, the heightened scrutiny police officers have faced after a series of highly publicized incidents of questionable use of force, including Freddie Gray‘s arrest in Baltimore — has contributed to the nation-wide rise in violent crime. This is not a new theory — it has been voiced here by the head of the police union and by the former police commissioner, who said he believed officers “took a knee” after April’s riots. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently said he believed officers had gone “fetal” under the scrutiny. But given what Mr. Comey admits is a lack of any real data to support it, the theory is a damaging one to advance, as it only underscores the disconnect between police and the communities they are supposed to serve.

Mr. Comey said he has heard anecdotal evidence that officers are being told by superiors that their political leaders have “no tolerance for a viral video,” and that as a consequence, officers are reluctant to get out of their cars and question suspicious people. “Lives are saved when those potential killers are confronted by a police officer, a strong police presence and actual, honest-to-goodness, up-close ‘What are you guys doing on this corner at 1 o’clock in the morning’ policing,” Mr. Comey told an audience at the University of Chicago Law School. “We need to be careful it doesn’t drift away from us in the age of viral videos, or there will be profound consequences.”

What is so troubling about this line of reasoning is that it suggests officers have no idea about what has brought us to this point. The issue is not officers doing their jobs in an energetic, proactive way. The issue is the use of force when it’s not needed, the violation of civil rights and the general dehumanization of people who live in high crime areas, usually African Americans. The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which sparked the era of heightened scrutiny for officers, was not captured on video and proved less clear-cutthan reports initially suggested. But a series of subsequent cases — the killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and Sam DuBose, the arrest of Sandra Bland and others — cannot be construed as situations conscientious officers would find themselves in simply by doing their jobs.

To read more click here. 

FBI Warns Police Departments About Possible Attacks by Anarchists on Halloween

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An anarchist group is threatening to ambush cops as part of a “Halloween Revolt,” the FBI warned police departments nationwide.

The Washington Times reports that a group known as the National Liberation Militia is urged members to cause disturbances and then attack responding police.

The group is encouraging members to dress up in costumes and come armed and ready to attack.

No specific threats have been disclosed.

Justice Department Study: Ambush Attacks on Police Remain Steady, But Are Increasingly Deadly

badge-policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of ambush attacks against law enforcement remains steady – with about 200 a year – but more police are getting killed as a result, a Justice Department study found.

The study examined surprise attacks between 1990 to 2013 and concluded that there is reason for alarm and that “officers must not only be guardians of the public but also be prepared to respond to violence targeting them,” The Washington Post reports.  

“As part of our work to support these brave men and women, the Department of Justice is committed to extensive efforts aimed at preventing violent action against the police,” Lynch said in a statement. “This report will serve as a critical base of knowledge as we work to defend our law enforcement and ensure our officers’ safety.”

One deterrent, the study found, was in-car cameras.

Click here to see the report.