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Tag: Justice Department

Justice Department Finds Implicit Bias Against People of Color in New Report

ca_-_san_francisco_policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A six-month Justice Department investigation of the San Francisco Police Department revealed numerous problems, including an institutional bias against people of color.

The report said, “The deficiencies identified range from outdated use of force policies to inadequate data collection and lack of accountability measures. The assessment team identified disparities in traffic stops, post-stop searches, and use of deadly force against African-Americans. In addition, there are numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups,” according to CNN. 

The Justice Department recommended more than 27 change in the police department following an investigation sparked by several officer-involved fatal shootings.

Most of the cases of deadly use of force involved people of color.

“The truth hurts,” said Ronald Davis, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. ”To be selectively ignorant and pretend nothing is going on around you is ultimately going to be fatal to your organization.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee pledged to pledged to respond to the findings.

“The SFPD will accept and implement every single recommendation. We must restore trust, ” Lee said. “We have worked hard to put reforms in place. We did not wait for the DOJ report to become final.”

Other Stories of Interest

Firebrand Arizona Sheriff to Face Charges of Unlawfully Targeting Immigrants

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, a prominent Donald Trump supporter who has been a firebrand for the anti-immigration movement, is expected to be charged for willfully defying federal court orders.

The Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section said Tuesday it intends to take the Maricopa County sheriff to trial on criminal charges, the Washington Post reports. 

Arpaio is accused of failing to stop targeting undocumented immigrants without a legal basis.

Arpaio’s attorney, Mel McDonald, said the sheriff “vehemently denies that he was ever knowingly and willfully contemptuous of any court order” and plans to fight the case.

U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow ruled in August that the sheriff was defying the court’s order, and the sheriff’s office “continued to stop and detain persons based on factors including their race, and frequently arrested and delivered such persons to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] when there were no state charges to bring against them.”

“Sheriff Arpaio did so based on the notoriety he received for, and the campaign donations he received because of, his immigration enforcement activity,” Snow wrote.

Justice Department to Investigate Conditions at Prisons in Alabama

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department plans to investigate conditions at Alabama’s prisons for men following a work strike by guards.

“The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners; whether prisoners are adequately protected from use of excessive force and staff sexual abuse by correctional officers; and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions,” the DOJ said in its statement.

A week ago, guards at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility staged a work strike to call attention to prison overcrowding and safety issues, the Root reports. http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/10/justice-department-investigates-alabama-prison-conditions/

Robert Council, a 42-year-old serving life without parole at Holman, said prisoners are almost always on lockdown and not allowed out of their cells for months.

“The Constitution requires that prisons provide humane conditions of confinement,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “We hope to work cooperatively with the state of Alabama in conducting our inquiry and ensuring that the state’s facilities keep prisoners safe from harm.”

Outgoing Leader of Justice Department’s National Security Division Speaks out about Hackers

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

John Carlin, the leader of the Justice Department’s national security division, said cybersecurity has become a major focus as nation states and individuals target U.S. infrastructure and business.

NPR spoke to Carlin, who is leaving after serving in the government for 17 years, about the new challenges facing the Justice Department.

Here is a partial transcript of his interview with NPR:

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We’re going to hear now from the man who’s led the Justice Department’s National Security effort. And one of his big priorities has been protecting the U.S. from hackers. John Carlin sat down with NPR’s Carrie Johnson as he prepares to leave the government.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: When he took the job three years ago, John Carlin didn’t expect to spend so much time on cybersecurity.

JOHN CARLIN: I would just say to any of those out there considering whether or not to try to harm the United States through cyber means, we have a message, which is we can figure out who did it and when we do, we’re not afraid to impose consequences, and we will.

JOHNSON: The U.S. government has already gone after three major cyber adversaries, China, North Korea and Iran. That leaves one more, Russia. Senior members of Congress have blamed Russia for hacking the Democratic National Committee and for breaking into the voter registration systems in nearly two dozen states. It’s part of what lawmakers call a plot designed to undermine confidence in the American electoral system.

Carlin wouldn’t say whether indictments are imminent against anyone in Russia. But he did say actions have consequences.

CARLIN: And we would take very, very seriously an attempt to undermine the integrity of our democracy.

JOHNSON: In 2014, his prosecutors indicted five members of the People’s Liberation Army of China for stealing secrets from American businesses.

CARLIN: And their activities spiked at 9:00 a.m. Beijing time. This is their day job.

Justice Department to Award More Than $20M for Body Cameras for Police

Body cams, via Wikipedia

Body cams, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After the rash of police shootings of black men across country, the Justice Department plans to award more than $20 million to law enforcement agencies to use or enhance body cameras.   

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Monday, saying the money will be awarded to 106 state, city, tribal and municipal law enforcement agencies, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

“Of course, even as we strive to support local leaders and our law enforcement partners in their work to protect their communities, we are mindful — we know, we see every day — that effective public safety requires more than arrests and prosecutions,” Lynch said. “Because It also requires winning, and keeping, the trust and the confidence of the citizens we serve.”

Lynch alluded to the police shootings to raise the importance of body cameras footage.

“There is no doubt that these are challenging times for law enforcement and communities alike,” Lynch said. “Where the relationship of trust has frayed and frankly broken, we see the mistrust within the community; we also see the underlying fear within many of our friends and neighbors that when they are threatened by violence, they will have no one to call.”

Report: ‘The ATF Is Discriminating on the Basis of Race’ During Stings

atf badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF singled out black people and Latinos while conducting controversial stings in Chicago, according to a report released by the Justice Department. 

The report found “strong, consistent and statistically significant evidence” of racial profiling.

Of the 94 people arrested during undercover stings in Chicago, 91% were black or hispanic.

The chances that agents didn’t racially profile was 0.1%, according to a Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey Fagan, who prepared the report.

The investigation concluded that “the ATF is discriminating on the basis of race.”

The ATF couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.

Other Stories of Interest

Philadelphia Inquirer: Declaring War on Terrorism Wrongly Suggests An End to Fight

NYC Terror ColoradoBy Editorial Board
Philadelphia Inquirer

The fallacy in declaring a “war on terror,” as President George W. Bush did after the 9/11 attacks, is that it suggests an eventual end to the fight. After all, even the so-called Hundred Years War had a conclusion. But 15 years later, we know the terror war, like the war on poverty and the war on drugs, is a never-ending battle.

Every new act of terrorism is a reminder of that, including the Sept. 17 bombing that injured 29 people in Manhattan and a rampage that same day at a St. Cloud, Minn., mall in which 10 people were stabbed. ISIS claimed the Minnesota assailant was a “soldier of the Islamic state,” but it has been silent about the man arrested for leaving bombs in New York and Elizabeth and Seaside Heights, N.J.

At some point, Americans will have to accept that our terror war has no foreseeable end; that no battlefield victory in the Middle East or arrest of homegrown jihadists on U.S. soil will completely erase the possibility of another attack, most likely carried out by some radicalized lone wolf rather than masterminds like those who planned 9/11.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who was shot and captured after leaving pressure-cooker and pipe bombs in New York and New Jersey, may have made the devices by following instructions in Inspire, the online newsletter published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Dahir A. Adnan, 22, the knife-wielding Minnesota attacker shot and killed by police, needed no instructions to use his weapon.

Such incidents are likely to occur so long as there are people who succumb to the siren song of jihadists who use the internet to recruit and indoctrinate. There should be no reduction in efforts to blunt their ability to inspire violence. But as intelligence work and related military operations abroad continue, we must reassess the terror “war” and consider how that approach empowers those who seek to weaken us.

To read more click here. 

Daily Camera: It’s Never OK for FBI to Pose As News Reporters

typewriter-reporterBy Editorial Board
Daily Camera

The U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general has cleared an FBI agent of wrongdoing for impersonating a journalist and using a fake Associated Press story to track down the 15-year-old who made bomb threats against a high school in the state of Washington nine years ago. The ruling sends a horrible message to agents — “do whatever you want, guys” — and has the potential to promote other ethically challenged behavior at an agency where professionalism should be a top priority.

With its stonewalling on records requests and bullying of reporters over news leaks, the Justice Department under President Barack Obama long ago set a new low for attempting to subvert the journalistic process.

Still, the inspector general’s ruling was a surprise partly because the FBI itself tacitly admitted mishandling the case. In June, it adopted a policy requiring agents to get high-level approval before impersonating a journalist in future investigations. Hopefully, the person reviewing those requests will have more scruples and better judgment than the DOJ inspector general or the FBI rogues who devised the 2007 caper.

Back then, law enforcement officials couldn’t figure out who was making bomb threats to Timberline High School via email. An agent contacted the suspect by email, posing as an AP “staff publisher,” and got him to open a link to a fake AP story about the bomb threats. The fake story was posted on a fake web page that resembled that of the Seattle Times. When the 15-year-old clicked on the link, it infected his computer with tracking software, leading authorities to him.

The FBI’s ruse and the inspector general’s whitewashing of it are damaging to journalism. But the government doesn’t care about that.

To read more click here.