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CBP, Border Patrol Fail to Deliver on Promise to Be Transparent About Shootings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection pledged to become more transparent and accountable when it comes to agents using deadly force, but the USA Today reports that the agency is struggling to meet that promise.

At least 46 people – 16 of whom were Americans – have been killed by Border Patrol agents and CBP officers were on duty.

Then CBP’s acting internal affairs chief, Mark Alan Morgan, told reporters that he doubts any of the agents or officers were were disciplined in the deaths.

The USA Today rattles of a list of suspicious cases, including an unarmed teen shot in the back and agents shooting through a border fence in Mexico.

Despite the existence of a study on the issues, CBP kept it a secret for 15 months before it was leaked to the media.

“It just boggles my mind that DHS would hide this information,” said Wong, the retired CBP assistant deputy commissioner for internal affairs. “We’re not talking about terrorist activities or national security; we’re talking about things the American public should be aware of, should have access to. For them to say we can’t tell you how many people have been investigated for excessive use of force, well, I don’t understand the rationale.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

Weekend Series on Law Enforcement History: Mobster Meyer Lansky

httpv://youtu.be/Of5GSgued7I

httpv://youtu.be/1UNJTPtmZhI

NFL Takes Risks by Hiring Former FBI Director Mueller to Investigate Ray Rice Controversy

Director Mueller testifying on the Hill/fbi file photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hiring former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to investigate the NFL’s handling of running back Ray Rice has its dangers, the New York Times reports.

The NFL, which said Mueller would be given “the full cooperation of N.F.L. personnel and access to all N.F.L. records,” chose one of the best investigators to look into the matter.

“His reputation is really on the line,” said John M. Dowd, who was hired by Major League Baseball to investigate several matters. “If it comes out too light, it won’t look good. At the end of the day, what’s most important to him is his reputation, which means more to him than money. I can’t believe he’ll want to pull his punches.”

To avoid a conflict, Mueller will report to John Mara, the owner of the New York Giants, and Art Rooney II of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are lawyers.

“Our role is not to conduct or direct the investigation but to support Mr. Mueller and assist him in gaining whatever access or resources he needs,” Mara and Rooney said in a statement. “Our sole motive here is to get the truth and then share Mr. Mueller’s findings with the public.”

Mueller’s investigation has the power to damage the league because the probe is examining the behavior of those at NFL headquarters.

“He will have a lot of power to remind people about these promises,” Bromwich said. “These investigations can be a little tricky, but in many ways they are even more difficult if they take place behind a curtain rather than in the public eye.”

 

FBI Investigates Apparent Fire-Bombing Attempt of Congressman’s Office in Missouri

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II/gov photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating what appears to be an attempted fire-bombing of the Kansas, Mo., offices of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, the Los Angeles Times reports.

An intrusion alarm alerted police to the incident at 2:52 a.m. Thursday at the one-story building at 101 W. 31 St.

“Upon arrival, they observed a window on the northwest side of the building to be broken out. On the ground below the window, they observed two broken bottles with paper towels sticking out the necks of the bottles. There was a chemical odor resembling that of lighter fluid,” according to the city police.

A broken window appeared to be the only damage.

This wasn’t the first such attack.

“This is the second incident within the last six years,” John Jones, Cleaver’s chief of staff said in a prepared statement. “The Kansas City police have completed their initial survey of the scene and we await their report. None of the staff was in the building, and because Congress is in session, Congressman Cleaver is in Washington.”

The FBI said it is investigating.

“We have no arrests yet, but we are very early in the investigation,” FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton told the Los Angeles Times said.

Report: CBP Overspent by Building $680,000 Houses for Border Patrol Agents in Arizona

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection overspent when it built houses for Border Patrol agents in Arizona, an inspector general’s report has found.

The Associated Press reports that CBP spent nearly $700,000 per house in a town where the average home price is less than $90,000.

The investigating found that CBP spent about $17 million on land, 21 houses and 20 mobile homes. The agency overspent by about $4.6 million, the AP wrote.

The average house was $680,000, while the average mobile home cost $118,000 .

Construction was finished in December 2012 as a way to alleviate housing shortages for Border Patrol agents.

“CBP did not effectively plan and manage employee housing in Ajo, Arizona, and made decisions that resulted in additional costs to the federal government,” the report states.

While the CBP agreed with the recommendations, it denied wrongdoing.

“CBP relies on the private housing market to provide housing for its employees, except in a few extreme locations such as Ajo,” the agency said in a statement released by spokesman Jim Burns. “In Ajo, CBP built urgently needed housing for employees in accordance with the approved CBP design standards and the U.S. government guidance to be used by executive agencies concerning construction of federally owned housing for civilians.”

Video: Man Wearing Pokemon Hat Jumps Over North Fence of White House on Sept. 11 Anniversary

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local and federal authorities raided the home Thursday of the murder suspect of two district attorneys and one of their spouses, NBCDFW.com reports.

Meanwhile, lawyers for suspect Eric Williams plan to ask a judge today for a trial delay, saying they need more time.
It’s believed that new evidence surfaced during the raid.

Included were the FBI, ATF, Texas Rangers, special prosecutors and Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department.

Williams, who worked as a Kaufman County justice of the peace, is suspected of murdering Assistant Kaufman County District Attorney Mark Hasse, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.

Other Stories of Interest


Lengel: We May Never Feel as Safe As We Did on Sept. 10, 2001

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thirteen years  ago today, I was walking down Connecticut Avenue NW  in Washington, D.C.,  on my way to work, about to get on the subway, when I ran into a friend who asked if I had heard about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

I hadn’t. By the time I got off the subway at the Farragut North stop downtown, the city was in a panic. I ran into my editor at the Washington Post, who said she had heard that planes had crashed into the Pentagon and the State Department. Rumors were running rampant.

We got to the newsroom and everyone was standing around TVs watching the incredulous events unfold. 

A second plane had already crashed into the World Trade Center and a third had crashed into the Pentagon, not all that far away. We were under attack.

We all got our assignments. I was sent to D.C. Police headquarters on Indiana Avenue NW to hang out all day. I walked there, about 1.5 miles.  On the way over there, you could hear everyone on the street calling loved ones, checking in.

At police headquarters, a  group of reporters stood out front, hanging out. The police chief, Charles Ramsey, (who is now the Philadelphia Police chief) would occasionally drive by and give us updates. A plane in Pennsylvania was still unaccounted for. We kept looking up at the sky wondering if it just might come our way.

The world changed that day. We had been shaken before as Americans. We had the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but this was of a magnitude we had never seen before.

We’ve learned a lot since that time. At first, the FBI, jittery from not unearthing the 9/11 plot, and getting plenty blame for that, followed up on every tip it got, regardless of how silly it might have seemed. In time, it learned to separate the wheat from the chaff. Also, for a while, authorities were overly paranoid about anyone in D.C. taking photos or video of buildings. That eventually changed.

Plus, the government, the White House, the FBI and other agencies,  had a lot to learn about Islam.  The FBI shifted its top priority to terrorism, and we created the Department of Homeland Security, which frankly, the verdict is still out on how effective that has been.

Since that day, Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve become far more aware of  the potential terrorism threat.

Frankly, in the days that followed Sept. 11, 2001, I thought life would never be normal again.  Fortunately, things have returned to some semblance of normalcy.

But we’ll likely never feel as safe as we did on Sept. 10, 2001.

NFL Commissioners Urges Former FBI Director Mueller to Investigate Ray Rice Incident

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has asked former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to lead an investigation into the league’s “pursuit and handling of evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence incident,” the New York Times reports.

The news comes just two days after graphic video surfaced, showing the running back knocking his fiancee unconscious.

The investigation will be overseen by John Mara, the co-owner of the Giants, and Art Rooney II of the Steelers, both of whom are lawyers.

Goodell said he plans to give Mueller full access to NFL records.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the video had been seen by NFL executives long before this week.