Link du Jour
Two FBI agents and the doctor murdered Dr King after spitting on
his body then smothering him to death with a pillow
FBI Director Comey investigating Trump/Russia since July 2016
No mention of this by Comey before the election.
FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Monday that his agency has been investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian ...
Kathy O’Grady, the Secret Service special agent who said she would rather go to jail than take a bullet for President Trump, has been removed from her position.
O’Grady was the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Denver district. Now there’s a concern she will be transferred to another federal agency, Townhall.com reports.
USA Today Network Phillip M. Bailey and Andrew Wolfson, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal Published 8:41 p.m. ET March 18, 2017 | Updated 8:42 p.m. ET March 18, 2017
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville’s mayor announced that he has asked the FBI to investigate what he called “our worst nightmare,” the alleged sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program.
Mayor Greg Fischer also said he had hired former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to review an investigation conducted by Louisville Metro Police and determine whether “errors were made,” including by police Chief Steve Conrad.
“If there has been an injustice, it will be remedied,” Fischer said Friday.
By Associated Press | February 18, 2004
WASHINGTON -- The former chief internal watchdog at the FBI has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl and has admitted he had a history of molesting other children before he joined the bureau for what became a two-decade career.
John H. Conditt Jr., 53, who retired in 2001, was sentenced last week in Tarrant County Court in Fort Worth to 12 years in prison after he admitted he molested the daughter of two FBI agents after he retired. He acknowledged molesting at least two other girls before he began his law enforcement career, his lawyer said.
Presnell is a former FBI agent. He traded in his FBI badge seven years ago to give students a look inside the world of criminal justice. He said most of the ...
The FBI's Unabomber Cover-up began long before the Whitehurst Report ever exposed the FBI Lab Scandal and it goes much deeper. Evidence Planting ...
It follows FBI agent Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald and explores how he deployed a radical approach to intelligence gathering to take down the so-called Unabomber.
Chelsea Record-Mar 17, 2017
FBI assistant special agent-in-charge Carlos Mojica (second from right) was a guest speaker at Chelsea High School where he talked to ...
Aug 27, 1988 - The plaintiffs' attorneys, Hugo Rodriguez and Antonio Silva, said the ... state that the first rule of the F.B.I. is, 'Don't embarrass the bureau.
Mar 16, 1990 - F.B.I. Denies Any Retaliation The F.B.I. denies that there has been retaliation ... Antonio V. Silva, an El Paso lawyer who has represented all the ...
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The judge Monday in Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price's federal corruption trial angrily lashed out at ...
Kellyanne Conway’s Husband Poised to Land a Top DOJ Job
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway’s husband is expected to be nominated to lead the Justice Department civil division, a position that will enable him to defend President Trump’s executive order on immigration.
White House officials are poised to make the announcement of the nomination of George Conway, a New York lawyer, in the next few days, people familiar with the matter told the Chicago Tribune.
For The Win-
If you made a bet on sports somehow making its way into Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearings with FBI director James Comey, you probably would ...
May 28, 2007 - Uploaded by 10Garmonbozia01
Blackmailing the President - Part 1 ... Further comments by G.Gordon Liddy, Walter Mondale regarding the ...
Sep 2, 2013 - YouTube - Veterans Today - .... The FBI is basically a cover-up mechanism for the Ruling Cabal, also ..... night “not to worry” FBI visits, like those mention in G. Gordon Liddy's book, ... zio manipulations and blackmail, it means that Zionism is actually in its final death throes and will take down the NWO with it.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2232130/FBI-agent-sent-topless-pictures-David-Petraeus-whistleblower-Jill-Kelley.html#ixzz4btyOt5KP Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
NUDE PHOTOS SCANDAL: FBI, military investigate cyber bullying claims ... from all military branches, FBI agents and state prosecutors, officials said Friday
FBI agent married ISSIS jihadi she was investigating
Daniela Greene, 38, an FBI linguist, lied to her bosses and went to Syria in 2014 to marry an Isis recruiter who had previously been a rapper in Germany.
FBI agent in Puerto Rico accused of kicking neighbor's dog
May 2 2017
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico
An FBI agent in Puerto Rico has been accused of kicking his neighbor's Yorkshire terrier in the head.
Police said Tuesday that 46-year-old Timothy Boruff was charged with animal abuse and posted a $500 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court May 17.
Authorities say the alleged incident occurred April 21 in the upscale private community of Palmas del Mar along Puerto Rico's eastern coast.
2 Investigators: Chicago Detective Has Rap Sheet For Shoplifting
May 2, 2017 10:20 PM
Cherie Hendricks, a veteran Chicago Police Department detective, was arrested at a Louisiana Walmart on Christmas Eve for stealing $113.50 worth of reading glasses and coffee mugs.
She was placed into a court-ordered diversion program, typically reserved for first time offenders.
This wasn’t Hendricks’ first incident, the 2 Investigators have learned.
Hendricks was arrested for shoplifting more than $200 worth of vitamins in 2013 at a Lakeview Whole Foods, but has not faced any discipline. The Chicago Police Department opened an internal investigation after Hendricks was caught. Four years later, the 2 Investigators were told that probe is still “open and active.”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into the Chicago Police Department, completed last January, found “officers are too rarely held accountable for misconduct” and “when investigations do occur they are glacially slow.”
David Bradford, a former police chief and executive director of Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety, said the lack of discipline is detrimental because “it produces bad morale within the good officers of the department and puts the credibility of the whole agency in question with the community.”
Only recently, after the 2 Investigators started asking questions, did Chicago police finally close the internal investigation and recommend Hendricks be terminated.
The matter now goes before the Police Board.
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards caught up with Hendricks but she declined to discuss the allegations.
Hendricks was placed on desk duty in 2013, but has continued to collect an annual salary of more than $90,000. Additionally, taxpayers have picked up nearly $25,000 worth of educational expenses for her since May 2016, according to city records.
It’s unknown if she was convicted of theft in the 2013 case.
Her case doesn’t appear in Cook County court records and a Chicago Police spokesperson said her case had been expunged.
The police spokesperson says the internal probe dragged on in part because Hendricks went on medical leave.
04/29/2017 07:01 pm ET |
Chicago Was On The Verge Of Police Reform. Then Trump Picked Jeff Sessions To Run The DOJ.
The city will serve as a bellwether for how — or if — the Justice Department will fight police abuse under the new attorney general.
CHICAGO ― In the final months of the Obama administration, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division scrambled to complete its biggest-ever investigation of a city police department: a 13-month probe of Chicago’s 12,000-strong police force that wrapped up just a week before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
For more than a year, the division’s lawyers reviewed thousands of Chicago Police Department documents, visited all 22 police districts, went on 60 ride-alongs, reviewed 170 police shooting files, examined over 425 incidents of less-lethal force, interviewed 340 department members and talked to about 1,000 Chicago residents.
Their final report, issued Jan. 13, recognized the tough job officers had in Chicago as they dealt with spiking gun violence, and praised the “diligent efforts and brave actions of countless” officers. But a “breach in trust” eroded Chicago’s ability to prevent crime, because officers were able to escape accountability when they broke the law, the report found. Because “trust and effectiveness in combating violent crime are inextricably intertwined,” the report found “broad, fundamental reform” was needed in Chicago.
Without a formal legal agreement to reform — known as a consent decree — and independent monitoring, the report concluded, reform efforts in Chicago were “not likely to be successful.”
JI SUB JEONG/HUFFPOST
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, disagrees. In recent weeks, Sessions has expressed deep skepticism about the role of the federal government in fixing broken police departments, leaving serious doubts about the ultimate outcome of the Justice Department’s work in Chicago.
Sessions wants the Justice Department to serve as the “leading advocate for law enforcement in America.” While admitting he hadn’t read the full Chicago report, he called it “anecdotal” and “not so scientifically based.” Earlier this month in Baltimore, a Justice Department lawyer said Sessions had “grave concerns” about an agreement previously reached between that city and the Obama administration. A federal judge signed off on the deal over Sessions’ objections.
In an interview with a conservative radio host this month, Sessions seemed to suggest that Justice Department investigations and consent decrees were resulting in “big crime increases.” In an op-ed for USA Today last week, Sessions wrote that consent decrees could amount to “harmful federal intrusion” that could “cost more lives by handcuffing the police instead of the criminals.” There’s too much focus on “a small number of police who are bad actors,” Sessions wrote, and “too many people believe the solution is to impose consent decrees that discourage the proactive policing that keeps our cities safe.”
Fla. K-9 found dead in cruiser parked outside courthouse
The National Weather Service reported the high in central Florida on Friday afternoon was 88 degrees
"The Mother Of All Black Ops": Female FBI Agent Discusses Sexual Harassment At The Bureau & Suicide Of Her Husband -- Did The FBI Drive Him To It? - blogger
9-11themotherofallblackoperations.blogspot.com › ...
Sep 26, 2006 - Perhaps it wasn't his fight against terrorism that caused Brad Doucette to commit suicide, but instead, his knowlege and possible complicity in the FBI's obstruction of justice which took place during the ...
FBI COMING TO LOS ANGELES LOOKING TO RECRUIT WOMEN, MINORITIES
LOS ANGELES The FBI is hosting a rare recruiting event in Los Angeles on May 9 in hopes of diversifying its team with more women and minorities.
In the more than 13,000 special agents, 83 percent are Caucasian, 6.5 percent are Hispanic, 4.5 percent are Asian and about 4.4 percent are black.
"It's pretty important to have a general population in the FBI that matches the general population in the community because sometimes people relate better to people who they perceive are like them," explained Cathy Kramer, an FBI special agent.
The event is part of the Diversity Agent Recruitment Program.
The FBI said director James Comey will speak to applicants about his major push to hire talented women and minorities.
"He has absolutely pinned diversity as one of his core values in the FBI, and he added that just a few years ago, when he came on board," Kramer said.
Martin Luther King was murdered by FBI when he arrived at the hospital.. - YouTube
YouTube › watch
Video for mlk pepper hospital youtube
Posted: Jul 2, 2016
Combined segments from an interview with the honorable ...
Alleged mutilations proceeded despite surveillance
The Detroit News-
Detroit — FBI agents were unable to stop a doctor from allegedly mutilating the genitalia of 7-year-old girls at a Livonia clinic despite installing a secret video ...
FBI Has Open Case File on Dallas Shooter Who Killed Roommate ...
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth-
Eric Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas FBI, said Tuesday the bureau had an active, open investigation into Brown prior to the shooting and that they ...
India to Fight Airpocalypse by Making Every Car Electric by 2030
Stricken by air pollution, tired of paying so much for fuel imports, fearful of climate change, and looking to cut vehicle ownership costs, India now plans to have all new cars purchased in the country be electric-powered by 2030.
A Crisis Brought on by Fossil Fuel Dependence
If you thought air pollution in China was bad, you haven’t really taken a good look at India.
According to a 2015 ‘Airpocalypse’ report from Greenpeace, the massive country sees 1.2 million people die from toxic air pollution every year. This number, according to the report, was only slightly less than total deaths attributed to tobacco use.
(Smoke, dust, and industrial pollution choke India’s skies in this 2012 NASA Satellite Photo. During recent years, air quality decline in India has been attributed both to increasing air pollution and to rising instances of wildfire ignition spurred by human-caused climate change.)
Over recent years India’s air pollution death rate, according to Greenpeace, has been steadily ticking upward. And in 2015, the country surpassed China’s annual loss of life due to bad air. In places like the capital city of Dehli, the amount of harmful particulate pollution now often rises to 13 times the maximum safe level recommended by the World Health Organization.
A large share of the pollution that causes these deaths comes from automobile emissions. Add in the worsening instances of heat and drought caused by fossil-fuel-emissions-based climate change — which are already hitting India’s farmers and water security hard — and the incentive to move to clean energy sources couldn’t be higher. Facing multiple and worsening but related crises, it is now the goal of the country’s energy minister — Piyush Goyal — to begin a massive vehicle electrification program that first targets the country’s most heavily polluted population centers and then aims to encompass the entire nation.
100 Percent Electric Vehicles by 2030
The program would both add electrical vehicle charging infrastructure even as it incentivizes India’s citizens to purchase zero emissions vehicles. Individuals would be offered electrical vehicles for zero money down and then would pay back the price of purchase in installments from money saved due to far lower fuel costs. The plan would ramp up in 2020, leverage subsidies of around 4.3 billion dollars equivalent value per year, and would aim to build demand for between 4-7 million electrical vehicles annually.
Goyal says that the goal is to have 100 percent of all new cars sold as electrical vehicles by 2030. And it’s a goal that not only aims to reduce harmful pollution — but also to significantly lower fuel imports which presently stand at around 4.5 million barrels of oil per day even as it tamps down the overall cost of running a vehicle. As an added benefit, the program would spur rapid growth in the country’s automotive sector which, if successful, has the potential to leap-frog the country into a far more competitive economic position vis-a-vis the rest of the world. Especially considering the backward energy and climate policies of western heads of state like Donald J. Trump which threaten to put countries like the U.S. behind the energy transition curve.
(Are electrical vehicles about to hit an S-Curve type adoption rate? Policies in India and in other nations and cities around the world seem set to help enable an electrical vehicle and renewable energy based transition away from fossil fuels. Image source: Solar Feeds.)
India’s clean energy ambitions do not start or end with electrical vehicles, however. The country is also involved in major efforts to promote wind and solar energy. India’s solar bid process has been very successful in both lowering costs and spurring mass adoption of clean energy sources. This year the program will help to add fully 10 gigawatts of solar power capacity to the country’s electricity sector. A recent wind energy bid program now appears set to achieve similar gains — with another 6 gigawatts of capacity from that clean energy source on tap in 2017. So it’s likely that these new electrical vehicles will be powered more and more by renewable sources even in previously coal-dependent India.
India is among a growing group of nations announcing ambitions to switch entire vehicle fleets over to electric and renewables. The Netherlands is mulling over a ban on petroleum and diesel based vehicles by 2025. Sweden, Norway and Belgium are planning similar bans by 2025 through 2030. And these countries join an expanding number of major cities around the world like Athens, Paris, Mexico City and Madrid who have announced bans on pollution-causing fossil fuel based cars by 2025.
India Eyes All-Electric Car Fleet by 2030
India to Make Every Single Car Electric by 2030
India Expects to Add 10 Gigawatts of Solar Power in 2017
Wind Power Passes Inflection Point in India
Diesel Controls at Critical Technological Junction in Transport
Duration of Indian Hot Season Nearly Doubles
Link du jour
Guards at St. Louis halfway house streamed Netflix for hours while man hanged himself
BY MEGAN CERULLO
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 4:00 PM
100 US Senators Want Israeli High Crimes Suppressed
by Stephen Lendman
In an April 27 letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, all US senators demanded the world body ignore Israeli high crimes, calling truth-telling “anti-Semiti(c).”
“Too often, the UN is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel,” they said.
Fact: Much more needs to be done to hold Israel accountable for high crimes of war and against humanity - for decades of ruthlessly persecuting Palestinians, for committing slow-motion genocide, for attacking its neighbors.
The letter quoted neocon US UN envoy Nikki Haley, saying “(i)t is the UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change” - an outrageous perversion of truth.
The senators praised the world body “for disavowing” the important Richard Falk/Virginia Tilley report, calling Israel a racist apartheid regime - “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The entire US Senate urged the UN “to improve (its) treatment of Israel…” It demands no world body support for the vital global BDS initiative - or any other actions hostile to Israeli interests.
It wants information about its human rights abuses suppressed. It demands support for US interests. It calls truth-telling anti-Israeli “bias.”
All 100 US senators disgracefully signed the letter. Washington and Israel partner in each other’s high crimes - a ruthless axis of evil threatening humanity.
Last week, Haley accused the world body of holding “Israel-bashing sessions.” Ignoring US wars in multiple theaters, she lied claiming “Iran is using Hezbollah to advance its regional aspirations.”
“They are working together to expand extremist ideologies in the Middle East. That is a threat that should be dominating our discussion at the Security Council.”
Iran threatens no one. Neither does Hezbollah. Haley turned truth on its head. So did Tillerson days earlier, irresponsibly accusing Tehran of “alarming ongoing provocations” to destabilize regional countries.
Iranian UN envoy Gholamali Khoshroo debunked his remarks, calling them “misleading propaganda…”
Last week Washington asked which Middle East countries benefit from regional chaos, “and what are the connections between terrorist groups and these states?”
Israel, of course, benefits most. So does America by its belligerent presence in a part of the world not its own - waging endless wars of aggression, supporting terrorist groups it created, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing all sovereign independent governments.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
EXCLUSIVE: Rikers correction officer already accused of raping two inmates impregnated another woman behind bars, suit claims
BY VICTORIA BEKIEMPIS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, April 29, 2017, 4:00 AM
Victory! Maryland's Anti-Boycott Bill is Dead!
Last Monday was Sine Die, the final day of the Maryland General Assembly’s annual legislative session. We are pleased to announce that the Anti-Boycott Bill SB739/HB949 has officially died! The legislation never even received a single vote in any committee. For the third consecutive year, legislative attacks on supporters of Palestinian human rights failed decisively.
This outcome was not due to any back-door negotiation from insiders in the legislature or because of lobbyist efforts. It was mainly due to legislators (especially Democratic legislators) being convinced that this bill was unconstitutional or they simply disagreed with it's intent. This convincing was largely done by a grassroots statewide movement -- including
April 12, 2017
BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti Sends Letter to MD Assembly
During the hearings on the Zirkin/Kramer anti-Boycott bills (SB739/HB949), supporters of the bills repeatedly mentioned the name of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti.
Omar Barghouti responded with a letter directly addressed to members of the Maryland General Assembly. Read his full letter here.
ACLU Says Anti-Boycott Bill is Unconstitutional. Warns of Censorship
Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland has released a statement saying that the Zirkin/Kramer Anti-Boycott Bill is unconstitutional.
While we take no position on the underlying boycott, we do oppose the bill, as it is inimical to democratic principles. The bill penalizes a point of view deemed unacceptable by government officials. It would allow the state to assume the role of censor in matters of political controversy.
It is well-accepted that boycotts are fully protected speech under the First Amendment
FREEDOM2BOYCOTT DEFENDS THE 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO BOYCOTT, INCLUDING THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL KNOWN AS BDS. CLICK TO HELP! FIND AN EVENT
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Just Another Week in Hell
The news from your local lockup is not good.
By KEN ARMSTRONG
In San Jose, California, three jail guards stood trial this week, charged with beating an inmate to death, ripping his spleen nearly in half. In northeast Arkansas, two supervisors at a juvenile lockup pleaded guilty to conspiring to pepper-spray kids without cause. And in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an inquest revealed that jail guards cut off water to an inmate’s cell seven days before he died of dehydration.
Law and Disorder Radio
Chicago airport security chief fired over sexual harassment allegations
BY ELIZABETH ELIZALDE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:33 PM
VIDEO: Protesters demand murder charge for cop who forced motorcyclist off the road
BY CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017, 2:31 PM
Lawyer: Cops “deliberately misled” judge who seemingly signed off on stingray
“Any system that is not transparent is inherently corrupt.”
- 5/6/2017, 9:00 AM
FBI’s stingray quickly found suspect after local cops’ device couldn’t
OAKLAND, Calif.—Defense attorney Martha Boersch has strong words for federal law enforcement's warrantless use of cell-site simulators, better known as stingrays.
Her client, Purvis Ellis, charged with attempted murder and racketeering, was tracked down to an East Oakland apartment in January 2013 with the help of not just one stingray, but two. Prosecutors initially insisted that only one stingray was used, but as was revealed last summer, that turned out to not be the case. The Oakland Police Department's own stingray was seemingly insufficient, so officers then called in the FBI, both times without a warrant.
"When they then take that technology and use it in a run-of-the-mill criminal case and use it secretly and clearly without providing defendants with notice or any of the Constitutional protections that a defendant is supposed to have, that's a real problem," Boersch, who herself served as a federal prosecutor for 12 years, told Ars during a recent in-person interview at her downtown office.
"Why courts are letting the government get away with it, I don't quite understand."
The stingray question is proving to be a constant thorn in the prosecution's side—the defense has seized on it as an avenue to challenge the government's case. Earlier this week, Boersch filed three new motions that an Oakland federal judge will hear next month. Her client may finally get a judicial ruling as to whether the Oakland Police Department and the FBI's stingray use here was appropriate and what effect that should have, if any, on his case.
Boersch noted that she didn’t have a problem with law enforcement using stingrays per se, but she wanted agents to be "up front about it."
"To me, the biggest issue is transparency," she continued. "Any system that is not transparent is inherently corrupt, and that's what happens when law enforcement is able to use something like the stingray secretly."
Wheels of justice
“PING SUSP PHONE”—An Oakland shooting reveals how cops snoop on cell phones
As Ars has reported for years, stingrays determine a phone’s location by spoofing a cell tower. In some cases, they can also intercept calls and text messages. Once deployed, the devices intercept data from a target phone along with information from other phones within the vicinity.
In recent years, the use of stingrays has come under increased public scrutiny. In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, said that they would have new policies regarding a warrant.
On January 21, 2013, Ellis was arrested not long after he was located via stingray in Apartment #112, one of many in a complex of units at 1759 Seminary Avenue in East Oakland. Several hours earlier, during the evening before, an undercover Oakland police officer was shot inside the gated parking area in front of the building. (That officer, Eric Karsseboom, accused one of Ellis’ co-defendants, Damien McDaniel, of being the one who pulled the trigger. McDaniel recently pleaded guilty—three defendants remain, including Ellis.)
In the Ellis case, prosecutors have said that no warrant was needed under the exigent circumstances exception. The defense has challenged that assertion, but the judge has not made a ruling.
Of Boersch's May 1 motions, the first was a new motion to suppress all the evidence that was found as a result of the stingray, and it applies to all three remaining defendants. In addition, she filed a second motion to suppress the evidence found in the four apartments that were searched, including #112, where Ellis was located, on account of an allegedly defective warrant.
Finally, she filed a third motion to sever Ellis' case from the other two co-defendants. She notes that her client can no longer wait for the case to unfold at the glacial pace that it has. Under the US Constitution, Ellis has a right to a speedy trial, and he has been kept in "administrative segregation," also known as solitary confinement, inside Oakland’s Glenn Dyer jail for more than two years. Until now, Ellis has waived his right to a speedy trial, but he has seemingly grown frustrated with the pace of his case.
“The application does not inform the judge... ”
Oakland may become rare American city with strict rules for spy gear use
The new stingray motion makes a forceful argument that deployment of a cell-site simulator requires a warrant and that warrantless searches are presumed to be unreasonable. The Oakland Police Department did file a pen register order with Metro PCS, the mobile phone carrier. That legal order, however, makes no mention of any stingray use.
In ideal circumstances, detectives typically go to a local judge before they deploy a stingray. Instead of a warrant, most law enforcement officers file an application for a "pen register and trap and trace order." Unlike the threshold for a warrant—probable cause of an actual crime—the pen register and trap and trace order only requires authorities to show "relevancy to a criminal investigation."
As Boersch writes:
The order did not allow the FBI or OPD to bypass the carriers and independently use a roaming cell-site simulator, which, as discussed above, performs very different and more intrusive functions than these. In fact, the affidavit in support of the order did not mention cell-site simulators at all or seek authorization to conduct any of the sort of electronic surveillance that the Stingrays were apparently performing.
Third, if the government intended this order to cover its use of the two Stingrays, it deliberately misled the state court judge by failing to inform him of the technology being used, the materials to be collected, or the nature of the surveillance it was conducting. The affidavit in support of the order fails to mention that the FBI or OPD would be using a Stingray, cell-site simulator, or any other similar device. The application does not inform the judge that law enforcement will be using devices wholly independent of the carriers to whom the order was directed. And the affidavit fails to inform the judge that the FBI and OPD would be monitoring everyone's phone within range. If the government contends that the order authorized the use of the Stingray, then the agent's statements were necessarily deliberately misleading.
The new filings come at a time when the city of Oakland itself is thinking in entirely new ways about how best to balance the needs of law enforcement with the citizenry's right to privacy, which is enshrined in the state constitution.
On Tuesday, May 9, the Public Safety Committee is expected to formally recommend that the City Council adopt a new proposed law—believed to be one of the most stringent local surveillance oversight laws in the nation. Brian Hofer, the chair of the city's Privacy Advisory Commission, made the case for the new law in a recent op-ed in a local newspaper, the East Bay Express.
In it, he writes:
The ordinance will also shift the balance of power. By requiring Council approval for acquisition or use of surveillance technology, law enforcement will no longer be able to make secret, unilateral decisions, such as OPD's move to acquire and use a Stingray cell-phone tracking device in 2007. Our City Council found
Former NSA executive urges public vigilance against government ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune-
In 2007, FBI agents raided his home in Maryland. Drake was left in limbo for two years, wondering whether the new Obama administration would continue the ...
MAY 6, 2017 — 3:22PM
Thomas Drake still thinks about waking up a free man, instead of the lifelong prison term he was promised by the government he used to work for.
Drake woke up Wednesday in a guesthouse on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The former senior executive of the National Security Agency spoke at the college's annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference last week as part of his second career: the whistleblower warning the nation about the rise of mass surveillance.
After a career in the U.S. Air Force and stints as a CIA analyst and an intelligence agency contractor, Drake took a job at the NSA, perhaps the country's most secretive federal agency, which exists to protect the nation by intercepting and analyzing telephone and digital communications. His first day of work was Sept. 11, 2001.
Within months, he said, he was disturbed by what he saw. To stop future attacks, the NSA was collecting huge volumes of communications of Americans, flouting the Constitution's protection against warrantless searches, he said.
He said he raised his concerns internally at first, to no effect. In 2006, he contacted a reporter at the Baltimore Sun, which then published a series of stories about Trailblazer, an NSA program it described as violating privacy at huge cost and dubious benefit.
Drake said he chose defending the law over loyalty to the agency. "If that meant going to prison, then I would go to prison. I knew that in blowing the whistle, shortly after 9/11, I would expose myself to that possibility, and not just lose my job, but lose everything."
In 2007, FBI agents raided his home in Maryland. Drake was left in limbo for two years, wondering whether the new Obama administration would continue the case. He got his answer in April 2010 when he was charged with 10 felony counts. Five of them invoked the Espionage Act, a law that's intended for saboteurs, not whistleblowers.
Four days before his trial was to begin in 2011, the government dropped the espionage charges and allowed Drake to plead guilty to a misdemeanor of misusing a government computer. He was sentenced to community service, probation and a $25 court fee.
The judge lashed out at the prosecution for putting Drake through "four years of hell."
By then, Drake could no longer afford private attorneys and had found a job at an Apple Store, where he still works today. Yet he had the unique distinction of having beaten the rap in the Obama administration's unprecedented use of the Espionage Act to punish leakers.
Now he's a celebrity in the small society of federal whistleblowers, a subject of documentary films and profiles, with his own book on the way and plans to teach.
FBI Director Comey struggles to answer Cruz on pass given to ...
And let me ask you, how would you handle an FBI Agent who forwarded thousands of classified emails to his or her spouse on a non-government computer?”.
Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested on Pedophile Complaint
The U.S. Department of Justice
Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – A Madison County Sheriff’s Office detective, assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force [ICAC], was arrested this morning and charged via federal criminal complaint with four counts relating to the sexual exploitation of minors, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle, Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Virginia State Police Colonel Steve W. Flaherty and Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division John J. Lenkart, announced today.
Bruce A. Harvey, 40, of Reva, Va., has been charged with two counts of transporting minors across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of interstate travel with minors with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The alleged criminal activity involved two minor female victims who had contact with Harvey while he worked
Red Sand Project will not raise awareness of cops trafficking
County Commission Chairwoman Gina Cerilli says an FBI agent will address the topic at an upcoming women's caucus of county commissioners. “Unfortunately ...
Marchers Decry Epidemic Of Violence Against Native Women
BR: I also spoke to FBI Special Agent Travis Burrows to find this out. He's the supervisory resident agent, which means he supervises the Eastern Montana ...
Jury finds FBI special agent guilty of manslaughter in hammer death
Judge sets sentencing for February for 63-year-old former law enforcement officer
Edward Preciado-Nuno is shown during a break in his murder trial at the Regional Justice Center Thursday, December 16, 2010. Preciado-Nuno, a retired FBI special agent, is accused of killing his son’s girlfriend Kimberly Long. Preciado-Nuno says he was attacked by the girlfriend and killed her in self-defense.
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 | 4:54 p.m.
A jury found retired San Diego FBI special agent Edward Preciado-Nuno guilty of voluntary manslaughter with use of a deadly weapon Tuesday afternoon in Clark County District Court.
Preciado-Nuno, 63, who was out on bail, was taken into custody and will be sentenced on Feb. 23. The jury deliberated from 9 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m., Chief Deputy District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci said.
“We’re grateful he’s in custody,” Pesci said.
Preciado-Nuno was arrested in November 2008 on a charge of murder with a deadly weapon. Police found Preciado-Nuno’s son’s girlfriend Kimberly Long dead in his son’s garage with several blunt force trauma wounds.
The trial began Nov. 14 of this year and the main issue contested was whether the attack was self-defense or murder.
In his opening statements, Pesci said the evidence would show that Long was trying to defend herself. He showed the jury an autopsy photo of Long's head. It showed 13 places where Preciado-Nuno had hit her with a claw hammer.
Pesci also showed the jurors photos of cuts and bruises from the hammer marks on her arm, plus an X-ray that showed her arm had been broken. There were 34 areas of injury on her body, he said.
UTAHNS PUZZLED BY CHAFFETZ DECISION TO QUIT CONGRESS
05/06/2017 - 7:36am
Raised Jewish, Chaffetz father’s first wife was Kitty Dukakis — who later married failed Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis — and his grandfather was an FBI agent.
Chaffetz became a Mormon while a student at Brigham Young University. Before he got into politics, he was a spokesman for the Utah-based Nu Skin Enterprises, a personal care and dietary supplement company that had been accused in the past of being a pyramid scheme — and which now operates abroad in countries like
Russia and China.
Pressure builds on FBI to explain Garland terrorist attack
May 6, 2017, 12:01 AM
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Authorities continue to investigate shooting in Garland Texas
The FBI is under mounting pressure from the Senate to explain the circumstances behind a terrorist attack in Garland, Texas in 2015, although it's still far from clear whether the FBI intends to explain why an FBI agent was at the scene and did nothing.
In open testimony before the committee on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey told Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that he would be willing to explain media reports that suggest the FBI may have had advance knowledge of the attack. But he only said he would do that in a classified briefing, and no briefing has been set.
Cruz's request was just the latest attempt to get to the bottom of the attack. Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has been trying to get information from the FBI and the Justice Department for over a year and a half, and has had little to show for his efforts.
Requests for comment from Cruz and Johnson were not returned about when a briefing might occur.
In May 2015, two radicalized Islamic extremists, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, went to a "Draw Muhammed" event in a car loaded with firearms and ammunition. They opened fire at a security checkpoint at the perimeter of the parking lot, and were quickly shot and killed by a traffic officer on the scene before they could reach the building in which the event was being held. Bruce Joiner, a security guard on the scene, was shot in the leg and survived.
A report by 60 Minutes, however, showed a remarkable level of involvement by the FBI on that day. An undercover agent was in the car immediately behind the two attackers, and was taking pictures of the scene just seconds before Simpson and Soofi opened fire. The undercover FBI agent had been in touch with Simpson for weeks prior to the shooting, and even texted him the message "Tear up Texas" weeks before the attack. And just after the pair began their attack, the undercover agent tried to flee the scene.
When Johnson first queried the Justice Department for information that could help him understand what happened that day, he said the response "contained little specificity and ignored several important questions."
After the 60 Minutes report in March, Johnson again requested documentation from the FBI, but his deadline came and went, and the FBI sent him nothing.
The FBI press office told the Washington Examiner it is "in contact" with Johnson's office about the questions he's raised about the FBI's involvement in the incident, but had nothing else to say about it.
Still, that acknowledgment is a big leap forward in the bureau's willingness to make any public admission about the attack, which was the first on American soil for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Toward the end of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, forced Comey to confirm for a second time that he would not only brief Cruz, but also committee staff.
"Assuming they have the clearances for it. I don't think that's a problem at all, I'll do that," Comey replied.
The attorney for the wounded security guard, Trenton Roberts, previously told the Washington Examiner that he was concerned the FBI may have been more invested in moving an undercover agent up the ranks in a U.S.-based cell of the Islamic State than they were interested in stopping an imminent attack.
"It seems like it had to have been one or the other," Roberts told the Examiner. "Just a complete botched operation where they [the FBI] don't want the attack to actually take place, or, it's something where they need the attack to take place in order for this guy [the agent] to advance in the world of ISIS."
Joiner and Roberts have about six months to decide if they'll sue the FBI, whi
Organization that assassinated Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
Coin new SYFY word “ferguson effect”
'Ferguson Effect': FBI Says Biased Media Narratives Lead to ...
A recent FBI study showed that one-sided media reporting and social media posts about officer-involved shooting incidents lead to further episodes of violence ...
MARTIN LUTHER KING SURVIVED SHOOTING, WAS MURDERED IN HOSPITAL: AN INTERVIEW WITH WILLIAM PEPPER
For one bright moment back in the late 1960s, we actually believed that we could change our country. We had identified the enemy. We saw it up close, we had its measure, and we were very hopeful that we would prevail. The enemy was hollow where we had substance. All of that substance was destroyed by an assassin’s bullet. – William Pepper (page 15, The Plot to Kill King)
By Craig McKee
The revelations are stunning. The media indifference is predictable.
Thanks to the nearly four-decade investigation by human rights lawyer William Pepper, it is now clear once and for all that Martin Luther King was murdered in a conspiracy that was instigated by then FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and that also involved the U.S. military, the Memphis Police Department, and “Dixie Mafia” crime figures in Memphis, Tennessee. These and many more incredible details of the King assassination are contained in a trilogy of volumes by Pepper culminating with his latest and final book on the subject, The Plot to Kill King. He previously wrote Orders to Kill (1995) and An Act of State (2003).
With virtually no help from the mainstream media and very little from the justice system, Pepper was able to piece together what really happened on April 4, 1968 in Memphis right down to who gave the order and supplied the money, how the patsy was chosen, and who actually pulled the trigger.
Without this information, the truth about King’s assassination would have been buried and lost to history. Witnesses would have died off, taking their secrets with them, and the official lie that King was the victim of a racist lone gunman named James Earl Ray would have remained “fact.”
Instead, we know that Ray took the fall for a murder he did not commit. We know that a member of the Memphis Police Department fired the fatal shot and that two military sniper teams that were part of the 902nd Military Intelligence Group were sent to Memphis as back-ups should the primary shooter fail. We have access to the fascinating account of how Pepper came to make contact with Colonel John Downie (he had to work through a third party), the man in charge of the military part of the plot and Lyndon Johnson’s former Vietnam briefer. We also learn that as part of the operation, photographs were actually taken of the shooting and that Pepper came very close to getting his hands on those photographs.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media has ignored all of these revelations and continues to label Ray as King’s lone assassin. In fact, Pepper chronicles in detail how a disinformation campaign has featured the collaboration of many mainstream journalists over almost half a century. He says he suspects that those orchestrating the cover-up, which continues to this day, are no longer concerned with what he writes about the subject.
“I’m really basically harmless, I think, to the power structure,” Pepper said in an interview.
“I don’t think I threaten them, really. The control of the media is so consolidated now they can keep someone like me under wraps, under cover, forever. This book will probably never be reviewed seriously by mainstream, the story will not be aired in mainstream – they control the media. It was bad in the ’60s but nowhere near as bad as now.”
And the most stunning revelation in The Plot to Kill King – which some may question because the account is second hand – is that King was still alive when he arrived at St. Joseph’s Hospital and that he was killed by a doctor who was supposed to be trying to save his life.
“That is probably the most shocking aspect of the book, that final revelation of how this great man was taken from us,” Pepper says. (By the way, when I quote Pepper as having “said” something I mean in our interview. If I’m quoting from the book, I’ll indicate that.)
The hospital story was told to Pepper by a man named Johnton Shelby, whose mother, Lula Mae Shelby, had been a surgical aide at St. Joseph’s that night. Shelby told Pepper the story of how his mother came home the morning after the shooting (she hadn’t been allowed to go home the night before) and gathered the family together. He remembers her saying to them, “I can’t believe they took his life.”
She described chief of surgery Dr. Breen Bland entering the emergency room with two men in suits. Seeing doctors working on King, Bland commanded, “Stop working on the nigger and let him die! Now, all of you get out of here, right now. Everybody get out.”
Johnton Shelby says his mother described hearing the sound of the three men sucking up saliva into their mouths and then spitting. Lula Mae described to her family that she looked over her shoulder as she was leaving the room and saw that the breathing tube had been removed from King and that Bland was holding a pillow over his head. (The book contains the entire deposition given by Johnton Shelby to Pepper, so readers can judge for themselves whether they think Shelby is credible – as Pepper believes he is.)
William Pepper with his friend Martin Luther King.
In fact, a second invaluable source was Ron Adkins, whose father, Russell Adkins Sr., was a local Dixie Mafia gangster and conspirator in the planning of the assassination even though he died a year before it took place. Ron told Pepper he had overheard Bland, who was his family’s doctor, tell his father that if King did survive the shooting he had to be taken to St. Joseph’s and nowhere else. As Pepper describes it:
“He remembers Breen Bland saying to his father, ‘If he’s not killed by the shot, just make sure he gets to St. Joseph Hospital, and we’ll make sure that he doesn’t leave.’”
Ron, who was just 16 when the shooting took place, was apparently taken everywhere by his father in those days, and he was able to recount many details of what happened as the assassination was planned and carried out.
“I definitely found him credible,” Pepper says. “I found him troubled, I found him disturbed in a lot of ways by things that went on earlier in his life.”
His deposition is also contained in the book, which Pepper explains was important so that readers could judge the statements for themselves.
“What I wanted to do was to make sure that the entire deposition of these critical moments and this critical information was there, so that one could go and read the depositions and see that I was being accurate,” Pepper says.
Besides describing what he heard Bland tell his father, Ron Adkins described the many visits made to Russell Sr. by Clyde Tolson, J. Edgar Hoover’s right hand man. Known to Ron as “Uncle Clyde,” the high-level FBI official often delivered cash to the elder Adkins for jobs he and his associates would carry out on behalf of Hoover. Among those the younger Adkins said were paid to supply information about the activities of Martin Luther King were the reverends Samuel “Billy” Kyles and Jesse Jackson.
The basics of the official story
If you seek out any information from a mainstream source about James Earl Ray, you’ll find him described as the killer of Martin Luther King, just as Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan are labelled “assassins” in the murders of John and Robert Kennedy.
But once you read any or all of Pepper’s three books on the King slaying, you see very clearly that Ray is not a killer at all. Instead, he was a petty criminal who was a perfect “follower.” Like Oswald and Sirhan, Ray was set up to take the fall for an assassination that originated within the American deep state. In fact, Pepper says he’s convinced that knowledge of the plot went all the way to the top.
“The whole thing would have been part of Lyndon Johnson’s playbook,” Pepper says. “I think Johnson knew about this.”
As the official story of the shooting goes, at 5:50 p.m. on April 4, Kyles knocked on the door of room 306 of the Lorraine Motel to let King and the rest of his party know that they were running late for a planned dinner at Kyles’s home. Kyles then walked about 60 feet down the balcony where he remained even after King came out of the room at about 6 p.m. (Although Kyles has maintained ever since that he spent the last half hour in the room, Pepper has proven otherwise.)
Andrew Young (left) and others on balcony of the Lorraine pointing to where the shot originated while King lies at their feet. (Joseph Louw photo)
Members of a militant black organizing group the Invaders, who were also staying in the motel because of King’s visit, were told shortly before the shooting by a member of the motel staff that their rooms would no longer being paid for by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and that they had to leave immediately. When they asked who had given this order, they were told it was Jesse Jackson. At the time of the shooting, Jackson was waiting down by the swimming pool. Ron Adkins also identified Jackson as the person who called the owners of the Lorraine Motel and demanded that King be moved from a more secure inner courtyard room to an exposed room on the second floor facing the street.
The Memphis Police Department usually formed a detail of black officers to protect King when he was in town, but did not this time. Emergency TACT support units were pulled back from the Lorraine to the fire station, which overlooked the motel. Pepper also learned that the only two black members of the Memphis Fire Department had been told the day before the shooting not to report for work the next day at the fire station. And black detective Ed Redditt was physically removed from his surveillance post in the fire station taken to MPD headquarters, where he described seeing many Army officers. He was then driven home where he heard news about the assassination in his car just after arriving.
Just about a minute after King exited his room, a single shot was fired and the bullet ripped through King’s jaw and spinal cord, dropping him immediately. The shot appeared to come from across Mulberry Street. King was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead just after 7 p.m.
According to the official story, the shot was fired by Ray from the bathroom of a rooming house above a bar called Jim’s Grill, which backed on to Mulberry and faced onto South Main Street. But, as Pepper’s investigation proves, the shot actually came from the bushes located in between the rooming house and the street. In fact, the only “witness” who placed Ray at the scene was a falling-down-drunk named Charles Stephens, who later did not recognize Ray in a photograph and who cab driver James McCraw had refused to transport a short time before because he was too intoxicated.
The bushes that concealed the shooter were conveniently trimmed the day after the shooting, giving a false impression that a shooter could not have been concealed there. Several witnesses, including journalist Earl Caldwell and King’s Memphis driver, Solomon Jones, described seeing the shot come from the bushes and not from the bathroom of the rooming house as the official story states.
Another casualty of the King murder was cab driver Buddy Butler who reported that he saw a man running from the scene right after the shot, going south on Mulberry St., and jumping into a police car (this would turn out to be MPD Lieutenant Earl Clark). Butler reported this to his dispatcher and later to fellow cab driver Louie Ward. Butler was interviewed at the Yellow Cab Company later that evening by police. Ward was told the next day that Butler had either fallen, or was pushed, to his death from a speeding car on the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge.
The owner of Jim’ Grill, Loyd Jowers, would later admit to being part of the conspiracy to kill King, and he would be found responsible – along with various government agencies – for the killing in a 1999 civil lawsuit by the King family, which was represented by Pepper.
“The King family got enormous comfort out of the results of that trial and the evidence that came forward from that,” Pepper says.
Betty Spates, a waitress at Jim’s Grill and girlfriend of Jowers, says she saw him rush into the back of the Grill through the back door seconds after the shot, white as a ghost and holding a rifle, which he then wrapped in a tablecloth and hid on a shelf under the counter. He turned to her and said, “Betty, you wouldn’t do anything to hurt me, would you?” She responded, “Of course not, Loyd.” Spates, who didn’t come forward until the 1990s, also recounted that Jowers had been delivered a large sum of money right before the assassination.
James McCraw stated that Jowers had shown him a rifle the day after the shooting and told him it was the one used to kill King.
“We confronted Loyd,” Peppers explains. “We told him he was likely to be indicted if he didn’t help us, if he didn’t give more information. Jowers didn’t know there was no way the grand jury was going to indict him. All he knew was what he did, what he participated in, how much money he got for it – he got quite a large sum of money, built a taxi cab company with it, had his gambling debt with [local Mafia figure Frank] Liberto forgiven.”
Liberto, an associate of Louisiana crime boss Carlos Marcello, turned out to be involved in the assassination also. He owned a produce warehouse and one of his regular customers, John McFerren, was making his weekly shopping trip there when he overheard Liberto shout into the phone an hour before the shooting: “Shoot the son of a bitch on the balcony.” Nathan Whitlock and his mother, LaVada Addison Whitlock, who owned a restaurant frequented by Liberto, stated that Liberto had told them he was responsible for the King murder.
Setting up the patsy
One thing that many don’t know is that Ray was in prison in 1967, the year before the assassination, serving a 20-year sentence for a grocery store robbery in 1959. After a couple of unsuccessful escape attempts, Ray succeeded in breaking out of prison on April 23, 1967. Unknown to Ray was the fact that the escape had been orchestrated, because he had already been chosen as the patsy in the planned assassination of King, which was still a year away.
The warden of Missouri State Penitentiary was paid $25,000 by Russell Adkins Sr. to allow the escape (as confirmed by Ron Adkins). The money was delivered to Adkins by Tolson, and it was this same connection that would later be used to finance the assassination of King.
After his escape from prison, Ray went to Chicago for a few weeks where he got a job. But, worried about getting caught, he went to Canada, specifically Montreal, and took the name Eric S. Galt. His intention was to get a passport under a false name and to travel to a country from which he could not be extradited.
James Earl Ray spent the last 30 years of his life in prison for a murder he did not commit.
At the Neptune Bar in the Montreal dock area in August 1967, Ray met a mysterious figure who identified himself as “Raul.” Raul asked Ray to help him with a smuggling scheme, and Ray agreed. In the months ahead, Ray would do a number of jobs, including gun running, for Raul for which he was paid and given a car. Always, Ray had to wait to be contacted by Raul, who Ray said co-ordinated his activities right up until the day of the assassination.
At one point Ray was instructed to purchase a deer rifle with a scope (although Raul was not satisfied with the one he bought and made him exchange it for another). Ray was instructed to go to Memphis (he arrived April 3, 1968) and upon meeting with Raul in his motel was given the name of Jim’s Grill, where the two were to meet at 3 p.m. the next day. He also handed the rifle over to Raul and always maintained that he never saw it again.
Ray rented a room at the rooming house above Jim’s Grill (the two met the day of the assassination as planned). About an hour before the shooting, he was given money to go to the movies, but first he tried to have a tire repaired because Raul had said he wanted to use the car. But when Ray heard the sirens that followed the shooting, he got scared and left the area.
Fearing he had been set up, Ray left the country and ended up in England where he was captured on June 8, 1968 at London’s Heathrow Airport as he was trying to leave the UK. Once charged with the crime, Ray was pressured by his second lawyer, Percy Foreman, to plead guilty on the grounds that the evidence was too strong against him and Foreman was not in good health and couldn’t offer a strong defence.
“Foreman was sent in with the purpose of replacing the original lawyers,” Pepper says.
Foreman offered Ray $500 to get another lawyer if he pleaded guilty and even put this in writing. Ray would regret accepting this offer for the rest of his life. He tried unsuccessfully to rescind the guilty plea and get a trial for the next 30 years, finally dying in prison of cancer in 1998.
Pepper becomes convinced of Ray’s innocence
It was 10 years after the assassination before Pepper would even consider meeting with Ray. He had taken for granted at first that Ray was the assassin, but he was encouraged to meet him by Rev. Ralph Abernathy, who had succeeded King as President of the SCLC. Abernathy had remained unsatisfied with the official account of the shooting.
In the book, Pepper describes his first meeting with Ray in 1978 and how he quickly came to believe that Ray had not been the shooter and that the case was essentially still unsolved. It wasn’t until 1988 before Pepper became certain that Ray had not played any knowing part in the conspiracy, and at that point he agreed to represent him, which he did until his death.
Purveyors of the official story of the assassination have always claimed that Raul was an invention of Ray’s, and mainstream media accounts refer to this question as still unanswered even though Pepper not only found witnesses who described their connections to Raul, he actually found Raul himself with the help of witness Glenda Grabow (Pepper learned that his last name was Coelho). She identified Raul as someone she had known in Houston in 1963 and who around 1974, in a fit of rage, had implicated himself in the King assassination right before raping her. Grabow also identified Jack Ruby as someone who she had seen with Raul in 1963. This fascinating story is recounted both in An Act of State and The Plot to Kill King.
One of the most intriguing things to come out of both of these books is the account of a young FBI agent named Don Wilson who after the assassination was sent to check out a white Mustang with Alabama plates (Ray drove a white Mustang) that had been abandoned and that was thought to be connected to the assassination. Wilson opened the car door and some papers fell out. He examined them later and found a torn-out piece of a 1963 Dallas, Texas telephone directory. Written on the page was the name “Raul” and the initial “J” and a phone number, which turned out to be that of a Las Vegas night club run by Jack Ruby, the man who had shot Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas police station. A second piece of paper had a list of names with amounts of money beside each. Wilson decided to hold on to this evidence, fearing it would disappear forever if he turned it in. He held on to it for 29 years before making it available to Pepper and the King family.
The shooter revealed
Another incredible revelation in The Plot to Kill King is the identity of the man who appears to have fired the fatal shot. Pepper learned his identity from Lenny B. Curtis, who was a custodian at the Memphis Police Department rifle range. Curtis told Pepper this in 2003, and Pepper recorded a deposition with him but kept it confidential out of fear for Curtis’s life. Only after his death in 2013 did Pepper reveal what Curtis had said – that the shooter was Memphis police officer Frank Strausser.
“We had to be very careful about [Curtis’s safety],” Pepper says.
Curtis said to Pepper in his deposition that he heard Strausser say about King four or five months before the assassination that somebody was going to “. . . blow his motherfucking brains out.” He also described that Strausser had practised in the rifle range with a particular rifle that had been brought in four or five days earlier by a member of the fire department. That fireman had shown the rifle to Curtis and asked, “How would you like that scoundrel, that baby there?” When Curtis said it look like any other rifle, he replied, “No, this is a special one; that baby is special.” Lenny remembered that on the day of the assassination, Strausser spent the whole day practicing with it. (Strausser has given several conflicting accounts of where he was and what he was doing that day.)
After the assassination, Curtis says he was followed and intimidated by Strausser. Pepper writes:
“Lenny said that he subsequently became aware that strange things were happening around him. His gas was strangely turned on once when he was about to enter his house. He had lit a cigarette, but as he opened the door he smelled gas and quickly put out the cigarette. A strange Lincoln was occasionally parked across the street from his apartment house. He was frightened. One morning when the car was there, he got into his own car and quickly drove off, and the strange car pulled out and followed him. He managed to see the driver. It was Strausser.”
In the book, Pepper describes how he came to meet with Strausser, who he describes as a committed and devoted racist.
“He had no respect for black people at all,” Pepper says. “He wasn’t explicit about his racism. But he was not at all sympathetic to what Martin King was all about.”
In the hope of prompting an admission, Pepper lied and told him that he had been implicated in the killing by Loyd Jowers – but Strausser didn’t take the bait. Pepper also told Strausser that the footprints found in the bushes after the shooting were from size 13 shoes (which they were). Then he asked him about the size of his feet:
“He had a bit of a grin on his face, and he said ‘13 large,’” Pepper says.
Pepper also arranged to have cab driver Nathan Whitlock, who Strausser knew, tell him that there was a good possibility that he (Strausser) would be indicted for the shooting. He responded: “What are they going to indict me for, something I did 30 years ago?” Then he caught himself and added, “Or something I knew about 30 years ago?”
A threat to the powers that be
As Pepper explains, King was not only hated by the establishment as he rose to prominence in the 1960s, he was feared. Not only did he have the ability to move large numbers of people with his message of peace and tolerance, but he had designs on a political career. According to Pepper, King was planning to run for president on a third-party ticket with fellow anti-war activist Dr. Benjamin Spock. He was also causing panic in powerful circles because he intended to bring hundreds of thousands of poor people to an encampment in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1968 to bring attention to the plight of the poor.
“They were terrified that the anger level when [the demonstrators] were not going to get what they wanted was going to rise to such a point where Martin was going to lose control of that group and the more radical among them would take it over and they’d have a revolution,” Pepper explains. “And they didn’t have the troops to put it down. That was a real fear that the Army had. And I think it was a justifiable fear.”
King would also have posed an increasing threat to the political establishment because he intended to become much more vocal in his opposition to the Vietnam War. He had been influenced by an article and photos by Pepper called, “The Children of Vietnam,” which was published in Ramparts Magazine in January 1967 and was going to be reprinted in Look magazine until the man who made that decision, Bill Atwood, had a heart attack and left the magazine. (Atwood told Pepper he received a visit from former New York governor and ambassador to the Soviet Union Averill Harriman who passed on a message from President Johnson that he would appreciate it if Atwood never published anything by Pepper.)
Beyond King’s importance as a powerful force for justice, peace, and equality, he was also Pepper’s friend. And the lawyer/journalist had to deal with that loss as he sought the truth about who really killed King and fought for justice for the man falsely accused of his murder. He writes:
“For me, this is a story rife with sadness, replete with massive accounts of personal and public deception and betrayal. Its revelations and experiences have produced in the writer a depression stemming from an unavoidable confrontation with the depths to which human beings, even those subject to professional codes of ethics, have fallen. In addition, there is an element of personal despair that has resulted from this long effort, which has made me even question the wisdom of undertaking this task.” (page xiv, The Plot to Kill King)
Florida Senate apologizes for 68-year-old racial injustice
May 5, 2017
ABOVE PHOTO: Pictured are three of the Groveland Four. Ernest Thomas was killed in a hail of bullets by law inforcement after being found sleeping under a tress.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Florida Senate formally apologized on Thursday to the families of four Black men accused of raping a white teenager nearly seven decades ago in a case now seen as a racial injustice.
The Senate also is asking Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet to posthumously pardon the men known as the Groveland Four. The Florida House issued the same apology last week. Both votes were unanimous.
“We cannot go back to this terrible event and undo it, but we can acknowledge our wrongs and we can bring peace and healing and closure to the families who have suffered for so long,’’ said Democratic Sen. Gary Farmer, who sponsored the resolution.
Their ordeal began in Lake County in 1949, when a 17-year-old said she had been raped. Three of the men were arrested and severely beaten; a fourth, Ernest Thomas, fled.
A posse of about 1,000 men was formed to hunt down Thomas. He was shot 400 times when they found him sleeping under a tree. White residents also formed a mob and went to a black neighborhood, burning houses and firing guns into homes in a disturbance that took days to quell.
Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin and Samuel Shepherd were convicted despite dubious evidence. Other evidence that could have exonerated them — such as a doctor’s conclusion that the teen probably wasn’t raped — was withheld at their trial. Greenlee was sentenced to life, and Irvin and Shepherd to death.
Thurgood Marshall, later the first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, took up Irvin and Shepherd’s appeals for the NAACP, and in 1951 the U.S. Supreme Court ordered new trials.
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LINK DU JOUR
I recently wrote about violations of free speech in the civil rights movement and how the First Amendment’s strong speech protections are critical for minorities, the powerless, and those trying to change the world. One element I did not discuss was the importance of photography as a check against majority power and oppression. Indeed, the contours of today’s battles over the First Amendment rights of photographers can also be seen in the movement’s history.
In March 1963, for example, after police in Greenwood, Mississippi, allowed their dog to bite the Black pastor of a local church as he was peacefully walking along the sidewalk as part of a voter registration effort, police seized the film of a CBS cameraman who had captured the incident. (The photo of a similar attack the following May in Birmingham would later become famous.)
In 1965, a nighttime march by 400 protesters in Marion, Alabama, was attacked by law enforcement officers. As network news crews rushed to ready their cameras, officers knocked out streetlights, destroyed reporters’ cameras, sprayed their lenses with black paint, and, in some cases, simply clubbed them. Not captured on camera that night were assaults that sent 10 Black men to the hospital (the one hospital that would treat them), including a man named Jimmy Lee Jackson who died of two police gunshots to the stomach.
Jackson’s death helped inspire the famous Selma to Montgomery marches later that year. As hundreds of peaceful Black marchers were beaten by police and possemen on “Bloody Sunday,” a White man named Dan Doyle was on the sidewalk taking pictures, and the attackers beat him and stole his camera. Photographers were frequent targets of white mobs throughout the civil rights movement. (However, Dolye was actually an FBI agent, and despite the wonton carnage, the men who beat him were the only ones to be jailed that day—with the federal charges later dropped because of the embarrassing optics of that fact.)
Alabama Governor George Wallace, who had personally overseen strategy for the state's response to the Selma march, had told his advisors, “I'm not going to have a bunch of niggers walking along a highway in this state as long as I'm governor.” But his aides recognized that the violence was a public relations disaster. There was “too much film.... Just too much film,” one kept repeating in the aftermath.
Photography was also used offensively by the police, as a means of seeking to intimidate protesters by recording them (as I discussed here). After the bloody outcome of the first attempted Selma march, the government finally sent thousands of federal troops to protect the marchers. On the second federally protected march, one activist snapped this ominous photo of an Alabama state trooper filming him:
In the 1960s, cameras — especially motion picture cameras — were expensive and bulky and relied on wet film to record images and on the news judgment of editors at newspapers and the three corporate television networks to distribute them. Today, everyone has a high-quality motion-picture camera in their pocket and can distribute images to the world in an instant online. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the essential shape of the power struggles around cameras has not changed: who can film whom and when and who gets to control the pictures and who views them.
In the end, of course, photography was absolutely critical to the success of the civil rights movement. Without it, outside pressure might never have been brought to bear on southern states intent on continuing to oppress their Black citizens through the omnipresent threat of violence. Images of firehoses, police beatings and dog attacks, bombings, and other examples of that violence put the issue before a larger American public in a way they couldn’t ignore — a public that beforehand had been some mixture of ignorant, supportive, indifferent, and resigned to the treatment of Blacks in the south.
Very much the same thing is happening today. Police violence against Black Americans has been a problem for a very long time — Martin Luther King talked about it — but we have only seen the emergence of the Black Lives Matter and other expressions of a new focus on this problem in the last few years. There’s a very good argument that a principal reason is what I have called the “video revolution in policing” — that, as my colleagues Dennis Parker and Lee Rowland put it, “the onslaught of repeated, searing images of police shooting unarmed people of color” has left “no plausible deniability about the reality of being policed while Black in America.”
This is one reason why ACLU lawyers around the country have been fighting over the past decade in numerous lawsuits against attempts by police officers and others to stop people from recording. As during the civil rights movement, today's authorities also recognize the consequences of “too much film.” But with a camera in nearly everyone's pocket, there's more film than ever and, under our Constitution, no stopping it.
You can predict how many blacks are killed by police by measuring the racism of whites, research finds
Some of the stereotypes that prevail in a given geographic area go unrecognized by the people who hold them, and even more often, they’re not acknowledged. But psychologists know that such bias is widespread.
New research finds that when more white people in a community hold African Americans in greater suspicion, that prevailing view may influence police behavior in ways that drive the outsize use of lethal force against African Americans by cops.
It’s a finding likely to stir controversy and spark new interest in the phenomenon of implicit bias — the beliefs and prejudices we hold beneath our level of awareness.
Studied and measured by psychologists since the early 1990s, these unconscious views, which sometimes conflict with the opinions we explicitly embrace, are thought to shape our behavior every day. That influence may be subtle, psychologists say. But it’s never more powerful than when we are under extreme stress or time pressure, as police officers often are.
In a study published Thursday, a trio of psychologists built a map of the racial bias and stereotypes that prevail among whites across the United States. They gathered individuals’ answers to a pair of online tests that measure implicit bias and stereotypes about black and white people. The, they arranged them in geographical clusters according to the recorded location of the test-taker.
When the researchers overlaid those maps with their hot spots of white racial bias and presumption of violent intent against African Americans, they discerned a strong correlation with a very different map: one showing where, in the first nine months of 2015, African Americans were killed by police in disproportionate numbers.
The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, was conducted by psychologists Eric Hehman and Jessica K. Flake of Ryerson and York universities, respectively, in Toronto, and by UC Davis social psychologist Jimmy Calanchini.
Two border patrol agents’ dangerous method of checking for drugs killed a teen, lawsuit say
Cruz Velazquez Acevedo began convulsing shortly after he drank the liquid methamphetamine he'd brought with him from Tijuana, Mexico.
The 16-year-old had just crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to San Diego and was going through the San Ysidro Port of Entry. He was carrying two bottles of liquid that he claimed was apple juice. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers told him to drink it to prove he wasn't lying, court records say.
A surveillance video published by ABC Friday, about 3 1/2 years after Acevedo's death, shows the teen taking a sip of the liquid after one of the two officers, Valerie Baird, motioned for him to drink. He took another sip after the other officer, Adrian Perallon, made a gesture with his hand, appearing to tell him to drink more.
The teen took four sips.
Then, he began sweating profusely. He screamed and clenched his fists.
In a matter of minutes, his temperature soared to 105 degrees, his family's attorney said. His pulse reached an alarming rate of 220 beats per minute - more than twice the normal rate for adults.
"Mi corazón! Mi corazón!" Acevedo screamed, according to court records - "My heart! My heart!"
He was dead about two hours later.
The United States has since agreed to pay Acevedo's family $1 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against two border officers and the U.S. government.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/latest-news/article164383482.html#storylink=cpy
Suit against 2 psychologists over torture used in CIA interrogations appears headed for trial
CIA’s Guide To Other Country’s Elections: Why Jamaican “National Hero” Michael Manley worried the Agency
July 31, 2017Michael Manley, who served as Prime Minister of Jamaica for a total of 11 years, is considered by nearly half of Jamaicans as the best Prime Minister the country ever had. 68% say that he should considered a national hero. However, as a 1980 Agency memo in the middle of a tough re-election battle shows, the CIA had a much more negative view of Manley, fearing he would resort to illegal means to stay in power.Read More
Alabama's News Leader-Birmingham Fire & Rescue personnel investigate a package discovered to have a suspicious substance at the FBI Headquarters in downtown Birmingham, July ...
How to host your own FOIA Karaoke
July 28, 2017FOIA and public records are vital to holding our government accountable - but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with the results, too. Here’s how you can host your own FOIA Karaoke - and if you do, let us know how it goes!
Study Finds Aardvarks Suffering as African Climate heats up
July 31, 2017
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Little is known about Africa’s elusive aardvarks, but new research says they are vulnerable to climate change like many other species.
Hotter temperatures are taking their toll on the aardvark, whose diet of ants and termites is becoming scarcer in some areas because of reduced rainfall, according to a study released Monday.
Drought in the Kalahari desert killed five out of six aardvarks that were being monitored for a year, as well as 11 others in the area, said researchers at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
The aardvarks’ body temperatures plummeted during the night because they were not getting enough energy from diminished food sources, said physiology professor Andrea Fuller. She said they tried to conserve energy by looking for insects during the warmer daytime, but their efforts to adapt could not save them.
The body temperatures of the ones that died had dropped to as low as 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), compared to a normal temperature of a little below 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).
Researchers, who monitored the aardvarks with tiny sensors attached to implanted computer chips, said some birds, reptiles and other animals use aardvark burrows to escape extreme temperatures, reproduce and hide from predators. They could have fewer refuges available if aardvark populations shrink because of rising temperatures, they said.
The aardvark, which lives in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, is identified as an animal of “least concern” on an international “red list” of threatened species. The list, compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said
EU Regulator Launches Probeof Fuel-Burning Power Plants
The European Commission said Monday that it will review operating permits of the EU’s 3,500 large combustion plants by 2021, with an eye to moving the continent to low-emissions energy production and compliance with the international Paris climate agreement.
Agriculture-Caused ‘Dead Zone’ Threatening Gulf of MexicoJuly 31, 2017
Ocean life and our supply of clean drinking water will decrease unless more is done to limit farmland runoff of nitrogen-based fertilizer and livestock waste, according to a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The nitrogen that washes into rivers and eventually out to sea is necessary for the growth of plant life, but excessive amounts found in the Gulf of Mexico and other places create areas known as dead zones. Excess nitrogen leads to exponential algae growth, which in turn causes an increase of bacteria that decomposes the algae and exhausts all the nearby oxygen. These dead zones choke off all other oceanic life and form algae blooms that are toxic to humans.
Scientists and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been working on ways to cut down on nitrogen runoff, but Monday’s study suggests such actions aren’t enough. The Gulf of Mexico is expected to form a dead zone this summer the size of New Jersey, about 8,000 square miles, according to NOAA. An intergovernmental panel wants to reduce it to the size of Delaware, about 1,950 square miles, by 2035.
Researchers estimate nitrogen runoff into the Gulf of Mexico needs to be reduced by 59 percent.
“The bottom line is that we will never reach the action plan’s goal of 1,950 square miles until more serious actions are taken to reduce the loss of Midwest fertilizers into the Mississippi River system,” University of Michigan aquatic ecologist Don Scavia said.
The study reveals that hardly any progress has been made to reduce the amount of nitrogen runoff. Concentrations of the nitrogen compound nitrate found in rivers are the same today as in the 1980s. Despite more than $28 billion in government spending to reduce nitrogen runoff, there has been no significant reduction in the amount of nitrate washing away to the Gulf of Mexico.
“Clearly something more or something different is needed,” Scavia wrote in the study. “It matters little if the load-reduction target is 30 percent, 45 percent or 59 percent if insufficient resources are in place to make even modest reductions.”
Researchers suggest that the agriculture sector needs to make significant changes in order to protect ocean life, including the pursuit of alternatives to corn-base biofuels since corn requires a lot of nitrogen and other soil nutrients.
“It is time to ask what is preventing more extensive implementation of some or all of these strategies,” the researchers said.
Judge Nixes Alabama Law Putting Pregnant Girls Through Trial
July 31, 2017
MONTGOMERY, Ala.A federal judge has struck down Alabama’s one-of-a-kind law that enabled judges to put minors seeking abortions through a trial-like proceeding in which the fetus could get a lawyer and prosecutors could object to the pregnant girl’s wishes.
Alabama legislators in 2014 changed the state’s process for girls who can’t or won’t get their parents’ permission for an abortion to obtain permission from a court instead. The new law empowered the judge to appoint a guardian ad litem “for the interests of the unborn child” and invited the local district attorney to call witnesses and question the girl to determine whether she’s mature enough to decide.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Russ Walker sided Friday with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama , writing that the law unconstitutionally and impermissibly imposes “an undue burden on a minor in Alabama who seeks an abortion through a judicial bypass,” and violates the girl’s privacy rights by enabling a prosecutor to call witnesses against her will.
Both the judge and the ACLU said they were aware of no other state with such a law.
Every state requiring parental consent for abortions involving minors must also have a “judicial bypass” procedure so that girls can get a judge’s approval in a way that is effective, confidential, and expeditious, the ACLU said.
The state had argued that the law was intended to allow a “meaningful” inquiry into the minor’s maturity and the process was still a “confidential, and expeditious option for a teenager who seeks an abortion without parental consent.”
The civil rights organization said it had the opposite effect, by enabling lawyers for the state or the fetus to subpoena the minor’s teacher, neighbor, relative or boyfriend to testify she’s too immature to choose an abortion, or that continuing the pregnancy would be in her best interest.
It is unclear how many such proceedings have happened since the law was enacted. Walker noted that a district attorney this summer opposed the abortion request of a 12-year-old girl who had been impregnated by a relative.
The girl was 13 weeks pregnant and had just completed fifth grade when she went before a family court judge, according to a court record. The judge approved the abortion on June 27, and the district attorney appealed the same day, arguing that the girl was too immature to make an informed decision. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals on July 12 ruled in favor of the girl.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit in federal court in Montgomery on behalf of Reproductive Health Services, a Montgomery
Ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio found guilty in criminal contempt case BY ELIZABETH ELIZALDENEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Monday, July 31, 2017, 9:37 PM
'Young white guys are hopping mad': confidence grows at far-right gathering‘Race realism’ and call for a white ‘ethnostate’ among themes at the American Renaissance conference in Tennessee
OCTOBER 15, 2017 | GUIDE ON HOW RACISTS WANT BLACKS TO PROTEST
Pilot boots New York activist Tamika Mallory from American Airlines flight over seat dispute BY ERIN DURKIN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, October 15, 2017, 4:09 PM
Trump accuser subpoenas his campaign for all documents relating to sexual misconduct allegations BY JASON SILVERSTEIN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, October 15, 2017, 1:30 PM
Ohio sheriff's deputy resigns after racial slur accusationAssociated Press An Ohio sheriff's deputy has resigned after being accused of using a racial slur at a Columbus bar.
Erie County deputy Justin Smith submitted his resignation letter Thursday after being placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 5.
Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said Smith was attending narcotics training in Columbus when he became intoxicated on Oct. 2 and used a racial slur while referring to a Sandusky-area attorney in front of co-workers at a bar.
Sigsworth said Smith resigned rather than face the possibility of being fired. Smith worked 13 years as an Erie County deputy and corrections officer.
Smith is not worried as there are other police departments he can find work
Trump’s pick to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy has 'troubling' ties to pharmaceutical industry BY ERIN DURKIN DENIS SLATTERY NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, October 15, 2017, 3:09 PM
ARE AMERICANS BEGINNING TO CARE ABOUT ELECTION INTEGRITY?A Progress Update on Reinforcing American Voting Systems
3rd largest media conglomerate in US frames story as a Liberal thang!
look at who owns the LA Times see
Liberal group: Delayed DOJ blood tests led to fatal crash
Prosecutors were waiting for the state crime lab to complete blood tests on a repeat drunken driver this summer when he struck and killed a man changing a flat tire along the interstate.
Results of the blood work could have kept Frank Schiller behind bars, canceling his bail and preventing the fatal accident, a liberal advocacy group charges. The test results were sent to prosecutors on July 11, three days after the crash and more than three months after they were submitted to the crime lab for processing.
It's impossible to know whether a judge would have revoked Schiller's bail and put him behind bars before the fatal crash if prosecutors had gotten the blood work sooner. But delays in crime lab test results almost certainly will be an issue in Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel's re-election campaign next year.
Scot Ross, director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said delays have become a systemic problem under Schimel's leadership.
"This case is an example of how tragic consequences of those delays can be and how important it is that it get fixed," Ross said.
Deputy Attorney General Paul Connell said a string of court decisions allowed Schiller to remain free on bail despite multiple arrests before the crash and played a bigger role Peter Enns' death than the delay in blood work.
"There is nothing unusual about this case," DOJ spokesman Johnny Koremenos said. "The reason Mr. Schiller was out, driving around after being charged has nothing to do with the results of the toxicology report. As you know, Mr. Schiller was out on bail after being arrested on these other occasions."
Schiller was charged in Milwaukee County in March with driving under the influence. He had been convicted of drunken driving four times before. Milwaukee County Court Commissioner Grace Flynn released him the same day he was charged with the condition that he stay sober.
Less than a month later he was back in trouble, charged with drug possession and bail jumping in Washington County. He was released on a $500 cash bond only to be charged again in mid-June with drug possession in two separate Waukesha County cases. He went free on $1,000 bail on June 29.
Ten days later, on July 8, Schiller was heading east on Interstate 94 near Delafield when he tried to pass other cars on the shoulder and struck Enns, who had stopped to help another driver change a flat tire, according to court records. Prosecutors leveled a host of charges against him on July 13, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
Blood tests in the March case were finalized on June 12 but weren't sent to Milwaukee police until July 11, three days after the crash, Koremenos said.
"There is a series of reviews and checks toxicology work must go through before being released to the submitting agency," Koremenos said. He did not elaborate. The Associated Press filed an open records request for the test results but the DOJ denied it because Schiller's case was still pending.
According to DOJ's website, the average turnaround time in 2014 for blood and other bodily fluid tests was 32 days in 2014. By 2016, Schimel's second year in office, the average turnaround time had risen to 52 days. Koremenos said so far this year the crime lab's toxicology unit's average turnaround time is 56 days.
Schimel created 11 temporary crime lab positions in August, eight weeks after Schiller's fatal crash, to speed up evidence processing. He said at the time that police submissions had risen 49 percent from 2015 to 2016 and 31 percent from 2016 to 2017. Earlier this month Schimel appointed DNA analyst Nicole Roehm to lead the crime lab. She replaced Jana Champion, who retired.
Koremenos said Champion's retirement had been scheduled and Schiller's case wasn't the impetus for the additional hires. He said the agency wasn't aware "of the intricacies of this case" until The AP inquired about it.
Milwaukee County Assistant District Jim Griffin, who is handling Schiller's March drunken driving case, didn't return messages about whether the blood results would have prompted him to seek to revoke Schiller's bail.
Schimel faces former federal prosecutor Josh Kaul in the November 2018 elections. Kaul campaign manager Ashley Viste declined comment.
FBI authorized informants to break the law 22,800 times in 4 years
Dell Cameron and Patrick Howell O'Neill— Aug 23, 2016 at 1:51PM | Last updated Aug 23, 2016 at 4:49PM
Informants May Get a Pass on Murder - latimesLos Angeles TimesMar 16, 2003 · For decades in cities from coast to coast, FBI agents recruited killers and crime bosses as informants and then looked the other way as they continued to commit violent crimes.When the practice.
Exclusive: FBI allowed informants to commit 5,600 crimes - USA TodayUSA Today › fbi-informant-crimes-reportAug 4, 2013 · WASHINGTON — The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation's ...
FBI informants who caused mayhem on the side
BOSTON – Here are 11 dangerous criminals who received a measure of protection from the FBI while serving as informants. Most informed in organized crime or political corruption cases, but a few were involved in highly political cases in the turbulent 1960s.
Details are drawn from interviews, court records and published reports.
**** CAIN, aka RICARDO SCALZETTI.
He was a sheriff's investigator in Cook County, Ill., who joined the mob and rose to become right-hand man to Chicago boss Sam Giancana. Cain was convicted of conspiracy in a robbery and sentenced to 10 years in prison. An FBI informant who helped solve that crime was murdered after Cain helped unmask him. Nevertheless, Cain was later recruited as an FBI informant.
"We had been turning a blind eye on his machinations as he tried to take over gambling in Chicago. What an ambition! The deal was that we would not focus on his activity if he spun off his competitors to us," Cain's FBI handler, William Roemer, wrote in his book, "Accardo: The Genuine Godfather."
While informing for Roemer, who is now dead, Cain became a suspect in a 1972 gangland killing. Roemer said he initially dropped the informant, but Cain wasn't prosecuted and soon went back to informing for Roemer.
Cain was killed in an apparent mob hit in 1973. Years later, Roemer remembered him as "one of my closest friends."
GREGORY "THE GRIM REAPER" SCARPA SR.
He was both a Colombo family mob captain in New York City and longtime FBI informant. Scarpa sided with mob boss Carmine Persico in the early 1990s in a war to put down a family mutiny. Authorities came to suspect that Scarpa, while acting as an informant, took part in as many as 13 murders by the Persico side.
Hearing of one Scarpa murder, handler Lindley DeVecchio slapped a desk and declared triumphantly, "We're going to win this thing!" another agent later testified. Government prosecutors later conceded that evidence suggested DeVecchio leaked information to Scarpa, including names of enemies cooperating with the FBI. DeVecchio later said FBI supervisors knew of the murder suspicions but let him keep using the informant.
Scarpa eventually pleaded guilty to committing three of the murders and playing a role in others.
MICHAEL BURNETT, aka MICHAEL RAYMOND.
A swindler who was sentenced to 13 years for fraud in 1979, he was also suspected in at least five murders dating back to the early 1970s. Authorities believed the killings were Burnett's way of eliminating witnesses to his scams. Nevertheless, he was enlisted as an informant in FBI stings on corrupt public officials in Chicago and New York in the 1980s.
Florida police who wanted to talk to Burnett about murders say the FBI isolated him while he worked as an informant. Later, he was charged with a 1975 murder, but the case collapsed when a witness recanted. He was finally sentenced to life in prison for plotting the 1994 murder of a witness set to testify against him in a bank fraud case.
The prosecutor, Margaret Giordano, assistant U.S. attorney in the New York borough of Brooklyn, calls Burnett "a serial killer in the true sense of the word – except he is motivated by greed." She says the FBI was aware of the murder suspicions during his years as an informant.
He rose to become a lieutenant in the Chicago mob and later admitted in court to killing six men. Faced with racketeering accusations, he agreed in 1989 to become an FBI informant, wearing a wire to a meeting with Chicago mob boss Gus Alex. Paid $7,200 over two months as an informant, Patrick kept working as a mob leader, according to FBI handler Roemer.
Patrick testified against Alex in 1992 and helped send him to prison. Once asked in court about suspicions he had killed more than the six victims he acknowledged, Patrick replied in a raspy voice, "No, I've run out of cemeteries." Patrick later joined the federal Witness Protection Program.
JAMES "WHITEY" BULGER and STEPHEN "THE RIFLEMAN" FLEMMI.
Boston mobster Bulger worked as an FBI informant throughout the 1980s, and Flemmi, his top lieutenant, did so off and on from 1965 to 1990.
Much of the information they provided was about Boston's Angiulo crime family, which was virtually wiped out in a series of criminal cases brought by Boston-based FBI agents. As the Angiulos lost their grip, Bulger and Flemmi took over control of loan-sharking, gambling and other rackets in greater Boston.
According to court testimony, Boston FBI agents were aware of many of Bulger and Flemmi's crimes, including murders, but looked the other way, occasionally even tipping them off when state police or other agencies were on their trail. According to testimony, Bulger also bribed FBI agents while working as an informant.
Flemmi is now serving 10 years for obstruction of justice and other offenses and awaiting trial on a federal racketeering case. Bulger, a fugitive on the FBI's most wanted list, is also under indictment on racketeering charges.
Prosecutors blame the two gangsters for 18 murders, 11 committed while Bulger was working as an FBI informant.
VINCENT JAMES "JIMMY THE BEAR" FLEMMI.
Stephen's younger brother, Jimmy was recruited as an FBI informant in 1965, even though the bureau knew his goal was to become Boston's top hitman. He is believed to have killed at least eight people.
FBI documents show that Boston agents allowed innocent men to go to prison for one of the murders they knew their informant had committed. Flemmi died in prison in 1979 after Massachusetts authorities convicted him of attempted murder in another case.
GEORGE STINER and LARRY STINER.
During the social tumult of the late 1960s and early '70s, then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover identified the Black Panthers as the single greatest threat to the internal security of the country. In 1969, two leaders of the Panthers were killed at the University of California. Two brothers, George and Larry Stiner, members of a rival black nationalist group, the United Slaves, were convicted of conspiracy to commit the murders and were sentenced to life in prison. Both were FBI informants at the time of the murders, according to former agent Wesley Swearingen, who worked in the Los Angeles office.
Subsequently, a May 26, 1970, FBI memo obtained by a congressional committee disclosed that Los Angeles agents had laid a plan to secretly advise the United Slaves of the time and location of Black Panther events "in order that the two organizations might be brought together and thus grant nature the opportunity to take her due course."
The Stiners escaped from San Quentin in 1974. Larry Stiner turned himself in 19 years later; his brother George remains at large.
GARY THOMAS ROWE JR., aka THOMAS NEAL MOORE.
In the 1960s, Rowe was an FBI informant who helped convict three Ku Klux Klan members of federal rights violations in the killing of a civil rights volunteer in Alabama. The state charged Rowe with the murder, but the case was dropped after the federal government said his work as an informant gave him immunity.
He admitted to congressional investigators that he had beaten blacks, with the permission of his FBI handlers, in order to maintain his credibility with Klansmen. He said agents told him: "We know it's something you have to do, and we understand it, and we need the information."
After five years as an FBI informant, Rowe went into the federal Witness Protection Program. He died of a heart attack in 1998.
A roughneck from rural Kentucky, Foley first killed in 1976, shooting a man who called him a name. He was given a 35-year sentence but won parole in four years. In 1991, he was again in legal trouble on forgery and weapons counts. However, an FBI agent went before an Ohio judge and helped Foley gain release to work for the bureau as an informant.
Eight months later, while helping the FBI, he shot two brothers to death after a fist fight during a party at his home, pumping a total of 12 rounds into them. Eventually, he was convicted of those two murders and four others that took place in 1989 – the first for informing on him to his parole officer and the three others because they were witnesses. The family of the two brothers eventually sued the FBI for $12 million, saying it was responsible for their murders.
The bureau acknowledged that it broke its own rules in handling Foley, but it argued it could not foresee the murders and Foley wasn't technically an employee. A judge dismissed the suit. The bureau said several agents were "mildly sanctioned." Foley has claimed he was framed for all the murders and remains on death row in Kentucky.
HPD officer, former officer arrested
Congress calls on FCC to silence cellphones in prisonsPosted Sunday, October 15, 2017 6:00 am
City of Portland Oregon Disbands Oversight Board Meant to Ensure Police Reform
After two years of the City failing to follow an imperative in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement requiring the Mayor (Police Commissioner) to attend two meetings per year of the Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB), new Mayor Ted Wheeler showed up at what turned out to be COAB's last meeting. Making matters worse, Wheeler did not act to extend the seven remaining COAB members' terms for another year, or at least until a new system was devised. Meanwhile, the City's appeal of Judge Michael Simon's order for them to return to federal court to explain their plans for re-inventing the COAB (PPR #70) is headed to mediation at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Oregonian, March 24).
Although the Mayor appeared sympathetic to those attending the January 26 meeting and the idea of continuing COAB, he did not reappoint or support the reappointment of any of the seated members. Neither Wheeler nor any other member of Council made moves to fill the eight empty seats. Wheeler could have filled the seat vacated by former Mayor Charlie Hales' representative, who resigned last June (PPR #69). Commissioner Amanda Fritz gets some credit as her appointee, Dr. Rochelle Silver, was the only Council appointee who didn't resign; however, Fritz also failed to extend Silver's term.
COAB met October 27 and November 10, but did not meet in December or mid-January because of snow, so their last meeting was only the third held since July. They adopted a recommendation for the Bureau to eliminate the "gang list" which was revealed to be racially imbalanced (also PPR #70). Because of ongoing tension, the Board refused to allow the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison (COCL) to present findings of a community survey, even though COAB helped design the survey in the first place (see sidebar).
The formation of COAB was required by the Agreement stemming from DOJ's lawsuit against Portland for use of excessive force. After COAB spent much of its time examining and rewriting police Directives (policies), the City became increasingly unsupportive. COAB recommended changes to the Bureau's rules about bias-free policing, use of force and other matters which would hold individual officers accountable for misconduct, as well as police training methods. For the most part, they never received feedback from the Bureau or DOJ.
Some officers appointed to advise COAB were hostile to the Board's policy recommendations. One officer attempted to have COAB members removed (PPR #67). Although the attempt was unsuccessful, it indicated the attitude of officials who do not support reform.
The City took a passive aggressive posture toward the COAB. In addition to refusing to replace COAB members who resigned, they placed the Board on hiatus for two months before the second annual status conference in Simon's courtroom to examine the City's progress.
When Wheeler attended the COAB meeting, he promised to examine the 50+ recommendations the Board made. The five COAB members present voted to ask to be reappointed for another year to continue doing work.
Wheeler failed to take further action, and COAB was allowed to expire. Despite Portland's reputation as a progressive city, they seem to be hoping Attorney General Jeff Sessions will keep his promise to stop investigating local police for constitutional violations. Even if the City never emerges from mediation sessions with the DOJ, the Portland Police Association, and the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform with a "COAB 2.0" plan, there may be nobody left in the federal government to hold Portland accountable.
In the COCL's revised 1st/2nd Quarter report, only 15 of 61 community recommendations were fully incorporated. Among the rejected changes, the COCL refused to suggest the Behavioral Health Unit's Advisory Council hold public meetings or come to COAB with draft proposals so they can be vetted in a public setting. On the other hand, they did clarify they want officers to be separated immediately after a shooting incident, but are ok with written notification being generated in 2-6 hours (the previous draft made it sound as if officers could talk to one another for that whole time period). They also changed the words "community activists" to "community members" in describing who disrupted COAB meetings. However, all they did to take responsibility for COAB's demise was to say there was a "strained relationship between the Chair and certain members of the COAB," which is an understatement at best and ignores the Chair's heavy-handed tactics to control people attending meetings.
VIOLENCE TOWARD COPS SKYROCKETED IN 2016 AND WHITES ARE MOSTLY RESPONSIBLEBY CHRISTAL HAYES ON 10/16/17 AT 5:14 PM
TOP TRUMP OFFICIAL JOHN KELLY ORDERED ICE TO PORTRAY IMMIGRANTS AS CRIMINALS TO JUSTIFY RAIDSAlice SperiOctober 16 2017, 2:35 p.m.
Snowden Filmmaker Received All Public FOIA Docs, FBI Says
New York (October 16, 2017, 9:04 PM EDT) -- The FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection told a D.C. federal court Friday that they’ve provided filmmaker Laura Poitras with all information available under the Freedom of Information Act related to why she was continually detained at airport security checkpoints for six years, fighting her allegation that they’re wrongly withholding information.
In an August bid for summary judgment, Poitras said the FBI has wrongly claimed documents were subject to a law enforcement exemption in FOIA, when the documents were actually used for intelligence gathering, and...
'Riot King' Brian Rossomanno Has Become the Police Department's Protest Hammer
St. Louis police Sergeant Brian Rossomanno is known as an expert tactician, but tonight he has been outflanked. The cop nicknamed "Riot King" is surrounded — kettled, you might say — by a group of protesters bearing down on his SUV.
"Who do you protect?" the protesters shout in unison. "Who do you serve?"
It is just after dark, about 8 p.m. on September 28. Rossomanno, a linebacker-sized SWAT leader and former Marine, is parked about twenty yards short of the Tucker Boulevard intersection where, eleven days ago, he helped corral and arrest 123 people, including protesters, journalists and neighborhood residents. Officers were recorded on video filmed by livestreamer Rebelutionary Z as they manhandled people who had already surrendered, pepper sprayed people on their knees.
"It's going to be like this every night," witnesses say Rossomanno warned that night.
State Representative Bruce Franks (D-St. Louis) has just watched video of the arrests, and he is upset.
"When they did what they did, they called it 'kettling,'" Franks says over a bullhorn. "They said they 'kettled' them."
The kinetic 33-year-old lawmaker has been on the front lines of the protests every day since September 15, when a white ex-St. Louis cop named Jason Stockley was found not guilty of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith, a black 24-year-old whom he suspected of making a parking-lot drug deal.
With images of the kettle fresh in his head, Franks thinks it is time for Rossomanno to understand what it is like to be surrounded, penned in with no escape route. By the time he and several dozen marchers swarm to the front and sides of the sergeant's white-and-blue Chevrolet Tahoe, a second, smaller band of protesters has already fanned across the street behind the vehicle, blocking it in. For the next twelve minutes or so, the crowd is in the officer's face, shouting at him from all sides. A woman holds a sign in front of his windshield that says "My Son Matters" above a "Black Lives Matter" hashtag.
Sgt. Brian Rossomanno speaks into his radio as protesters 'kettle' him on Sept. 28 in downtown St. Louis.Rossomanno has a long face and bags under his eyes that give him the melancholy expression of a cartoon hound dog. As he sits in the SUV, he alternates between speaking into his radio and holding up his phone to film the protesters.
"Fire Rossomanno!" the crowd shouts. "Fire Rossomanno!"
Riot King holds the loudspeaker mic in front of his mouth and begins what has become a familiar refrain: "This is an unlawful assembly. This is an order to disperse." He warns that those who linger are subject to arrest. He threatens to deploy "chemical munitions."
This is a big part of how Rossomanno earned his nickname. The frequent threats. The reminders that arrests, pepper spray or worse are subject to his whims. The protesters do not call him Riot King because he responds to riots; it is because, they say, he brings the riot.
He seems to have embraced the image. On the Facebook page for his side business, a company that provides security details and training, the caption below a picture of him included the hashtags #riotking and #protestseason. The post was only removed after livestreamer Heather De Mian, who had taken the photo, complained on Twitter about him pilfering her work.
And yet what galls many protesters about Rossomanno isn't just that he's mercurial; it's that he simply isn't effective. Not only is he prone to inflame tempers on the street, they say, but his aggression actually fuels further action.
Take tonight, for example. Other supervisors assigned to monitor the near-daily marches have mostly avoided these situations simply by putting their vehicles in reverse and driving up the street a bit. As long as the demonstrations are non-violent, as tonight's has been, the idea is to maintain enough distance to avoid needless confrontations. Rossomanno, however, remained defiantly in the middle of the street as the crowd approached. Now it is too late to drive away. He sits cocooned behind the wheel, working his radio and awaiting backup.
Sgt. Randy Jemerson tries to calm protesters mobbing the car of his colleague.Sgt. Randy Jemerson is among the first to arrive. A stoic professional, he joined the department in November 1997 as part of the same class as Rossomanno and is also a SWAT leader and tactics instructor. But where protesters have come to see his counterpart as temperamental and vindictive, Jemerson is respected as a calming influence.
He starts by working his way to the driver's side window of the Tahoe, making himself a human barrier between the crowd and Rossomanno while he quietly explains to protesters that they have put him in a bad position by surrounding a police vehicle.
But as Jemerson works to de-escalate, there is a new antagonism from the east. A line of riot police with shields, helmets and batons starts to march across Tucker toward the demonstrators. The helmeted troops step in unison, chanting "move back, move back," until they reach the mouth of Washington and stop. The crowd leaves the Tahoe and goes to meet them, freeing the cop from the kettle.
But Rossomanno is not the type to make a graceful retreat. Now that he's no longer boxed in, he opens his car door and calls out to Franks.
"Mr. Franks, you're wanted for assault on a law enforcement officer," he says.
Franks is in disbelief. Assault on a law enforcement officer? When? Where?
"You hit me on the arm," Rossomanno says. "We've got it on tape."
The accusation touches off another flurry of shouting. Franks angrily denies assaulting anyone. He yells at the highest-ranking officer on the scene, Major John Hayden, to get control of his sergeant. After more shouting, the focus shifts back to the front line, where protest organizers are ushering demonstrators onto the sidewalk even as they demand the riot police retreat across the intersection.
A force of at least two dozen St. Louis County police officers has arrived, dressed in helmets and heavy tactical gear. A few carry the bright orange "less lethal" shotguns capable of firing bean bag rounds. Some protesters worry that police are setting the stage for yet another kettle.
Rossomanno, now with a small army surrounding him, chats with an elderly woman at the edge of the street. He has apparently abandoned the assault claim against Franks and is telling the woman just how lenient he has been.
"Right now, we have every legal right to start snatching people," he says.
The woman is hoping for peace. No protester has thrown anything or broken any windows. Really, all they did was circle his Tahoe and yell at him.
"If you surround a police car and starting banging on it, that's going to elicit a response," Rossomanno says.
Jemerson has continued to work back and forth between the crowds and the police line. Eventually, with protesters on the sidewalk, the riot police retreat back across the intersection, draining the tension as they go. The crowd goes the other way. They chant "united we stand, united we fall," and march past the county cops still holding those orange shotguns.
The mood is bright as they turn left and downtown opens up. Soon a new chant begins: "Fuck Rossomanno! Rossomanno has a long face and bags under his eyes that give him the melancholy expression of a cartoon hound dog. As he sits in the SUV, he alternates between speaking into his radio and holding up his phone to film the protesters.
Former U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall faces state ethics investigation for having sex
LEAKED ICE GUIDE OFFERS UNPRECEDENTED VIEW OF AGENCY’S ASSET FORFEITURE TACTICSRyan Devereaux, Spencer WoodmanOctober 13 2017, 7:58 a.m.Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Bloomberg/Getty ImagesAN INTERNAL HANDBOOK obtained by The Intercept provides a rare view into the extensive asset seizure operations of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, an office that trains its agents to meticulously appraise the value of property before taking it.
HSI’s 71-page “Asset Forfeiture Handbook,” dated June 30, 2010, underscores the role seizures play in “helping to fund future law enforcement actions” and covering costs “that HSI would otherwise be unable to fund.” It thus offers an unprecedented window into ICE’s wide-ranging asset forfeiture operations and the premium the agency places on seizing valuable property. Forfeiture proceeds can bolster ICE’s partnerships with local police departments, which are now the subject of heightened debate given the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration agenda.
ICE confirmed to The Intercept that the handbook reflects the agency’s most up-to-date guidance on asset forfeiture. Agents under its instruction are asked to weigh the competing priorities of law enforcement versus financial profit and to “not waste instigative time and resources” on assets it calls “liabilities” — which include properties that are not profitable enough for the federal government to justify seizing. “As a general rule, if total liabilities and costs incurred in seizing a real property or business exceed the value of the property, the property should not be seized,” the document states.
The handbook also instructs ICE agents on the various ways laws can be used to justify the seizure of a property, and devotes a significant portion of its pages to the seizure of real estate. The manual instructs agents seeking to seize a property to work with confidential informants, scour tax records, and even obtain an interception warrant to determine whether “a telephone located on the property was used to plan or discuss criminal activity” in order to justify seizing the property.
The handbook acknowledges that civil forfeiture can be used to take property from a person even when there’s not enough evidence for a criminal indictment. There “may be third party interest that would prevail in a criminal case, but would not survive in a civil proceeding, making the civil proceeding essential to forfeiture,” the handbook states, referencing a property owner not officially implicated in a crime. “Those situations generally occur when a property owner is not convicted of a crime but is also not an innocent owner. Under criminal forfeiture, that property owner would be entitled to the return of the property. Under civil forfeiture, however, the owner would lose his or her interest to the Government.”
Noting that ICE is not alone among federal agencies in relying on asset forfeiture, ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett told The Intercept in a statement, “Asset forfeiture is an essential element of comprehensive and effective law enforcement as it deprives transnational criminal organizations of their illicitly obtained assets. The forfeiture of assets can be and is utilized as a sanction in criminal, civil, and administrative investigative activities.”
HIDALGO, TX - MAY 28: Special agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) search a vehicle heading into Mexico at the Hidalgo border crossing on May 28, 2010 in Hidalgo, Texas. The inspection was part of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joint effort between ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Customs and Border Patrol. The organizations are trying to slow the flow of guns, money and drugs from the United State into Mexico. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)ICE special agents search a vehicle heading into Mexico at the Hidalgo border crossing on May 28, 2010, in Hidalgo, Texas. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty ImagesTHE DEPARTMENT OF Homeland Security has seized billions of dollars in assets over the last decade, with the bulk of the revenue coming from investigations overseen by ICE. While the agency is best known for its role in immigration enforcement — carried out chiefly by officers in its Enforcement and Removal Operations division — its lesser-known HSI component has a much broader mandate, enforcing more than 400 criminal statutes with a nexus between cross-border crime and transnational criminal organizations, including human trafficking and smuggling, child pornography, terrorism, counterfeit goods, and drug smuggling. With more than 6,000 agents working in 185 field offices across the country and 63 locations overseas, HSI has the second-largest number of federal agents on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces and has played a key role in numerous high-stakes investigations over the years. To fulfill its missions, which often involve undercover infiltrations, multi-year probes, and occasionally multimillion-dollar seizures, HSI agents have access to powerful intelligence and data systems that link federal law enforcement to the CIA and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency.Despite its size and the sweeping scope of its work, HSI has managed to maintain a low profile in comparison to some of its federal counterparts. With the Trump White House turning virtually every undocumented immigrant in the country into a target for deportation, ICE’s role in law enforcement has become a topic of intense public debate and increasingly pulled HSI out of the shadows. The handbook obtained by The Intercept now offers a unique window into a key component of the agency’s quiet investigations.
Every year, DHS seizes millions of dollars in assets through the course of investigations — everything from cash and houses, to boats and cars. Those assets are directed into a forfeiture fund maintained by the Treasury Department. The revenue from the assets is then used to cover a range of costs related to forfeiture investigations, from storing actual seized items to paying informants. Under a program known as equitable sharing, the revenue is also used to award and reimburse state and local law enforcement agencies that participate in federal seizure-related investigations, which those agencies then use to purchase equipment, weapons, and other law enforcement technology.
Though multiple DHS agencies contribute to the Treasury forfeiture fund — such as Customs and Border Protection and the Secret Service — ICE leads the way both in seizures feeding into the fund and in payments doled out to state and local law enforcement. According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, from 2003 to 2013, DHS poured roughly $3.6 billion into the Treasury’s forfeiture fund. From 2007 on, the report found, ICE was “consistently” responsible for “approximately 50 percent or more of total forfeiture revenues by DHS components.” Over the 2003 to 2013 period, the GAO noted, “equitable sharing payments constituted the largest” obligation in the Treasury’s forfeiture fund, with approximately $1.2 billion paid out to “a range of state and local law enforcement agencies across the country — as well as other federal agencies and foreign entities — that participated in law enforcement efforts resulting in forfeitures.”
“Among the three DHS components making equitable sharing payments, ICE made up over 90 percent of total DHS obligations for equitable sharing payments,” the report added. “State and local agencies accounted for the majority of sharing recipients, and accounted for an average of 96 percent of total obligations for equitable sharing payments from fiscal years 2010 through 2012.” State and local law enforcement officials who spoke to the government accountability researchers said the arrangement had “improved the relationship between federal agencies and their offices,” with officials adding that the “funds are needed by their agencies and have allowed them to purchase equipment such as bulletproof vests, weapons, mobile computers, and police station security cameras.”
Robert Don Gifford, who spent more than a decade as an assistant U.S. attorney at the Justice Department before leaving for private practice last December, told The Intercept that the handbook’s discussion of using civil forfeiture when a criminal indictment isn’t possible appears to nod to a problematic practice of seizing assets largely for the sake of financial gain, although he said he did not see this practice occur on the part of any federal agency he has worked with. A notable portion of HSI cases that Gifford saw targeted small-scale sellers of counterfeit goods. Agents hoped these busts would lead them to larger counterfeiting operations — “not exactly the stuff of Al Capone,” Gifford said.
“I had one case where they wanted to do all these forfeitures, and I said absolutely not,” Gifford recalled. “I said I’d support it as long as it was not a retired mom and pop running a little flea market table on the weekend,” Gifford said. “But that was exactly who they were going after.”
In recent years, asset forfeiture practices have come under increasing scrutiny for allegedly introducing the profit motive into the calculations of which laws to enforce and against whom.
The handbook describes a carefully cultivated network of asset forfeiture specialists within ICE, who are placed in each of HSI’s field offices across the country. These specialists are known as Asset Identification and Removal Group members and are tasked with identifying and appraising assets to seize during HSI investigations.
Stipulating that each AIRG agent must have at least three years of investigative experience, the handbook describes AIRGs as “separate, specialized groups, dedicated solely to asset forfeiture responsibilities, and not commingled with other groups or burdened with excessive collateral duties.” ICE trains its AIRG specialists to meticulously input data about assets that ICE has either seized or is considering for seizure into an interoffice asset forfeiture database, known as the Seized Assets and Case Tracking System, or SEACATS. The asset forfeiture agents also plug their forfeiture numbers into a sprawling DHS database called TECS, which allows the agency to evaluate the performance of asset officers and assign scores for their cases.
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1. Impersonate a child photographer to take pictures of the mother
While plenty skeevy, this also serves as a reminder that there was a period in America where taking photos of a stranger’s child would have granted you entrance to their home rather than mace in the face.
2. Become a pornographer
No luck cracking that pornography trafficking case? Why not beat them at their own game and just traffic in pornography? Brilliant!
3. Carry men and women’s gloves on you at all times
While undoubtedly clever, this tip doesn’t properly prepare an agent for what to do when he or she is asked why they’re carrying around multiple pairs of gloves that are not theirs.
4. Impersonate a plainclothes policeman and accuse people of crimes they didn’t commit
As gross as this is, at least the FBI learned its lesson and stopped intimidating minorities.
5. Pretend to be a Harvard freshman
While this one starts out with a whimsical 22 Jump Street vibe, there’s a pretty hard turn in there where the agent 1) actually becomes friends with the subject and 2) roots around in their stuff when they’re not around. Imagine coming home to find out the college student you’ve been chatting about Intro to Psych with over breakfast was a fed trying to nick your address book. That sort of thing causes trust issues.
More Adorable Than Unsettling Bonus: Be a caricature of a journalist
Hard to get too mad at this one, as it implies that the only syndicated columnist that the Bureau was familiar with was Jimmy Breslin.
Read the full list of tips embedded below, or on the request page.
Image via FBI.gov
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U.S.-TRAINED POLICE ARE HUNTING DOWN AND ARRESTING PROTESTERS AMID POST-ELECTION CRISIS IN HONDURAS
February 20 2018, 12:40 p.m.
IT WAS THE middle of the night when they broke down the door. The children, aged 3 and 6, and their parents were all fast asleep in their home in Pimienta, a town 18 miles south of San Pedro Sula, in northwestern Honduras.
“They arrived at three in the morning,” said the mother of two whose home was raided. U.S.-trained and supported special forces agents, known as TIGRES, as well as criminal investigation officers searched the family home, flipping over the beds and ripping pillows apart while she and her children watched. Her partner had already been handcuffed and taken outside.
“My kids were frightened and crying,” she told The Intercept outside a San Pedro Sula courthouse. “They treated us like criminals, pointing their weapons at us.”
According to Honduran law, search warrants should only be executed between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., but there have been numerous reported cases of nighttime raids by security forces over the past two months, as the Honduran government cracks down on protests against the contested elections that delivered the presidency to incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández in November.
The Honduran Secretariat of Security claims that the raids and arrests in Pimienta were conducted legally, based on reports from the community, covered by arrest warrants, supervised by a prosecutor, and carried out during the hours allowed by law. Bulletproof police vests and looted items were confiscated during searches, a spokesperson for the Secretariat wrote in response to questions from The Intercept.
Yet all of the accounts of the raids and arrests from Pimienta residents and witnesses tell a different story: nighttime and dawn raids, terrified children, and TIGRES involvement. Some residents were told there was a search warrant and others weren’t, but no one remembered seeing one.
All in all, security forces carried out 10 raids in the early hours of December 26 and arrested 11 Pimienta residents on charges related to property destruction and assault on police officers in the context of protests against election fraud.
TIGRES special forces have been controversial since their founding in 2013, and their short history has been dogged by allegations of theft and corruption involving drug traffickers. Trained in Honduras and in the United States by Green Berets from the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), the TIGRES receive substantial support from the U.S. State Department. And they have been active participants in government repression during the current political crisis in Honduras.
Hernández was sworn in for his second term on January 27, two months after the November 26 general elections were marred by widespread reports of fraud. An early 5-point lead favoring opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla evaporated after the election data transmission system went offline for hours. Observers from the Organization of American States documented a host of irregularities and refused to endorse Hernández’s victory, claiming it was impossible to have any certainty about the outcome.
Within days of the elections, opposition supporters took to the streets around the country, defying a state of exception and curfew to protest election fraud. The rallies, marches, and highway blockades that rocked the country for two full months still continue here and there.
The government response has been an ongoing violent state crackdown, with security forces opening fire on protesters on multiple occasions. More than 35 protesters and bystanders have been killed by security forces and other unknown perpetrators, hundreds injured, and more than 1,000 detained. At least 22 people remain in jail in different parts of the country on charges related to protests.
The Trump administration has supported Hernández — a longtime U.S. ally in the region — as the victor of the election, and security assistance continues to flow. The State Department issued a certification back in November, two days after the contested election, allowing Honduras to receive millions of dollars of aid that was conditioned on progress with regard to human rights and corruption.
Supporters of the Opposition Alliance Against the ictatorship protest against the reelection of President Juan Orlando Hernández, outside the United Nations building in Tegucigalpa, on Feb. 9, 2018. Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images
THE GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN has been particularly violent in northwestern Honduras, in the departments of Cortés, Atlántida, and Yoro. Opposition alliance support is strongest in the region, which also drives the national economy, and protesters have been blocking key highways off and on for months.
Joaquín Mejía, a lawyer who works as a human rights researcher for the Reflection, Investigation, and Communication Team, know as ERIC, a Jesuit-run advocacy group, cites the region’s long history of belligerent resistance as a key factor behind both the outpouring of protests and blockades and the ensuing repression and militarization.
“Military forces acted as though they were in a war zone, in the sense that they continued with the rationale of firing live rounds at the people who were protesting – an unarmed population,” Mejía told The Intercept in ERIC’s office in El Progreso, Yoro.
Security forces also fired tear gas indiscriminately, including into people’s homes, and subjected detainees to cruel and inhumane treatment, Mejía said. “They entered homes without search warrants,” he added.
“Members of the [national police] institution only carry nonlethal weapons to discourage violent acts and during evictions [of protests] police procedures seek to avoid damages to third parties,” the Directorate of Strategic Communication of the Secretariat of Security said when asked about reports of excessive use of force, including firing live bullets.
“The National Police undertakes all of its actions in compliance with the law, with strict respect for human rights and the police procedures established in the United Nations’ Manual on the Use of Force,” the Directorate wrote to The Intercept, although it is unclear exactly what document they are referring to.
However, the Honduran office in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has made public statements condemning the government’s use of excessive force against protesters, as well as attacks on human rights defenders and media workers. The carrying and firing of weapons by security forces during evictions of protests has been widely documented in photographs, videos, media reports, and by human rights groups.
Members of the TIGRES, which now falls under the police force’s National Directorate of Special Forces, were at the forefront of joint operations to arrest protesters in the towns of Pimienta and Villanueva, in Cortés. The mandate of the Intelligence and Special Security Response Group Units, the acronym of which spells “tigers” in Spanish, is often reported as being to combat organized crime and drug trafficking. That may be the case in practice; however, neither is explicitly mentioned in the law that created the force, which simply states its purpose is to address “the principal threats to public security.”
The TIGRES were created by law in 2013. Hernández, president of the National Congress at the time, had proposed the bill. Training of TIGRES agents began in 2014, after Hernández assumed the Honduran presidency. Green Berets from the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and members of the Comandos Jungla, an elite force of the Colombian police, trained the TIGRES agents, who were recruited from Honduran police and military forces. The June 2014 graduation of the first wave of TIGRES was attended by Lisa Kubiske, U.S. ambassador to Honduras at the time.
The Green Berets and Comandos Jungla instructors trained another class of TIGRES in a 12-week Comando basic course the following year. According to a Facebook post from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, or INL, as of mid-2015, a total of 322 agents had completed the course, which is the basic training for all TIGRES.
In February 2015, TIGRES agents traveled to the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for two weeks of advanced training from the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Along with marksmanship, urban combat training was a key component at Eglin. In 2016, members of the TIGRES and of the Honduran Army completed special training with the Task Force Caiman, imparted by members of the Florida National Guard. TIGRES have also participated in at least one interagency medical mission led by the U.S. Southern Command, whose Task Force Bravo is based in the Soto Cano joint base, located 50 miles northwest of Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital.
The U.S. Department of State, by way of the INL, supports the TIGRES and several other Honduran special forces and units with a mix of training, funding, vetting, and advising. The INL has also contributed funding for the construction and furnishing of a second TIGRES complex, in El Progreso, the ground-breaking ceremony for which was held in January 2017. The other TIGRES installations are located in Lepaterique, 25 miles west of Tegucigalpa.
A spokesperson said that the State Department is “aware of a number of serious allegations of human rights violations by members of Honduran security forces in the post-election period, and has called upon the government of Honduras to swiftly and thoroughly investigate all such incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
La Tolva prison, 40 miles east of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, where protesters are being held in pretrial detention. Photo: Sandra Cuffe
THREE DAYS AFTER the December 26, 2017 arrest of 11 Pimienta residents by TIGRES and other law enforcement officers, more than 20 relatives of the detainees were gathered across the street from a San Pedro Sula courthouse, awaiting news from the hearing underway inside. Several relatives spoke with The Intercept, but all requested anonymity due to security concerns.
“There’s fear, a lot of fear,” German Ovidio Silva, a local evangelical pastor in Pimienta accompanying some of the detainees’ relatives in San Pedro Sula, told The Intercept. “More than anything, I’m worried about the youth in our municipality,” he said.
Silva has been a pastor in Pimienta for the past 14 years. He has known most of the arrestees for years, many of them since they were children; they’re mainly hard-working youth, he said. While some may have participated in opposition protests, he claims they had nothing to do with the incidents of arson and assault on police officers of which they stand accused.
In December, four police officers were disarmed and stripped down to their underwear in the midst of protests in Pimienta. The government says the officers were attacked and assaulted by protesters, and photographs appear to indicate that they were beaten. Pimienta residents say the agents had infiltrated protests, and so they were removed, disarmed, and held to prevent them from instigating violence. They were eventually handed over to other security forces.
A fire was also set inside the police station in Pimienta. Amid protests in December, several police stations across the region were targeted with arson and other damage. According to opposition protesters, the damage to police stations was inflicted in direct response to security forces opening fire with live rounds during evictions of highway blockades.
Silva spent three years in the national police force in the 1990s and believes those responsible for any crimes in Pimienta should face justice, but he is critical of the raids and arrests. Locals are afraid of the authorities, and residents are being tried in the media as criminals, he said. All 10 of the men arrested in Pimienta (one of the arrestees was a woman) had their heads shaved before they were perp-walked into their December 29 hearing.
More recently, TIGRES agents were involved in the arrests of seven people in Villanueva, including Javier Rubí, an elected municipal council alderman from the opposition alliance. They were accused of charges related to arson and damages at the Villanueva police station. All seven were released after a week due to lack of evidence.
Longtime activist Edwin Espinal and another protester, Raúl Álvarez, had no such luck. Facing three charges related to property destruction at the Marriott Hotel in Tegucigalpa during a January 12 protest, they are in pretrial detention in the La Tolva prison, 40 miles east of the capital. A small army encampment is located directly across the highway from the jail.
The director of that prison is Osman Alexis Rivera Rosales, who is listed as a student in three 1996 courses at the U.S. School of the Americas, or SOA, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. (The list of course participants, obtained by the nonprofit advocacy group SOA Watch via Freedom of Information request and published online, only covers from 1946 to 2004, so Rivera’s U.S. training may not have ended there.)
No reports have yet emerged of violent mistreatement at La Tolva, although Espinal and Álvarez were in solitary confinement cells for 22 hours a day during their first two weeks there, and neither has yet been able to receive any visit from relatives. But previous generations of SOA graduates were among the worst human rights violators in Central America during the 1980s, and it is that precedent that makes Honduran activists nervous about U.S.-trained troops turning on protesters.
“We’re going to go back to the old days,” said Bertha Oliva, coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras. Things may get worse, because along with past practice, state security forces are now better trained and better equipped, she told The Intercept.
“Today they have all the experience, all the expertise, and they know that nothing happens to them with any kind of human rights violations committed — whether individually or collectively — against the citizenry,” she said.
Appeals court reinstates $3.5 million jury verdict in fatal Chicago ...
Illinois Appellate Court on Tuesday overturned a controversial decision by a Cook County judge and reinstated a jury's $3.5 million verdict against the city of Chicago in the fatal 2011 police shooting of a black teenager. The unanimous opinion said Judge Elizabeth Budzinski erred when she reversed ...
He says he was tired of being profiled and stopped by police. So he ...
Imagine you're driving and, behind you, a police officer turns on blue lights. You hear sirens and pull over. You lower your window as the officer approaches. If the officer suspects you've been drinking, do you have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test or blow into a blood-alcohol reader?
AG declines to pursue case against Randolph's police chief
MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) The Vermont Attorney General's office will not pursue a domestic violence case against Randolph's police chief. Daniel Brunelle was charged with two counts of domestic assault for allegedly shoving his wife during fights. Former Washington County State's Attorney Scott ...
Billings Police evidence tech fired after stealing oxycodone, which affected at least 138 cases
Billings Police evidence cop fired after she reported stealing ...
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John holds a press conference Tuesday to address thefts from the police evidence locker. CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff ... A Billings Police Department employee has been fired after stealing oxycodone and other opioids from the BPD evidence locker. Rawlyn Strizich was fired ...
New law supports mental health aid for Indiana police
Evening News and Tribune-Feb 19, 2018
Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, visited the New Albany Police Department on Monday to discuss Senate Bill 867, the Law Enforcement and Mental Health and Wellness Act. It is designed to provide resources to help law enforcement agencies establish or add to the mental health services offered to officers.
Corrupt Police Need Federal Oversight
By THE EDITORIAL BOARDFEB. 18, 2018
The Trump administration acted in bad faith last year when it suggested that cities with corrupt police departments could fix the problem without federal oversight and when it tried to derail a police reform agreement that Baltimore had negotiated with the federal government in the waning days of the Obama administration.
The argument that Baltimore might be able to remake its grotesquely corrupt Police Department without federal help was blown apart last Monday, when a federal jury convicted two detectives of robbery and racketeering charges in a trial that has exposed pervasive corruption in the department.
The city’s elite Gun Trace Task Force has been gripped by a conspiracy in which officers covered for one another as they stole property, narcotics and money from people, some of whom had committed no crimes and had earned the money lawfully. In addition, the officers filed false reports that allowed some to pilfer vast amounts of overtime, doubling their salaries, and those who were convicted testified to seizing weapons that were subsequently sold on the street — a cardinal outrage in a city wracked by gun violence.
Monday’s convictions follow guilty pleas by six other officers in connection with the case, and as The Baltimore Sun reported last week, the officers and other witnesses have now implicated a dozen additional colleagues, so more charges could be in the offing.
What makes the guilty officers’ conduct particularly brazen is that much of it occurred during a separate federal investigation into police practices, an inquiry begun in the wake of the protests and rioting that followed the death of Freddie Gray, a young African-American man who died of a broken spine suffered in police custody in 2015.
FBI Official Gets Six Years
In a courtroom crowded with his friends from law enforcement, a former FBI official was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for torturing his girlfriend at knifepoint and gunpoint during a six-hour ordeal in her Crystal City high-rise apartment.
Carl L. Spicocchi, 55, a 19-year FBI veteran who had run the Toledo office and was on temporary assignment in Washington, pleaded guilty in Arlington County Circuit Court last year to two felony counts of abduction and using a firearm in the Aug. 23 attack.
"This obviously was a horrific crime," Circuit Court Judge James F. Almand said. "It requires a substantial sentence and a substantial amount of time."
Almand sentenced Spicocchi to 10 years in prison, suspending four of them.
Spicocchi, who is married, believed his girlfriend was dating another man and attacked her in a jealous rage, according to court records. But the girlfriend, who said she was too fearful of Spicocchi to appear in court yesterday, said in a statement that she was not unfaithful.
"He thought she was cheating on him, but she wasn't," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lisa Bergman. The attack "came completely out of the blue," Bergman said.
In the statement, read by Bergman, the woman gave this account: When she came home that day, she found Spicocchi hiding in a closet, armed with a gun and a 10-inch knife. He stripped her and wrapped her in tape, then dragged her around the apartment by her hair. He forced the gun into her mouth and held the knife to her throat. He beat her repeatedly. He told her that he would cut open her veins and that, because of his training, he knew how long it would take the blood to drain from her body.
"He said I had met my match," she said in the statement.
He told her that he planned to kill her and that she would soon join her father, who had died 10 months earlier. He said that he would write a check for $100,000 from her account and flee to South America after she was dead and that he had a plane ticket for a 6 a.m. flight.
Finally, the woman said, she escaped by running into the hall and screaming for help. "The attack on me was unprovoked," she said in her statement. "I feel lucky to have escaped the monster."
She said Spicocchi had told her he had been divorced for four years.
FBI agent who stole heroin sentenced to 3 years in prison - The ...
- A onetime FBI agent who fed his drug addiction by stealing heroin seized as evidence in criminal cases was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison, a punishment far less than prosecutors and other law enforcement authorities sought. U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan
FBI Denies Witness Tampering In Oklahoma City Bombing Lawsuit ...
911truth.org › FBI
Trentadue accused the FBI of intimidating Matthews into refusing to testify, claiming FBI Special Agent Adam Quirk spoke with him before the trial. A report from the Justice Department shows that investigators found that no witness tampering took place. However, it did chastise the FBI for not notifying the ..
Report undercuts some of the more outlandish conspiracies surrounding Tesla’s later work - except for one remarkable coincidence
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released an additional 64 pages of previously-processed material regarding the scientist Nikola Tesla, including a catalog of his papers seized by the U.S. government after his death in 1943.
These papers and their seizure would be the source of much controversy for the Bureau over the decades. Following an unsubstantiated claim in Tesla’s biography that the FBI held onto Tesla’s most dangerous inventions lest they fall into the wrong hands (they remained the property of the Office of Alien Property Custodianuntil they mysteriously disappeared after the war), Director J. Edgar Hoover dealt with dozens of letters over the years demanding the papers be made public.
While some of Telsa’s later writings do certainly sound like they’d make for interesting reading …
it was the opinion of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer who evaluated the papers that there was nothing “of significant value to this country” …
and the miscellaneous technical apparatuses found in Tesla’s apartment were not actually prototype death rays but archaic electrical instruments.
So there you have it - while not completely solving the mystery of Tesla’s missing effects, this should at least undercut some of the more outlandish conspiracies surrounding Tesla, right?
Er, not quite. The name of that MIT engineer who looked over Tesla’s papers? That’d be John G. Trump …
also known as Donald Trump’s uncle.
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