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Tag: Denver

Veterans of Secret Service Admonish Agent Who Won’t Take Bullet for President Trump

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Veterans of the Secret Service said they were stunned to learn an agent based in Denver said she would not take a bullet for President Trump.

Gary Byrne, who protected President Clinton and the Oval Office, told Fox News that he was astonished by Special Agent Kerry O’Grady’s statements on Facebook. 

“It is unheard of and unbelievable that someone at her level would comment publicly on being unwilling to protect the president,” said Byrne, author of “Crisis of Character.” “Everyone has their own personal political opinions, but this job is not personal. You take an oath to the country, not the person. You are protecting the office, and what makes the country great.”

Retired Secret Service Agent Dan Emmett, author of “Within Arms Length” and “I Am a Secret Service Agent,” also admonished O’Grady.

“Her stated refusal or unwillingness to do what all Secret Service agents have been willing and expected to do since 1902 when the Secret Service began protecting presidents presents the worst possible example for her agents as well as all young agents Service wide. She has at this point rendered herself completely irrelevant as an agent. Few will be willing to work for her or with her.”

The Secret Service pledged to take “appropriate action” after her Facebook post came to the agency’s attention.

FBI Appoints New Special Agent in Charge of Denver Division

Calvin Shivers, special agent in charge of the FBI's Denver Division.

Calvin Shivers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Denver Division.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Calvin Shivers, who joined the FBI in 1990, is the new special agent in charge of the FBI’s Denver Division.

FBI Director James Comey announced the appointment Monday in a press release.

Shivers had been the acting special agent in charge since August.

He replaces Thomas Ravenelle, who was transferred to FBI headquarters.

The Denver division is responsible for overseeing Colorado and Wyoming.

Previously, Shivers was the section chief of the violent crimes against children section in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.

TSA Confiscated 22,000+ Prohibited Weapons from Carry-On Bags in 2015

Guns seized by the TSA.

Guns seized by the TSA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA confiscated 22,196 prohibited weapons from checked carry-on bags in 2015.

Of those, 2,653 were guns, and 83% of them were loaded. That’s a record number of guns confiscated by the TSA, The Week reports. 

Denver International Airport had the most confiscations, with more than 1,000 dangerous items found in carry-on bags.

Among the confiscated weapons were firearms, ammunition, knives, stun guns, mace, fireworks and hand grenades.

Other Stories of Interest

The Supreme Court, Police Shootings and Black Lives Matter

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Have the frenzied media coverage of incidents involving police shootings of African Americans and the protests of Black Lives Matter activists affected the Supreme Court?  The Court has not addressed a case involving race and the criminal justice system in some time, but two such cases are scheduled for oral argument this month.

Coincidence or a legitimate attempt to weigh in on a crisis jeopardizing law enforcement lives and the faith of minority Americans in the fairness of the criminal process?

US_Supreme_Court

The Court exercises discretion in at least three ways: what cases to accept for hearing (only about 1% are heard), the timing of oral argument (these cases were set for the first month of the 2016-2017 term), and in the individual votes and opinions of the Justices). The first two seem to demonstrate a special sensitivity to this subject which is embroiling race relations in America.

However, the other related question is whether the open seat on the Court from the death of Justice Scalia will affect the Court’s ability to decide these cases and to resolve conflicts in the lower courts. A 4-4 vote will mean that the lower court decision will stand. In these two cases the lower courts both rejected the petitions of minority defendants on racial issues.

The first of the two cases is Buck v. Davis, a death penalty appeal which has bounced around the Texas state courts, the federal district court in Houston and the 5th Circuit since Buck’s sentence of death in 1996. Buck was convicted of capital murder of his ex-girlfriend and a man at her house in a jealousy-fueled shooting spree. During the penalty hearing his defense attorney, who had a notoriously bad record in capital cases, called a psychologist to testify on the subject of Buck’s likelihood of posing a danger in the future.

In Texas the jury must unanimously conclude that the defendant poses a danger of violence to warrant the verdict of death. The defense psychologist testified that the fact that he was Black made him statistically more likely to be dangerous. Ultimately, however, the psychologist was of the opinion that he was at a lower probability of being dangerous. His report, which included the race analysis, was admitted as a defense exhibit. The prosecutor reiterated this race opinion in cross-examination and the witness’s conclusion in his closing argument.

On the most recent appeal, the 5th Circuit concluded that, although racial appeals had long been unconstitutional in criminal trials, the defendant had not met the standard of a substantial showing of prejudice to justify a Certificate of Appeal. There had been no proof that the result would have been different without the expert’s testimony in view of the defendant’s callous actions and his lack of remorse. The defense showing on appeal was not extraordinary and the prejudice de minimis.

This particular psychologist had repeated this race-based statistical opinion in six other capital cases, and the Texas Attorney General announced in a press conference that it would not oppose re-sentencing in all of those cases. However, a new Attorney General reneged on this promise as to Buck’s case.

In addition to the race-based issue, the case illustrates the tension in capital cases between two important principles. In cases involving the death penalty errors in the trial are painstakingly reviewed and appellate opinions often reach to achieve due process. On the other hand, there is a need for finality in the resolution of criminal cases. The length of time capital defendants sit on death row today is considered by some to be a failure of finality in the system.

Read more »

Suspected Bank Robber Sues FBI, City of Denver for Two False Arrests

bank robberyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man arrested twice on suspicions of robbing banks has sued the FBI, the city of Denver and its police department, claiming he was falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force and malicious prosecution.

FOX31 reports that officials dismissed bank robbery charges against Steve Tally, who is now homeless and is seeking $10 million.

His lawyers are from the same New York firm that represents the Central Park Five, winning a $40 million judgment.

Talley was arrested for a pair of bank robberies in September 2014.

Prosecutors dismissed the charged after Tally proved his alibi that he was working during the first robbery.

Months later, Tally was arreted again based on FBI facial recognition technology. But an FBI analysis later showed Talley was not the man in the surveillance video.

“He was guilty before he was proven that he was innocent,” bank teller Bonita Shipp said. “He was an innocent man. He didn’t do it.”

TSA Screeners Aren’t Charged on Allegations of Groping ‘Attractive’ Male Passengers

tsaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Denver airport security screeners who were fired after being accused of fondling attractive male passengers will not be charged, NBC News reports. 

The TSA screeners, a man and a woman, were fired in April following a six-month investigation by the TSA, which alerted Denver police to the allegations in March.

But Monday, the Denver district attorney’s office said investigators were unable to prove that one of the screeners was working at the time of the alleged incidents.

The male screener was accused of signaling to the female screener when an attractive man was approaching. The female passenger was then accused of patting down the passenger’s groin by signaling to the machine that the passenger was a woman.

“These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable,” the TSA said in a statement in April. “TSA has removed two officers from the agency.”

Other Stories of Interest

Robbery Suspect Shoots FBI Agent in Leg, Turns Gun on Self

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A suspect in a Colorado bank robbery shot an FBI agent in the leg and then fatally turned the gun on himself Friday afternoon.

KUSA-TV Denver reports that the agent, whose identity has not yet been released, was not seriously injured and was treated at a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries to his calf.

The agent was serving a warrant at a motel in Littleton, Colo. with a task force when the suspect fired two shots at him and other law enforcement officials.

The FBI said law enforcement did not return fire, but the suspect fatally shot himself.

Teenagers’ Plans to Join Islamic State in Syria Prompts Concerns about Recruitment Efforts

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The discovery that three teenage girls were trying to join the Islamic State in Syria has raised plenty of questions.

Among them: How did they get to Europe without anyone noticing and what prompted the girls, ages 16, 16 and 17, to make the trip?

The Associated Press reports that a school official said the girls were the victims of an “online predator” who convinced them to join ISIS.

“Social media has played a very significant role in the recruitment of young people,” said FBI spokesman Kyle Loven in Minneapolis, which has the largest Somali community in the U.S.

A school official said there were no signs that the teens had been radicalized.

U.S. officials also are investigating how the girls managed to get to Frankfurt.