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Libyan-Born Comedian Awarded $35,000 in Lawsuit over Interaction with Border Patrol

Comedian Mohanad Elshieky. Photo: Twitter

By Steve Neavling

A Libyan-born comedian who says he was racially profiled and illegally detained by Border Patrol agents after a stand-up show in 2019 was awarded a $35,000 settlement from the federal government.

Mohanad Elshieky, who was granted asylum in 2018, filed suit after agents pulled him off a Greyhound bus in Spokane, Wash., and falsely accused him of being in the country illegally. His tweets about the ordeal went viral.

“I explained to them that I was granted Asylum here in the United States,” Elshieky tweeted, “and that the work permit they currently hold and the license are impossible to get unless your presence here is legal. They told me that I was lying and these could pretty much be falsified.”

In a settlement with the federal government, Elshieky will receive $35,000, according to the Northwest Immigration Rights Project.

“To have the same government that is supposed to protect me accuse me of lying and being here illegally really shook me and undermined my hard-fought sense of safety,” Elshieky said in a statement. “I’ll never forget the harassment and humiliation by the officers when it was clear I belonged in the United States and on that bus. I hope my experience can at least be a wake-up call for others, and a lesson for CBP and its agents to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and to honor their rights.”

DOJ Releases Video of Rioters Attacking Capitol Police Officer Sicnkick

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department released videos showing rioters attacking Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with a chemical spray during the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Sicknick, who was trying to fend off rioters at the U.S. Capitol, died the day after the attack. He had two strokes, and his death was deemed “natural.” 

The videos are being used as evidence in the case against two men accused of assaulting Sicknick and other officers. 

The videos includes surveillance and body camera footage taken during the siege. 

Media outlets were given access to the videos, which still aren’t available for broadcasting. 

The Justice Department recently said it anticipates charging more than 500 people in connection with the riot.

The riot led to the deaths of five people, and more than 130 officers were injured. 

FBI Searches Rudy Giuliani’s Home, Office As Inquiry into Ukraine Accelerates

Rudy Giuliani

By Steve Neavling

FBI agents on Wednesday executed a search warrant at the New York City apartment and office of Rudy Giuliani, seizing cellphones and computers. 

The former New York City mayor who became President Trump’s personal attorney has been under investigation for his dealings in Ukraine, where Giuliani had sought damaging information about President Biden.

Giuliani’s attorney Robert J. Costello told The New York Times that the searchers amounted to “legal thuggery” and that his client offered to answer prosecutors’ questions.

In a statement, Giuliani said the search warrants were a “corrupt double standard” by the Justice Department, which he insisted had ignored “blatant crimes” by Democrats. 

One of the warrants sought communications between Giuliani and several Ukrainian officials and two former prosecutors. 

The FBI also search the home of Victoria Toensing, another lawyer who dealt with Ukrainians in the quest for damaging information on Biden and his son. 

Biden Taps Ed Gonzalez, a Texas Sheriff, to Head ICE

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has been nominated to head ICE.

By Steve Neavling

President Joe Biden plans to nominate Ed Gonzalez, a Texas sheriff and outspoken critic of Donald Trump’s immigration policies, to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the White House announced Tuesday.

Gonzalez was elected sheriff of Harris County, which includes Houston, in 2016 and reelected in 2020. 

Gonzalez will likely face opposition from Republicans during his Senate confirmation hearing, which has not yet been set. 

ICE has not had a permanent leader since 2017. 

Gonzalez has criticized Trump’s deportation policies and the separation of migrant children from their families. 

His law enforcement career began in the Houston Police Department, and he later served three terms on the Houston City Council. 

Gonzalez has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston Downtown and a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas. 

FBI Opens Civil Rights Probe into Fatal Police Shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

Andrew Brown Jr.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has launched a federal civil rights investigation into the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina last week. 

“Agents will work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to determine whether federal laws were violated,” FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch told The News & Observer on Tuesday. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further.”

Brown, 42, was shot five times, including once in the back of the head, while Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office deputies were serving drug-related search and arrests warrants on April 21, one day after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd.

Details of the shooting remain murky.

The city has imposed a curfew after protesters took to the streets demanding justice.  

Homeland Security to Review Threat of White Supremacy, Extremism within Its Ranks

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced it’s launching an internal review to asses the risks of white supremacy and extremism within the federal agency.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayoraks said the review is intended to prevent, detect and respond to domestic threats within its ranks, The New York Times reports.

“We recognize that domestic violent extremism and the ideology, the extremist ideologies that spew it, are prevalent,” Mayorkas said. “We have a responsibility, given what we do, to ensure that that pernicious influence does not exist in our department.”

The announcement is part of the Biden administration’s broader effort to weed out extremist ideology in the federal government. 

As part of the review, senior officials will explore the prevalence of extremism in its agencies, which include Border Patrol, ICE and the Secret Service. 

Mayorkas described domestic extremists as “the most lethal and persistent terrorism-relate threat to our country today” in a memo to all department employees on Monday. 

Jennifer C. Boone, special agent in charge of FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, Retires

Jennifer Boone, special agent in charge of the Baltimore Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

Jennifer C. Boone, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, is retiring after nearly 24 years at the bureau. 

“When I entered Quantico in August 1997, I never dreamed I would have the experiences and opportunities I’ve had,” Boone said in a statement. “Being an agent and a member of the FBI family is the greatest honor of my life. When I was given the opportunity to come back to my home state of Maryland and lead the Baltimore Field Office as the Special Agent in Charge it was a dream come true and I knew, even then, it was where I would want to finish my FBI career.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray appointed Boone to the position in June 2019. At the time, Boon was the special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Field Office. 

Boone began her career with the FBI in the Los Angeles Field Office in 1997. 

Boone later served in both the Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence divisions at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. At one point, she was detailed to the U.S. Senate.

In 2009, the FBI promoted her to a supervisory special agent, and she led a counterintelligence squad at the Washington Field Office.

Boone later served as director in Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council at the White House before being promoted to an assistant agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office, focusing on the Counterintelligence and Cyber Branch.

In early 2016, Boone returned to Washington D.C. as chief of the Counterproliferation Center. She was later named deputy assistant director in the Counterintelligence Division at the bureau’s headquarters.

In 2018, the FBI named Boone the special agent in charge of Cyber and Counterintelligence at the Los Angeles Field Office.

Boone received a bachelor’s of science degree in foreign service and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.

Son of Fallen FBI Agent Surprised with Birthday Caravan

Eli Alfin, the son of fallen FBI agent Daniel Alfin, waves at law enforcement. Photo: Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office organized a surprise birthday caravan for the 5-year-old son of FBI Agent Daniel Alfin, who was killed while executing a search warrant at a home in Florida in February. 

Local and federal authorities joined in the celebration, delivering gifts to Eli Alfin. 

“The Alfin family has been through an indescribable loss and we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to join in this special celebration and show them our support,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office tweeted on Sunday. 

Alfin and FBI Agent Laura Schwartzenberger were fatally shot outside the Sunrise, Fla., apartment of David Lee Huber, a 55-year-old systems engineer who was suspected of possessing child pornography. Three other FBI agents were shot and have since recovered.

Alfin and Schwartzenberger specialized in investigating child pornography and crimes against children and worked out of the Miami Field Office. 

Alfin, a New York native, was first assigned to the FBI’s Albany Field Office office in 2009.