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Tag: civil rights

Three Grown Men Plead Guilty to Taunting Black Middle Schoolers

 

Thomas Perez

 
By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI announced on Wednesday the sentencing of three grown men for taunting African-American middle school students in Louisiana.

James Lee Wallis, Tony L. Johnson and Brial Wallis admitted to hanging a dead raccoon from a noose on a flagpole in front of Beekman Junior High School, in Beekman, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, out of anger at the school’s new busing policy. They admitted to wanting to scare African-American students away from the school.

James Lee got eight months, Brian Wallis got five months and Johnson got six months, while all three received an additional year of supervised release, during which they must attend a “cultural diversity and sensitivity program,” says the FBI.

“Every child, regardless of race, is entitled to an education free from intimidation or discrimination,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in a statement. “Unfortunately, acts of hate such as this one are all too common in this country in 2012.”

US Citizen Denied Re-entry After Trip to Libya

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

An Oregon man is defending his innocence after being banned from flying back into the United States, reports FOX News.

After flying to Libya, Jamal Tarhuni’s native country, to distribute medicine and supplies during the country’s recent violent revolution, the 55-year-old naturalized citizen of the US was barred from boarding a flight homeward bound from an airport in Tunisia on Jan. 17, according to FOX. There, FBI agents interrogated Tarhuni for reasons he says he does not know.

“I very strongly believe the FBI violated my constitutional rights as an American citizen,”said Jamal Tarhuni.

The story was first reported by Kari Huus of MSNBC.com.

To read more click here.

 

 

Confirmed: Civil Rights Era Photographer Ernest Withers Served as FBI Informant

stanford edu photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The civil rights era photographer Ernest Withers has been officially confirmed as a one-time FBI informant, reports the Blog of LegalTimes.

The FBI in the past has long-refused to confirm or deny Withers’s status as an informant, but it accidentally confirmed Withers’ work in documents it released to a newspaper, a federal judge in Washington said on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the D.C.  ruled today against the U.S. Justice Department in a spat between a newspaper reporter and the FBI over access to the agency’s file on Withers.

To read more click here.

Concern Over San Fran Police Cooperating With FBI

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The relationship between the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department is coming under some scrutiny by civil rights advocates and local legislators, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

Supervisor Jane Kim introduced an ordinance Tuesday to prohibit police that work with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force from collecting information about locals without a “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity,” according to the Examiner. The law, Kim said, is necessary in preventing racial profiling and protect citizens’ rights.

Greg Suhr, the city’s police chief, said the law was unnecessary, adding that the concerns had been addressed already by department orders implemented last year.

To read more click here.

White NYPD Officer to Plead Guilty in Case Involving False Arrest of a Black Man

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A New York cop plans on pleading guilty to charges  relating to allegations that he  falsely arrested an innocent black man and later made racist remarks about the incident, reports the New York Post.

Michael Daragjati was arrested by the FBI this fall on civil rights violations. He has been in jail awaiting trial since.

After the black man complained about his treatment by Daragjati during a stop-and-frisk in Staten Island on April 15, Daragjati added resisting arrest charges before arresting the man. Daragjati, a white man, was later overheard saying he had “fried another n—–” on an FBI wiretap, the Post reports.

“Race played no part in the decision he made in effectuating the arrest of the individual in question,” Daragjati’s defense lawyer Eric Franz said after a court hearing, according to the Post.  Still, they announced plans for a plea deal.

To read more click here.

Arsonist Sentenced in Post-Obama Election Burning of Black Church

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man was sentenced to nearly 14 years for a 2010 arson incident, according to a statement from the FBI.

Michael Jacques, a 27-year-old of Springfield, Mass., was sentenced to 166 months in federal prison in connection with the arson of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield, a predominately African-American church, according to the statement, hours after Barack Obama was elected president. The prison term will be followed by four years of supervised release, and Jacques was also ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution, including $123,570 directly to the church.

The church was 75 percent complete, and the fire destroyed nearly everything, authorities said.

Jacques was found guilty in April of this year of conspiracy against civil rights, damage or destruction of religious property and use of fire to commit a felony. Benjamin Haskell and Thomas Gleason, Jacques’ co-conspirators, plead guilty to charges in 2010. Haskell was sentenced to nine years, while Gleason is set for sentencing in January.

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ACLU: FBI Illegally Surveilling Muslims

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It will always be a line hard to draw, between protecting the nation from another terrorist attack and reaching too far in the name of preemption. The American Civil Liberties Union sees the latter, though, and on Thursday said the FBI is using extensive community outreach among Muslims to gather intelligence secretively and illegally, reports  Jerry Markon of the Washington Post.

FBI agents in California illegally recorded information about individual’s political and religious affiliations while attending mosque gatherings and other events in Muslim communities, the ACLU says, citing internal bureau documents, according to the Post. FBI officials deny the allegations.

Some of the files the ACLU cites show FBI agents working with local communities to fight drugs and crimes. But others show agents recording Social Security numbers and other personal information, noting their political affiliations in at least one incident. The information seems to be used for follow-up investigations, but heavy redactions make it tough to come to firm conclusions, according to the Post.

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. Launches Probe into Miami Police Fatal Shootings

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department on Thursday announced a civil rights investigation into the Miami Police Department involving deadly use of force in nine police shootings  — eight of which were fatal.

“In the past 16 months, we have seen nine police involved shootings that are of concern and are the premise of our investigation,”said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a statement in Miami. “Since July 2010, MPD officers shot and killed eight young men and critically wounded a ninth man. By comparison, the country’s largest police force, the New York City Police Department had one fatal shooting for every 4,313 officers in 2010, while Miami had one fatal shooting for every 220 officers. Washington D.C., with a larger population and police force, had no fatal shootings by police in 2010, compared to five by the Miami Police Department.”

Perez said all but one of the shootings occurred within the proximate neighborhoods of Little Haiti, Overtown, and Liberty City, in northeast Miami. He said two of the shootings involved unarmed subjects, and that six out of the eight fatal shootings were by cops in specialized units like the gang unit, SWAT, tactical robbery unit, and the canine unit.