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Tag: George Floyd

ATF Investigating 250+ Fires in Minneapolis Amid Unrest Following George Floyd’s Death

Via Pixabay

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigating more than 150 fires that broke out during unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“We are making excellent progress with tremendous help from the public,” ATF Special Agent Terry Henderson tells KARE-11 news.

So far, nine people have been arrested in connection with the fires. Another 20 persons of interest have been identified, and the ATF is trying to track them down.

“This is a large scale, large scope event. It is certainly unprecedented for this field division to have this many fires at one time,” Henderson says.

“We have seen a tremendous response from the public providing us with information in regards to these crimes.”

Agents are combing through surveillance and cell phone footage.

FBI Director Wray Visited Minneapolis Field Office That Is Investigating Death of George Floyd

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray stopped by the bureau’s Minneapolis Field Office Tuesday morning to meet with employees and get updates on the investigation into the death of George Floyd.

Wray visited the office for a quick “welfare check” on agents who are working on the civil rights case and investigating violent protests, Minneapolis FBI spokesman Kevin Smith told the Associated Press.

Agents are trying to determine whether civil rights charges are warranted against former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Wray also was briefed on the civil rights investigation.

Harvey Goldstein: A Reimagined Police Force Must Be A Win/Win To Make A Difference

The author is an organizational development consultant, psychologist, trainer, and speaker for public safety, non-profit, and private sector entities.

By Harvey Goldstein

George Floyd.

The lurid almost macabre murder of George Floyd will not easily dim from our minds eye. Our nation cannot and should not turn away from transfixed horror and moral revulsion at indifference in taking a life. This and a string of recent incidents has raised the heat from a simmering stew of social injustices to a boiling caldron of suppressed and unattended grievances. Against a backdrop of rising hate crime, the broad coalition of protesters have unleashed a reservoir of ill will toward police as a lightning rod for institutional distrust and disgust. In a civil society, innocent loss of life is always tragic and matters. The broad-based firestorm of protest springs from a blatant visual that confirmed the worst fears of all peoples. This betrayal of “legitimacy “by four police officers has ignited the most negative portrait of police service. Acts of seeming retribution and displaced anger at police leaves us all at a crossroads.

Gandhi suggested that “we must be the change we want to see in the world.” The public outrage at malign police intent ought not be ascribed to the entire police profession with a broad brush. To do so resonates with the same venal tone as the racism that is being railed against. What is certain is that the explanation of “a few bad apples “will no longer quell long standing, high profile grievances about unequal treatment of minorities.

The Issues Are Not Just Black And White

Harvey Goldstein (Linkedin photo)

In the role of a civilian police psychologist for four decades I bear witness that the vast majority of the law enforcement community is comprised of professional, decent, incredibly giving, kind, brave, helpful and compassionate people. Most are repulsed by a policeman totally bereft of the humanity that so many labor daily to protect. To demonize them would be a further travesty of justice. If you ask a police officer if they are racist, they are likely to say that there isn’t a racist bone in their body. Past studies on the police population suggest having spontaneous negative biases doesn’t necessarily result in discrimination. I believe that there are biased automatic precursors to behavior that sometimes result in outright racism and sometimes not. Regulating the underlying catalyst for aggressive escalation is what needs to be targeted in training scenarios and assessments.

The outcry for “defunding “police springs from raw and earnest anger but portends no real viable alternative. Defunding smacks of self-defeating naivete. It can only hurt the law-abiding people in communities when you don’t have good cops to respond to crime.

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not the solution. However, the bathwater needs refreshing, and the tub does need a sound scrubbing. A wider lens reveals another side to the story.

When considering “police reform” will that include the “oversight” institutions that have failed us mightily, leaving law enforcement without clarity, more defined limits or corrective guidance? Instead, the “parental” institutions have provided wide berth and cover for extreme behaviors with scant accountability.

“Police officers don’t face justice more often for a variety of reasons — from powerful police unions to the blue wall of silence to cowardly prosecutors to reluctant juries. But it is the Supreme Court that has enabled a culture of violence and abuse by eviscerating a vital civil rights law to provide police officers what, in practice, is nearly limitless immunity from prosecution for actions taken while on the job. The badge has become a get-out-of-jail-free card in far too many instances.”

5/29/20, How the Supreme Court Lets Cops Get Away With Murder, New York Times

Unions who are effective defenders of salary and work conditions do harm to their profession when they defend any and all police actions as righteous. These messages all give oxygen to more extreme tactics towards those deemed non-compliant. If there is one thing you can count on in this life it is that a behavior reinforced is more likely to reoccur.

Read more »

Ex-U.S. Attorney Roscoe Howard Jr.: ‘This Is Not the Day or Time to Be Quiet’ After the Death of George Floyd

The author was U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. from 2001 to 2004. He is currently a partner at the firm, Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

By Roscoe C. Howard Jr.

Roscoe Howard Jr.

When I was growing up in ‘50’s and early 60’s, I visited my Mother’s home town in the Northern Neck of Virginia, and sat around while the adults discussed other family members and indulged in shell and fish foods that came from the nearby Rappahannock River.

As a child it would shock me to learn that African Americans from the area had been lynched in recent times. It was hard for me to even comprehend a violent death, but it was just as hard to understand how calmly it would be discussed by relatives and neighbors in that small Virginia town. My extended family seemed to be numb to the fact that such a murder was common place. I, on the other hand, thought I would never recover from hearing the stories.

Now, I don’t have to hear the stories because I read them. I think I would be derelict to not discuss the tragic event in Minneapolis, where forty six year old African American was pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer who put his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck in an effort to detain him.

George Floyd.

Despite audible pleas, the officer did not relent, choked him and directly caused Mr. Floyd’s death. At my age I am becoming numb to news of African American joggers killed in Brusnwick, Georgia, to a young African American man being shot during a police encounter outside of St. Louis, to the countless other senseless killings of young African American men when confronted by white law enforcement officers or those who think that they are.

It is not an apology or money that any parent, friend or concerned citizen of these victims want. What we all want is for it to stop. I feel like my relatives on those summer evenings in Northern Neck of Virginia where I was so many years ago – I am numb. But, I am the father of two young African American men, so I feel compelled to bring this to our collective attention.

Silence No Longer 

This is not the day or time to be quiet. I would ask of all of us to have the courage and conviction to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves. I ask you not to countenance this outrage when it is senselessly defended by those who believe these young men bring this kind of abuse and death on themselves. I ask that you help make sure that no other African American mother outlives her son because of this sort of unjustified violence visited upon him.

I ask that in any way you can try to be that voice. In any way you can help the moral arc of the universe, although long, bend toward justice. In any way you can help a man like me recover from the nightmares of the stories I heard all those many summers ago.

Retired FBI Agent: ‘No FBI Agent Has to Take a Knee’

The writer served 27 years in the FBI, 21 of them tactical with four SWAT teams and the HRT (Hostage Rescue Team). He retired in 2012.  He also served in Marines for eight years.   His commentary is in response to a report in ticklethewire.com that FBI agents in Washington recently took a knee at the urging of people protesting police brutality and the death of  George Floyd.

By Dale Monroe

Dale Monroe

No FBI agent has to take a knee to defend anyone’s 1st Amendment rights. 

You only take a knee if you don’t have the courage, character, and confidence that you fight evil every day, including against those who violate the Constitutional rights of others. 

For 27 years, I and all those that I served with, stood for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity, and that was more than enough for us to get any job done in any situation.   

We (the FBI) are the ones who are primarily responsible for investigating civil rights violations.  As such, we take a knee for, or to no one.

The anarchistic in D.C. need to be educated as to what the FBI stands for and what the Agents do each and every day.  And that does not include taking a knee.

DEA Can Conduct Covert Surveillance on Protesters

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has been given the green light to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people protesting the death of George Floyd, according to a two-page memorandum obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Floyd’s death “has spawned widespread protests across the nation, which, in some instances, have included violence and looting,” the DEA memo says. “Police agencies in certain areas of the country have struggled to maintain and/or restore order.” The memo requests the extraordinary powers on a temporary basis, and on Sunday afternoon a senior Justice Department official signed off.

BuzzFeed reports:

The DEA is limited by statute to enforcing drug-related federal crimes. But on Sunday, Timothy Shea, a former US attorney and close confidant of Barr’s who was named acting administrator of the DEA last month, received approval from Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer to go beyond the agency’s mandate “to perform other law enforcement duties” that Barr may “deem appropriate.”

FBI Pleads with Public to Help Identify Provocateurs Inciting Violence at Protests

Detroit police deploy tear gas to disperse protesters who were defying a curfew Sunday.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is asking for the public’s help identifying people who are inciting riots at anti-police brutality protests across the country.

The call for assistance comes as peaceful protests have turned violent in some cities at the hands of provocateurs.

“We are committed to apprehending and charging violent instigators who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law,” the FBI wrote in a statement. “The continued violence, potential threat to life, and destruction of property across the United States interferes with the rights and safety of First Amendment-protected peaceful demonstrators, as well as all other citizens.”

Anyone with tips or “digital media depicting violent encounters” is asked to submit information, photos or videos that could help identify people inciting violence.

Trump Urges DOJ, FBI to Expedite Investigation of George Floyd’s Death at Hands of Police

George Floyd’s arrest before he died.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump said Wednesday that he’s urged the FBI and Justice Department to expedite the investigation of an unarmed black man who died while in custody in Minneapolis.

“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” Trump tweeted.

“I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”

The four officers involved in the incident have been fired.

Protests escalated into violence over the past two days as demonstrators demanded justice for Floyd.