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Hate crime? FBI Asked to Investigate Stabbing Attack by Muslim in Metro Detroit

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The FBI has been asked to investigate the assault of two men in suburban Detroit who were stabbed after saying they weren’t Muslim, The Washington Times reports.

Terrence Lavaron Thomas, a Muslim, was charged Tuesday with unlawful intent and possession of a controlled substance following the stabbing at a bus stop in Southfield, a suburb of Detroit.

Southfield Police are asking the FBI to determine whether a hate crime was committed.

“The victims in this case said that the suspect asked them if they were Muslim,” said Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins. “They responded that they were not, and then there was some back-and-forth between the victims and the suspect.”

Thomas is accused of stabbing one of them three times in the back. Another man who tried to intervene was stabbed in the hand.

Police said the trio did not know each other.

President Picks Interim Leader Joseph P. Clancy as Permanent Head of Secret Service

Joseph P. Clancy

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joseph P. Clancy, the interim head of the Secret Service, is getting the nod from President Obama to become the permanent guy, the New York Times reports.

Clancy was the former head of the president’s detail.

Some critics of agency wanted an outsider to take over. Apparently, Obama thought differently.

A 27-year veteran of the Secret Service, Clancy was appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division on February 1, 2009.  He held that post until his retirement from the Secret Service on June 30, 2011.

To read the full story click here.

Texas Judge’s Decision to Halt Immigration Plan Renews Hope of Homeland Security Funding

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A Texas judge’s decision to temporarily halt President Obama’s immigration plan could make it easier for Congress to find a temporary solution to keep Homeland Security funded, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Republicans said they may now have support for a short-term extension to avoid a shutdown at Homeland Security.

The news comes after U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction to temporarily halt Obama’s executive order so that another court could first hear arguments in the case.

“That would open the door to at least the possibility of some kind of short-term funding,” Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana, a member of House Republican leadership, said Tuesday.

“My hope would be that this ruling encourages Senate Democrats to reassess their opposition to allowing debate on the House-passed [Homeland Security funding] bill,” Messer added.

The sentiment was mirrored by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, S-South Carolina.

“If a court issues an injunction, I think it would be appropriate for us to consider the possibility of funding appropriations” while the judicial system considers it, he said.

AG Holder Says Drug Cases Down Because Less Focus on Smaller Offenders

Holder speaks in Philadelphia/doj photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors handled fewer drug prosecutions last year because of a new approach to handling smaller non-violent offenders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder said at a National Press Club address that prosecutions for drug cases fell 6% last year.

Holder said the feds are placing more focus on larger drug dealers, instead of smaller offenders.

Prior to the change in focus, Holder said drug users were getting sent to prison with no possibility of parole.

“For years prior to this administration, federal prosecutors were not only encouraged — but required — to always seek the most severe prison sentence possible for all drug cases, no matter the relative risk they posed to public safety,” he said. “I have made a break from that philosophy.”

He added: “These numbers show that a dramatic shift is underway in the mind-set of prosecutors handling nonviolent drug offenses. I believe we have taken steps to institutionalize this fairer, more practical approach such that it will endure for years to come.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

FBI May Lose Critical Surveillance Abilities Because of NSA Controversy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s ability to covertly collect “books, papers, documents, and other items” with a court order is at risk.

The Washington Times reports that the Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire in June, and it’s unclear whether lawmakers will “renew it, reform it or let it expire.”

Although the surveillance has helped the FBI track down suspects, Section 215 has become highly controversial because it gave the NSA legal authority to collect phone records on American citizens.

Some lawmakers said it’s critical to allow the FBI to collect the records.

“Law enforcement officials often use Section 215 to obtain necessary individual business records, such as hotel records, in connection with national security investigations,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the SenateJudiciary Committee, said in a statement to The Washington Times. “It’s a useful tool that helps them investigate potential threats to national security.”

The FBI declined to comment.

 

Delaware Voice: Comey’s ‘History-Making Speech’ Reveals Important Truths

Director James B. Comey speaking in Orlando.

Leland Ware
Delaware Voice

On Feb. 12, FBI Director James B. Comey made what will be remembered as a history-making speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

In the speech, “Hard Truths: Law Enforcement and Race,” Comey said, “With the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, the ongoing protests throughout the country, and the assassinations of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, we are at a crossroads.”

He went on to say, “Serious debates are taking place about how law enforcement personnel relate to the communities they serve, about the appropriate use of force, and about real and perceived biases, both within and outside of law enforcement.”

The most important point Director Comey made was about unconscious discrimination. He explained that “Much research points to the widespread existence of unconscious bias. Many people in our white-majority culture have unconscious racial biases and react differently to a white face than a black face.” The research to which Comey referred consists of numerous studies conducted over the last 30 years that have shown that racial prejudice is pervasive among many who consciously subscribe to a belief in racial equality. Many individuals who believe they have positive attitudes about racial minorities harbor unconscious racial prejudices.

Prejudice and stereotypes are the byproducts of ordinary perceptions, categorization, learning, memory and judgment. “Categorization” is the process by which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated and understood. It is an essential brain function that enables individuals to reduce the enormous amounts of information they encounter every day to a manageable level. Categorization allows individuals to relate new experiences to old experiences; the unfamiliar becomes familiar. Each object and event is perceived, remembered, grouped into a category and identified. The process is automatic and operates in milliseconds.

To read more click here. 

Texas Judge Blocks President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s immigration plans have been placed on hold by a federal judge in Texas so that states have time to argue their case against the president’s controversial executive action.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen blocked the plan with a preliminary injunction, ABC News reports.

The judge said the injunction was necessary so states could proceed with a lawsuit without suffering “irreparable harm.”

The White House issued a statement, saying the president made a lawful action that presidents have been making for decades.

 

“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws—which is exactly what the President did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system. Those policies are consistent with the laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws,” the statement reads.

“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and the district court inWashington, D.C. have determined that the President’s actions are well within his legal authority. Top law enforcement officials, along with state and local leaders across the country, have emphasized that these policies will also benefit the economy and help keep communities safe. The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”

FBI Investigates 7-Decade-Old Lynching of 2 Black Couples in Georgia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was a brutal lynching even by Georgia’s standards.

On July 25, 1946, a white mob tied up a black couple in their 20s and shot them 60 times.

The notorious incident became known as the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching.

No one has been prosecuted in the case.

But The Guardian reports that the FBI is investigating claims by civil rights activists that the people responsible for the notorious lynching are still alive.

The FBI is questioning people who civil rights activists say are connected to the killing.

One of the people investigated by the FBI was Charlie Peppers, an 86-year-old man who lives about 10 miles west of the lynching site.

“Back when all that happened, I didn’t even know where Moore’s Ford was,” Peppers said, adding that “the blacks are blaming people that didn’t even know what happened back then.”