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FBI agent Robert Lustyik the focus of fraud case as contractor gets plea deal

Dec. 7, 2013  

A controversial defense contractor who was the key target of a federal case that ensnared a former FBI agent from Sleepy Hollow has been released from prison after cutting a deal with prosecutors.

Michael Taylor, who faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted on two indictments in Salt Lake City, is now home and will serve no more than 10 more months after a deal to cooperate in the case against former FBI agent Robert Lustyik and childhood friend Johannes Thaler, a former Tarrytown resident and ladies shoe salesman at Macy’s.

Taylor pleaded guilty in both cases, admitting that he used insider information in 2007 to land a $54 million contract in Afghanistan for his company, American International Security Corp.

Taylor also claimed that he sought Lustyik’s help in 2011 when he learned that the government had launched a fraud investigation into the contract.

The plea agreement makes Taylor — who was held in Utah for 14 months prior to his release — the key witness in the case. Legal experts said it also signals the government’s shift in focus from Taylor to Lustyik.

“Using Taylor as a witness is going to strengthen the case enormously,” said Ben Gershman, a professor at the Pace University School of Law in White Plains.

“I think they care more about convicting an FBI agent who’s allegedly selling his trust for kickbacks,” he said. “Yeah, Taylor is the central figure in the fraud operation, but it seems to me that they want Lustyik more than they want Taylor.”
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Originally published December 11, 2013


Critics Say Diversity Lacking in Maryland State Police


Black residents of Maryland are about 30 percent of the population, according to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau numbers—by far the largest population of color in the state.

Yet, the ranks of Maryland State Troopers are just slightly more than 10 percent Black, a number that has been dwindling for more than a decade.

According to state statistics, only 197 of the state’s 1,453 troopers are Black compared to 312 Black troopers out of 1,612 or about 20 percent in 2000.

“There has been a decline in (Black) membership due to attrition however, the attrition has not been favorable…The members have not been retiring as much as they have been leaving for other reasons, i.e. resignations and looking for jobs in other locations,” said Rodney Morris, president of the Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers.

Morris, who retired from the department after 25 years of service, has been president of the Coalition since 2011. He said many Black troopers feel alienated within their own ranks for several reasons.

“There is a non-inclusive feeling (among Blacks) within the department,” he said. “The Maryland State Police is not a Democratic-led organization. You have a lot of Western Maryland and Eastern Shore… residents generally running the operation…and their ideology is not always consistent with the Governor’s office. They have a policy of diversity, but it’s not being practiced.” 

Morris, who entered the department in 1986 says Blacks were aggressively recruited in the 1980’s, a sentiment echoed by Dr. Tyrone Powers, director of the Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Institute at Anne Arundel Community College.

Powers, a former state trooper and FBI agent, was recruited directly out of high school in the early 1980’s by two Black state troopers and after he left the department was recruited by Black FBI agents, who convinced him to join their agency. Powers and other critics said state law enforcement’s efforts towards diversity in the 21st century are woefully inadequate.

“Over the last 10 years, when the agency said they were going to increase recruitment of minorities and specifically African Americans, they’ve actually kind of gone in the other direction,” Powers said.

Powers says Maryland troopers don’t do enough recruiting on HBCU campuses. Also, he said recruiters could approach criminal justice instructors like him to identify students who could be candidates for law enforcement positions.

“So, they talk a great deal about diversity and recruitment, but if you look at the program, their approach to recruiting a diverse police community it’s not happening,” Powers added.

Elena Russo, spokeswoman for Maryland State Police, said diversity within the department is critical for effective law enforcement.

“People in the recruiting office go all over the state, all over the country to recruit,” Russo said. “In the last couple of years we’ve celebrated some significant accomplishments. For instance, we had our first African American female major appointed in 2012. A large part of our recruiting is focused on women, so we do recruit minorities. We try to recruit, retain and promote employees who reflect the state’s diversity.”

Russo also pointed to the work of the State Police Superintendent’s Council of Advisors on Diversity and Inclusion, consisting of several community, political and law enforcement leaders including Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young.

“They meet quarterly and provide diversity management initiatives, educational opportunities and are trying to come up with new diversity strategies,” Russo said.

Powers said efforts to increase diversity within all law enforcement agencies should transcend ideology, politics and prejudice.

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Homeland Security department fires employee over racist website

The Homeland Security Department has fired an employee who runs a website predicting and advocating a race war, about four months after he was put on paid administrative leave.

Ayo Kimathi was an acquisitions officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement who dealt with small businesses. He also runs the website War on the Horizon, which includes descriptions of an "unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race." Kimathi is black

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Feds raid CIA-connected air charter in Fort Lauderdale
Posted on December 12, 2013 by Daniel Hopsicker   
An affidavit filed by a DEA Agent in Colorado sheds new light on the mystery surrounding two American-registered drug planes from St. Petersburg  busted with a total of ten tons of cocaine.

    The Gulfstream II jet which crashed in Mexico belonged to something called Operation Mayan Jaguar, an unexplained Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in Tampa Florida which one DEA official characterized as a "rogue operation."
    The deal was brokered by the infamous and notorious World Jet Inc, the Fort Lauderdale company invaded by a Federal multi-agency operation two weeks ago.
    The startling revelations in the DEA affidavit will be detailed in a series of stories in this space.
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SPECIAL REPORT: Rule 14 and Cops Who Lie, Testing The Public Trust

December 19, 2013

CHICAGO — Claims that the Chicago Police Department has a lying problem — its very own "no-snitch" code of silence — have always been easy for critics to make, but difficult to prove.

Cops who lie often get exposed in high-profile cases, but lying to cover up misdeeds within the ranks doesn't always make headlines.

A DNAinfo Chicago investigation has found that since 2008, Chicago police — from beat cops to lieutenants — made up stories, filed false reports or told lies to cover up their actions or to back up the lies of fellow cops in all kinds of situations.

Officers lied about throwing a bag of dog excrement on a neighbor's front porch, planting drugs, shooting an unarmed teenager, aggressively flirting with twin sisters at a Walgreens and repeatedly punching a man handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.

Other cops were accused of lying about punching a CTA bus driver, making illegal searches, punching a news photographer during NATO and raiding the wrong house during a barbecue celebrating the birth of puppies.

Police even lied to cover up accidentally discharging pepper spray at a River North steakhouse, according to a review of records.

It’s a story that can be told by taking a closer look at a little-known provision in the Police Department's disciplinary code: "Rule 14: making a false statement, written or oral."

Currently, most Rule 14 investigation details remain hidden from the public.

The police union contract prohibits the city and Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, from naming officers accused of misconduct or disclosing details of administrative investigations, including Rule 14 violations, unless the allegations are proven true or an officer requests they be made public.

DNAinfo Chicago obtained through sources a list that named officers investigated by IPRA who were accused of breaking Rule 14.

The list was used to search public records — including thousands of pages of civil and criminal court records, police board and IPRA documents, depositions and police reports  — and to conduct dozens of interviews with victims, civil rights lawyers, accused cops and current and former police brass to take a closer look at the code of silence that a 2012 federal court ruling called a “persistent widespread custom” within the Police Department.


Rule 14: Day 1

DNAinfo Chicago found that IPRA has investigated 87 cases — involving 160 officers — that included alleged Rule 14 violations between 2008 and 2013.

And during that same time period, the Police Department's Internal Affairs Department leveled Rule 14 allegations in 140 more misconduct cases and completed investigations that determined officers violated Rule 14 in 90 more cases, according to public records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Police union officials claim the number of Rule 14 allegations made each year simply aren't enough to claim that a department with 12,500 sworn officers harbors a culture of lying.

But last year, a federal jury ruled a Police Department code of silence emboldened former Police Officer Anthony Abbate, who conspired with fellow officers under cover of law to cover up the drunken, videotaped beating he gave a female bartender in 2007.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration attempted to have that part of the jury's judgment taken off the books, but U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve refused.

The judge's written ruling states the jury verdict should stand as a matter of principle that has "ramifications for society" and "social value to the judicial system and public at large."

Experts who study law enforcement statistics say the few Rule 14 cases that are publicized offer just a glimpse of the culture that St. Eve declared a matter of "public interest."

University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman, who has studied Chicago police misconduct for 15 years, said one must look beyond the numbers — particularly when it comes to Rule 14 allegations, administrative findings made against police officers by law enforcement officers — to fully understand how pervasive the code of silence is within the department.

After reviewing more than 1,000 police misconduct cases, Futterman said that neither the Police Department's Internal Affairs Department nor IPRA charged an officer with violating Rule 14 every time an officer was accused of filing a false report in cases that involved alleged dishonesty.

"A charge of making a false report could be submitted in any police misconduct investigation. It's present in every single complaint in which an officer doesn't admit, 'I did it.' Those are allegedly false reports," Futterman said. "And we're not seeing those charges added or investigated in any systematic matter by Internal Affairs or IPRA.”

IPRA’s acting director, former Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor Scott Ando, said the agency never files charges that officers lied unless they make "material false statements or reports" after they are allowed to review initial police documents and any previous statements they made to investigators.

"We don't make those allegations in a cavalier way, because we realize how significant it is and how devastating it can be to a police officer's career," Ando said. "It impacts their credibility as a witness, and in so many instances can be a career killer."


Some of the Rule 14 cases reviewed by DNAinfo Chicago either occurred or were investigated under the watch of former police Supt. Jody Weis, a retired FBI supervisor despised by many rank-and-file officers who considered him an outsider.

Weis said that during his tenure, dozens of officers explained to him why the culture of lying exists within the department.

"The culture here is if you get in trouble, if there's an administrative inquiry, you can lie and do whatever you can to get out of it because the penalty for lying will never be greater than the trouble you're in," Weis said. "The 'Thin Blue Line,' … to say it doesn't exist, is naive."

Chicago police union officials take offense to the idea of a code of silence being part of Police Department culture.

"It's a slap in the face to the dedicated police officers that work the streets in the city of Chicago on a daily basis,” Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said.

"They're out there putting their lives on the line, and you've got people thinking, 'Well, they're all out there lying.' It's really disheartening."

But Chicago's most prolific civil rights attorneys say it's not fair to argue the Police Department's trouble with the truth is the work of just a few bad apples.

Attorney Jared Kosoglad, who represents several people suing police officers accused of covering up misconduct, said it's obvious to him that police stay silent to protect other officers.

"They'll watch misconduct. They'll watch officers beat people up. They'll watch false reports being made and lies being told under oath, and nobody will stand up and say, 'Hey you know this is fraud and it's wrong,' " Kosoglad said. "That police officers routinely lie is obvious. The best part is, they lie even when [my] client is guilty."

A Chicago beat cop with more than 10 years on the job offered his perspective on the issue, answering questions from DNAinfo Chicago on the condition of anonymity, because he said he fears retribution from fellow officers.

Personally, he said he knows and tries to avoid "certain people on every watch, in every unit" who go "above and beyond in a bad way.

"Sometimes you see these people at a job and just keep driving," the officer said. "You don't do this because you don't want to back them up. You do it because you don't want to get sucked into their bulls---."

And he said that presents the kind of quandary regular folks face when they witness violence but don't cooperate with police because they fear retribution for violating the "no-snitch code of silence" on the street that the Police Department says is the top reason more shootings and murders don't get solved.

"On some levels, police officers are no different than a street gang when it comes to the culture of silence. We are not supposed to snitch, just like they say on the street. Yet we implore those that live in high-crime areas to put their lives at risk and [be a] witness against gang members," the officer said.

"Most officers play by the rules. … The department does not endorse silence, lying, etc. It's the culture within the department that makes it possible," he said.

The officer said he's never been openly asked to lie, but that's not how the Police Department code of silence works, anyway.

"The key phrase used is, 'Get your story straight.' There is an expectation to fall in line with the narrative of an event, even if it differs from what you actually saw," he said. "I haven't had this happen often, maybe a handful [of times] at best. But it does happen."

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said there's no doubt that Chicago cops who lie tear at the entire department's credibility with Chicagoans, especially with folks who already don't trust the police.

"The third rail in departments across the country is Rule 14s, lying. 'You lie, you die,' that's what they call it in Boston. You get terminated if you lie during an official investigation. And I support that," McCarthy said.

"If you boldface lie ... my policy is termination. It has to do with our credibility."

But even when officers get caught violating Rule 14, some of them serve out suspensions and wind up back on the job doing police work, according to IPRA findings and Chicago Police Board decisions.

When that happens, McCarthy says his hands are tied.

"That's why we need to terminate people who get convicted of a Rule 14," he said.

McCarthy blames the department's "convoluted" disciplinary process — IPRA recommends punishments, and then the police superintendent files charges with the police board, which makes the final decisions — for not doling out consistent punishment that sends a message to the rank-and-file that lying won't be tolerated.

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By Former City Councilor Bob Anderson
December 21, 2013

Grants Pass Oregon, Where The City Government Fears The Truth.
Tell It, And They Send The FBI To Shut You Up.

Grants Pass, Oregon: - I've lived in Grants Pass Oregon for 30 years. It's where I raised my family on blue-collar wages. I own a house and property and pay my taxes. I'm a good citizen. Why then, did FBI Special Agents visit my private shop today?

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Former cop wants 'Austin 7' case investigated by U.S. attorney general

Monday, December 23rd, 2013


A retired Chicago police officer wants justice for seven fellow officers who he contends were wrongfully convicted in a 1996 police corruption investigation.

At a Friday, Dec 20, press conference at New Tabernacle of Faith Church, 531 N. Kedzie, Otha "T.C." McCoy alleged that the investigation of seven Austin police officers was a "shame" perpetuated by the F.B.I. and the Chicago Police Department's Internal Affairs Division.

McCoy is calling for a special federal prosecutor to investigate the incidents that led to the arrest and the eventual prosecution of seven 15th District tactical officers, since known as the "Austin Seven."

McCoy wants the special prosecutor to look at all aspects of the investigation, including the prosecutingU.S.attorney at the time, Jim Burns. McCoy alleges that prosecutors were aware that the corruption investigation was a fraud.

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see link because website is run by current and former FBI  agents

a smart criminal justice consumer will notice the spin .....


Feds Misbehavin’ in 2013

FBI agent Adrian Johnson got 18 months in prison this year after he was convicted of multiple charges including vehicular manslaughter after he drove drunk and crashed into a car in suburban D.C., in Prince George’s County. He killed an 18-year old and man and seriously injured the man’s friend in 2011.

Oklahoma FBI agent Timothy A. Klotz confessed to dipping into the FBI cookie jar. Authorities allege that he embezzled $43,190 that was earmarked for confidential informants for tips on criminal activities from 2008-2011.  He acknowledged in a signed statement that he falsified 66 receipts during a scheme that went undiscovered for more than four years. He was sentenced earlier this month to six months in prison and three years of supervised released. He was also ordered to pay a restitution of $43,190.
FBI agent Travis Raymond Wilson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., apparently had a little gambling jones and didn’t want the big guys at the FBI to know. Unfortunately for him, he got busted. Wilson pleaded guilty to structuring financial transactions in violation of the federal Bank Secrecy Act. The feds say between January 2008 and February 2013, Wilson regularly gambled at casinos in California, Nevada, Arizona, and West Virginia, authorities said. In total, Wilson structured more than $488,000 in cash.  Sentencing is set for March 3.
Kenneth Kaiser, former head of the FBI’s Boston office, found that ethics still apply when you leave the bureau.  The choked up ex-agent appeared in court where he was fined $10,000 for violating an ethics charge. Kaiser was accused of meeting with former FBI colleagues about his company that was under investigation. Federal law prohibited him from having professional contact with former FBI colleagues within a year of leaving government service.

 FBI agent Arthur “Art” Gonzales of Stafford County, Va.  is charged with shooting  his estranged wife to death in April. He told dispatchers he was acting in self-defense when he shot his 42-year-old wife, Julia Sema Gonzales. He says his wife attacked him with a knife.

Gonzales was a supervisory special agent-instructor at the FBI’s National Academy at Quantico.  Court records show bond was granted. Trial has been set for March.


FBI agent Donald Sachteren who leaked information to the Associated Press was recently sentenced to more than three years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information. Sachteren, 55, was accused of disclosing intelligence about the U.S. operation in Yemen in 2012. What made him a far less sympathetic character in this whole mess was the fact he was also sentenced to more than 8 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography in an unrelated case.
- See more at: http://ticklethewire.com/#sthash.kqxzNYul.dpuf
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Texas judge claims he was saving girlfriend’s life, not choking her 

Dallas County Judge Carlos Raul Cortez faces charges of assault and strangulation, but his lawyer claims the justice's actions were heroic, not violent.

Sunday, December 29, 2013, 3:22 PM

A Texas judge claims he wasn’t choking his girlfriend — he was saving her life.

Dallas County Judge Carlos Raul Cortez was arrested Saturday morning after his 26-year-old girlfriend told police he strangled her, dragged her by the hair to his apartment balcony and choked her some more against the railing....

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I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on

Few of the politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue how it actually works (and doesn't)
  • Sunday 29 December 2013
Hermes 450 drone
An Elbit Systems Hermes 450 drone. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Whenever I read comments by politicians defending the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program – aka drones – I wish I could ask them a few questions. I'd start with: "How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?" And: "How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?" Or even more pointedly: "How many soldiers have you seen die on the side of a road in Afghanistan because our ever-so-accurate UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] were unable to detect an IED [improvised explosive device] that awaited their convoy?"

Few of these politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue of what actually goes on. I, on the other hand, have seen these awful sights first hand.

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Sex Offender Statistics

This is by far the most extensive article ever written about registries. Worth reading..

December 2013 National:

Contrary to popular belief, offender registries are not a recent phenomenon. Offender registries are government-controlled systems that track the movements and other activities of certain persons with criminal convictions. While today they are most commonly used for sex offenders, registries have been adopted
since the 1930s to regulate persons convicted of a wide variety of offenses including embezzlement, arson, and drug crimes.

Early registries were widely criticized as ineffective and overly punitive, and many were eliminated through litigation or legislative repeals. Others simply fell into disuse over the course of the 20th century. Now, there is a growing body of research that demonstrates that modern sex offender registries are similarly ineffective at reducing crime. Sex offender registries are costly, vastly overbroad, and error-ridden.

Even worse, the overwhelming stigma of public notification provisions may actually increase recidivism among offenders.2 Despite their repeated history of failure, enthusiasm for publicly available, internet-based registries for every offense imaginable has only grown in recent years. There have been proposals across the country to register those found guilty of animal abuse, arson, drug offenses, domestic violence, and even failure to pay child support.

Existing registries are expanding and becoming increasingly punitive. Without a concerted effort to stop the tide of offender registration, we are at risk of repeating past mistakes on a much larger and more treacherous scale.

Offender registries are backwards, punitive measures that do not make communities safer. Unfortunately, those in favor of more nuanced, data-driven methods of reducing violence and sexual abuse face substantial barriers in overcoming precedent from years when registries were far narrower in scope than they are today.

Advocates must work to distinguish current registries from their predecessors, educate legislators and the public on the ineffectiveness and perverse consequences of offender registries, and continue to conduct research to determine what actually works to prevent harm. While it is an uphill battle, we may take comfort that the facts are on our side. ..Continued.. by Elizabeth Reiner Platt
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FBI Denies Requests For '60 Minutes' Benghazi Source's Interview Records



NEW YORK -- The FBI has denied Freedom of Information Act requests for records related to federal officials' interviews with Dylan Davies, a security officer who claimed to have witnessed the Benghazi, Libya, attack in a now-discredited “60 Minutes” report.

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January 7 2014


Scores of retired New York City police, fire and corrections officers were arrested today in a crackdown on disability fraud stemming from the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The fraud cost taxpayers millions of dollars, prosecutors claim.

The Manhattan district attorney's office accuses the retired workers, along with their lawyers and doctors, of faking work-related stress, including feigned psychiatric disorders related to 9/11.

Among those busted today was John Minerva, the disability consultant for the Detectives Endowment Association, officials said.

Today's arrests cap a two year investigation, aided by federal investigators, the city's Department of Investigation and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau.

The alleged fraud cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in improper Social Security benefits.

None of the accused actually suffered from debilitating stress, officials claim. Many were caught working after retirement, a violation of disability benefits.

And some of the retired officers retained their gun permits. Retired officers cannot possess guns if they are being treated for stress.


Most of the arrests in the fraud sweep took place in the city, with others being busted in Florida and elsewhere in New York State.

It was the second 9/11 scam to be revealed this week. On Monday, two New Jersey men pleaded guilty to raising and keeping $50,000 for a Sept. 11 charity that was supposed to help families who lost loved one in the catastrophe.

Thomas Scalgione and Mark Niemczyk never gave any of the more than $50,000 in proceeds to the victims' families or to charities as promised, they told the court.

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8 local men named in massive 9/11 disability benefits fraud case

DA: Brazenness of fake claims is 'shocking'

Four ringleaders coached the former workers on how to feign depression and other mental health problems that allowed them to get payouts as high as $500,000 over decades, Vance said. The ringleaders made tens of thousands of dollars in secret kickbacks, he said.

The four — retired officer Joseph Esposito, 64; detectives' union disability consultant John Minerva, 61; lawyer and former FBI agent and suburban prosecutor Raymond Lavallee, 83; and benefits consultant
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DC Madam left instructions "in case found dead of suici

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Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:15 pm


Attorney: 'DC Madam' left instructions if 'ever found dead of apparent suicide' By Lori Price

Attorney: "Jeane was very clear with me that if she was ever found dead of an apparent suicide, I was to make sure that all the evidence was publicly disseminated so that it could be independently evaluated."

Exclusive: Citizens For Legitimate Government has learned that Deborah Jeane Palfrey's lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley, has intervened to stop a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Tarpon Springs, Florida, Police Department from releasing information requested by Sibley pertaining to the investigation of Jeane's death.
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It is not the mercenary Ryan Lathrop"s fault.
He was being all he can be, Semper Fi..ing
this Sand Camel just like he did for Exxon Mobil in Iraq
and Afghanistan so you could fill up your SUV at $3.50 gallon.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/law ... -1.1926329

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Former top lawyer for city Public Advocate says NYPD cops roughed her up during unwarranted arrest: suit
Chaumtoli Huq, 42, says in the suit filed late Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court that she was waiting for her husband and two young children outside a Times Square eatery when cops arrested her for no reason.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/law ... -1.1926329

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 1:10 PM

A former top lawyer for Public Advocate Letitia James isn’t exactly advocating for the NYPD’s policing practices.

In a blistering lawsuit filed late Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court, Chaumtoli Huq, 42, says NYPD officers used “unreasonable and wholly unprovoked force” when they arrested her without cause while she was leaving a pro-Palestinian protest in July.

The bust was “characteristic of a pattern and practice of the NYPD in aggressive overpolicing of people of color and persons lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” the suit says.

Huq, who says in her lawsuit she’d taken a leave of absence as James’ general counsel to work on factory conditions in her native Bangladesh a day before the arrest, says she believes she was targeted because she’s a Muslim woman.

Huq was wearing a traditional South Asian tunic while waiting for her husband and their 6- and 10-year-old kids to come out from a bathroom stop at Ruby Tuesday's in Times Square when she was told to leave by an officer, the suit says.

She said she explained she was waiting for her family and then the officer “without any legal basis, grabbed Ms. Huq, turned her and pushed her against the wall and placed her under arrest.”
Huq was waiting for her husband and two young children who were going to the bathroom inside the Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square in July. Google Maps Huq was waiting for her husband and two young children who were going to the bathroom inside the Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square in July.

When she said she was in pain, one of the officers, Ryan Lathrop, allegedly told her, “Shut your mouth.” When he found out she had a different last name than her hubby, he told her “In America, wives take the names of their husbands.”

She was held for nine hours after the officers falsely claimed she had refused instructions to move and had “flailed her arms and twisted her body” to make it hard for them to handcuff her, the suit says.

She accepted an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal five days later, meaning the charges against her will be dropped if she does not got rearrested within the next few months.

Her lawyer, Rebecca Heinegg, said her client accepted the plea deal because her planned fellowship in Bangladesh made it impossible for her to fight the charges over a protracted period of time.

Huq’s suit blames the officers’ conduct on “city policies, practices and/or customs of failing to supervise, train, instruct and discipline police officers and encouraging their misconduct.” It also says the department has a “practice or custom of officers lying under oath, falsely swearing out criminal complaints, or otherwise falsifying or fabricating evidence.”
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, left, has called for NYPD cops to be equipped with cameras to record their interactions with people. Vanessa A. Alvarez/AP New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, left, has called for NYPD cops to be equipped with cameras to record their interactions with people.

While the suit describes Huq as being “on leave” from the Public Advocate’s office, a rep for James said she no longer works there, and her last day of work was July 18 — the day before the arrest.

James didn’t comment on the suit, but has been a critic of the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk in minority communities and a proponent of body cameras for NYPD officers — which could have come in handy for this case.

Huq’s suit seeks unspecified damages for her “physical, psychological and emotional injuries, mental anguish, suffering, lost wages, humiliation and embarrassment” — and also retraining for Midtown South cops.

A rep for the city Law Department said, “We will review the lawsuit.”

Huq told the Daily News via email from Bangladesh that she had gone to the rally not “as a lawyer, but as a mom.”
Huq says in her suit that an officer who arrested told her to "shut your mouth," after she complained that she was in pain. Mohammed N. Mujumder via Facebook Huq says in her suit that an officer who arrested told her to "shut your mouth," after she complained that she was in pain.

“I was hesitant to bring a case. My job is to be behind the scenes, and help all New Yorkers,” she said, but she realized “that I can use what happened to me to raise awareness about overpolicing in communities of color. I want there to be a dialogue on policing and community relations,” she said.

DNAinfo, which first reported on Huq’s arrest, said she filed a complaint about the officers’ conduct with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

NY1 reported last month that Lathrop is also under investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which is investigating an incident in which the cop allegedly confiscated the phone of someone who was taping him and then roughed him up.
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Is the organization that assassinated President Kennedy,
Martin Luther King and created the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing, Oklahoma City bombing, 911, Mumbai attack in India
and Omargh bombing in Ireland to busy to create accurate
murder records?

A concerned criminal justice consumer wants to know.

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In FBI murder data, mass killings often go missing

September 11. 2014

This undated identification file photo provided by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza.

When 26 teachers, students and administrators were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it made national news for weeks. But there was one place 2012's largest mass killing was never mentioned: the FBI database that tracks all U.S. homicides.

And that isn't the only major case missing. The 12 people who were killed in an Aurora, Colo., movie watching the premier of a Batman movie aren't listed either, raising questions about the accuracy and usefulness of the federal data.

Information on more than 13,000 murders from 2012 is in the FBI's supplemental homicide data, which was released earlier this year. The data provides researchers and policymakers the age, race and sex of victims and offenders, the types of weapons used, the circumstances behind a killing and the relationship between killer and victim – information used to craft weapons laws, define the severity of gang killings and research issues such as domestic violence.

A USA TODAY investigation into mass killings has found that the FBI's homicide data over the past decade has only a 57% accuracy rate when it comes to recording the killings of more than four people in a single event. That takes into account cases that aren't there, such as Sandy Hook, and cases that are recorded as mass killings but shouldn't be, such as the July 2012 fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Cleveland girl at a birthday party, erroneously entered as a slaying with four teen-age victims.

The records are voluntarily submitted by police agencies, and FBI officials say the Connecticut State Police and Aurora police departments initially provided the information on the year's two largest killing incidents – only to request that it be deleted.

In Aurora, Sgt. Chris Amsler says his department provides data to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations monthly. The FBI database contains information on 18 other homicides in Aurora in 2012.

"We checked our records and found that all data related to the theater shooting was submitted," he said, adding that investigators were still trying to figure out why the incident was later deleted from FBI records.

Connecticut's homicide count is correct, but the FBI's detailed supplementary material includes only the shooting of Adam Lanza's mother at her home in December 2012, just before Lanza went to the elementary school. Lt. Paul Vance says his department submitted a six-page report on the Newtown school victims to the FBI but later identified a mistake. Updated data was provided too late to be reflected in the database, Vance says, but the information should be added soon.

Missing information in the homicide data isn't unusual. The entire state of Florida, for instance, does not submit data to the FBI. And for many years, Nebraska and Washington, D.C., didn't either. But the 57% accuracy rate is based on dozens of cases between 2006 and 2012 that were not reported to the FBI, which USA TODAY found through other records. It also includes erroneous FBI data based on coding errors. Nationally, there are about two dozen mass killings every year.

Criminologist James Alan Fox said his research has found that roughly 90% of homicides are captured through the data, although many more cases are missing pieces of information, such as suspect and relationship details. He has devised a statistical method that accounts for both missing cases and missing information, to give researchers the ability to look at the full scope of the problem. Mass killings are rare among homicides, and missing such data is especially troublesome in such a small subset.

"We can still look at trends and recognize that they are not infallible but they are pretty good," says Fox, a Northeastern University professor and a member of the USA TODAY board of contributors.

Still, Fox says, the loss of major cases was a concern. "I'd certainly hope somebody would ask why" the mass killings weren't included, he says.

The FBI's data system is notoriously old and can keep data only on up to 11 victims per incident – meaning other large-scale mass killings, such as the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, had to be broken up over several records. The agency hopes to have a new computer system running by the end of the year, FBI spokesman Stephen G. Fischer Jr. said. That system will keep detailed homicide data in nearly real time, eliminating the current 15-month lag in releasing details of crimes to researchers and policy makers.

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Justice Department Proposal Would Massively Expand FBI Extraterritorial Surveillance
By Ahmed Ghappour
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Department of Justice proposal to amend Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure would make it easier for domestic law enforcement to hack into computers of people attempting to protect their anonymity on the Internet. The DOJ has explicitly stated that the amendment is not meant to give courts the power to issue warrants that authorize searches in foreign countries—but the practical reality of the underlying technology means doing so is almost unavoidable.

The result? Possibly the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s inception.

This post highlights key issues raised by the international aspect of the DOJ proposal, in the attempt to encourage wider public debate before the FBI is granted such expansive powers.

The FBI brand of hacking: Network Investigative Techniques.

Broadly, the term “Network Investigative Techniques,” (NIT) describes a method of surveillance that entails “hacking,” or the remote access of a computer to install malicious software without the knowledge or permission of the owner/operator. Once installed, malware controls the target computer.

The right Network Investigative Technique can cause a computer to perform any task the computer is capable of—covertly upload files, photographs and stored e-mails to an FBI controlled server, use a computer’s camera or microphone to gather images and sound at any time the FBI chooses, or even take over computers which associate with the target (e.g. by accessing a website hosted on a server the FBI secretly controls and has programmed to infect any computer that accesses it).

Network Investigative Techniques are especially handy in the pursuit of targets on the anonymous Internet—defined for the purposes of this post as those using Tor, a popular and robust privacy software, in order to obscure their location (and other identifying information), and to utilize so-called “hidden” websites on servers whose physical locations are theoretically untraceable.

Since Network Investigative Techniques work by sending surveillance software over the Internet (at 9), the physical location of the target computer is not essential to the execution of the search. Indeed, the DOJ proposal is justified as the only reasonable way to confront the use of anonymizing software, “because the target of the search has deliberately disguised the location of the media or information to be searched.” (at 9).

The DOJ Proposal

The proposed amendment addresses a jurisdictional limitation in the current version of Rule 41(b)(1) that prevents a judge from issuing a warrant unless the target is known to be located within her district.

The proposed amendment addresses a jurisdictional limitation in the current version of Rule 41(b)(1) that prevents a judge from issuing a warrant unless the target is known to be located within her district.

(6) a magistrate judge with authority in any district where activities related to crime may have occurred has authority to issue a warrant to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information located within or outside of that district if (A) the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means F.R.Cr.P. Rule 41(b)(6)(A) (proposed) (emphasis added).

The amendment mirrors language setting out the jurisdictional scope of terrorism investigations under Rule 41(b)(3) (emphasized above), but applies to investigations for general crimes:

“The Department’s proposal is intended to clarify that the issuance of such a warrant is proper in other criminal investigations as well” Jonathan J. Wroblewski, director of the Department Justice’s Office of Policy and Legislation, in a memo to the chair of the subcommittee considering the rule change. (at 179).

As for extraterritorial hacking, the DOJ commentary explicitly states that the proposal does not seek power to extend search authority beyond the United States:

In light of the presumption against international extraterritorial application, and consistent with the existing language of Rule 41(b)(3), this amendment does not purport to authorize courts to issue warrants that authorize the search of electronic storage media located in a foreign country or countries. AUSA Mythili Raman, Letter to Committee.

Yet the commentary also articulates a standard of searches that “are within the United States or where the location of the electronic media is unknown.”

Under this proposed amendment, law enforcement could seek a warrant either where the electronic media to be searched are within the United States or where the location of the electronic media is unknown. In the latter case, should the media searched prove to be outside the United States, the warrant would have no extraterritorial effect, but the existence of the warrant would support the reasonableness of the search. AUSA Mythili Raman, Letter to Committee (emphasis added).

The latter standard seems to be a significant loophole in the DOJ’s own formulation of the approach, particularly given the global nature of the Internet. For instance, over 85% of computers directly connecting to the Tor network are located outside the United States. And since (according to the DOJ) each computer’s “unknown location” is virtually indistinguishable from the next, any law enforcement target pursued under this provision of the amendment may be located overseas.

When the FBI finds itself abroad.

The FBI’s extraterritorial authority is nothing new. Indeed, the agency’s extraterritorial responsibilities date back to the mid-1980′s when Congress first passed laws authorizing the FBI to exercise federal jurisdiction overseas when a U.S. national is murdered, assaulted, or taken hostage by terrorists.

The FBI’s extraterritorial activities have generally fallen in line with customary international law, where it is considered an invasion of sovereignty for one country to carry out law enforcement activities within another country without that country’s consent. To that end, the FBI avoids acting unilaterally—relying instead on the United States’ diplomatic relations with other countries and the applicability of any treaties, seeking permission from the host country before deploying personnel, and requesting assistance from local authorities when possible.

Radical departures from current policy.

The DOJ proposal will result in significant departures from the FBI’s customary practice abroad: overseas cyber operations will be unilateral and invasive; they will not be limited to matters of national security; nor will they be executed with the consent of the host country, or any meaningful coordination with the Department of State or other relevant agency.

Under the DOJ’s proposal, unilateral state action will be the rule, not the exception, in the event an anonymous target “prove[s] to be outside the United States.” The reason is simple: without knowing the target location before the fact, there is no way to provide notice (or obtain consent from) a host country until after its sovereignty has been encroached.

Without advanced knowledge of the host country, law enforcement will not be able to adequately avail itself to protocols currently in place to facilitate foreign relations. For example, the FBI will not be able to coordinate with the Department of State before launching a Network Investigative Technique. This puts the U.S. in a position where a law enforcement entity encroaches on the territorial sovereignty of foreign states without coordination with the agency in charge of its foreign relations.

The encroachments that result will be public—bound to arise in the event of a criminal trial. In 2002, for example, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) filed criminal charges against an FBI agent for “illegally accessing” servers in Chelyabinsk, Russia in order to seize evidence against Russian hackers later used in their criminal trial. The FSB was tipped off to the fact when the defendants were indicted in Seattle, Washington.

Reportedly, an FBI press release stated that this was “the first FBI case to ever utilize the technique of extraterritorial seizure of digital evidence.” The FBI accessed the overseas server through the web, using login information it obtained from a suspect in custody.

The next accidental cyber war?

When a state’s sovereignty is encroached upon, its response depends on the nature and intensity of the encroachment. In the context of cyberspace, states (including the United States) have asserted sovereignty over their cyber infrastructure, despite the fact that cyberspace as a whole, much like the high seas or outer space, is considered a “global common” under international law.

To be sure, the FBI’s known arsenal of Network Investigative Techniques, if executed properly, do not rise to the level of a cyber “armed attack”—as defined in Article 51 of the UN Charter—for which a use of (cyber or kinetic) force in response would be permissible. Doing so would require the attack be reasonably expected to cause injury or death to persons or damage or destruction to objects of a significant scale. Forceful responses to cyber attacks below that threshold are only permissible with UN Security Council authorization.

As a general matter, there are no prohibitions on cyber espionage (clandestine information gathering by one state from the territory of another) in international law. Perhaps, then, law enforcement hacking (as with other forms of espionage by organs of the State) will be regulated by the violated state’s domestic criminal law, counterespionage, or other countermeasures. Given the public nature of the U.S. criminal justice system, it is hard to see how the FBI will avoid risk of prosecution (similar to that in the Chelyabinsk incident) if the DOJ proposal is approved.

Too fast too soon.

In light of the above, I would be hesitant to amend Rule 41 at this time without first having a thorough discussion of the potentially far-reaching consequences of the change. The technologies involved are rapidly developing and poorly understood, as are the existing international legal norms that apply to them. It is critical that these issues be approached with comprehensive deliberation (between technologists, policy makers and lawyers) that looks beyond the operational frame.

Nonetheless, if we do amend the Rule, we should certainly take steps to minimize the encroachment on other states’ sovereignty, leaving open the possibility for diplomatic overtures. To that end, the Rule should require Network Investigative Techniques to return only country information at first, prompting the executing FBI agent to utilize the appropriate protocols and institutional devices.

The Rule should also insure that Network Investigative Techniques are used sparingly and only when necessary by requiring a showing similar to that required by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, namely, that less intrusive investigative methods have failed or are reasonably unlikely to succeed. See 18 U.S.C. § 2518(1)(c)). Another way to do this might be to narrow the class of potential targets, from targets whose location is “concealed through technological means” to those whose location is not “reasonably ascertainable” by less invasive means.

The Rule should also limit the range of hacking capabilities it authorizes. “Remote access” should be limited to the use of constitutionally permissible methods of law enforcement trickery and deception that result in target-initiated access (e.g., requiring the target to click a link contained within a deceptive email in order to initiate delivery and installation of malware). “Search” capabilities should be limited to monitoring and duplication of data on the target (e.g., copying a hard drive or monitoring keystrokes).

The Rule should not authorize drive-by-downloads that infect every computer that associates with a particular webpage, the use of weaponized software exploits in order to establish “remote access” of a target computer, or deployment methods that risk indiscriminately infecting computer systems along the way to the target. Nor should the Rule authorize a “search” method that requires taking control of peripheral devices (such as a camera or microphone).

There are other suggestions, of course. As it stands, the proposed amendment allows the FBI to use a wide array of invasive (and potentially destructive) hacking techniques where it may not be necessary to do so, against a broad pool of potential targets that could be located virtually anywhere.

The public has until Feb. 17, 2015, to comment on the preliminary draft.

Filed Under: Executive & Military, Surveillance
About the Author

Ahmed Ghappour is a Visiting Professor at UC Hastings College of the Law and Director of the Liberty, Security and Technology Clinic where he litigates constitutional issues that arise in espionage, cybersecurity and counterterrorism prosecutions. Follow him on Twitter (@ghappour).
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Court upholds civil verdict against LAPD for withholding evidence
Michael Walker
Panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Los Angeles' appeal of a $106,000 jury award to Michael Walker, pictured. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Departrment)
By Maura Dolan contact the reporter
Trials and ArbitrationCrimeLaw EnforcementCourts and the JudiciaryBusinessLos Angeles Police Department
Verdict upheld against two former LAPD officers for letting innocent man sit in jail for 27 months
9th Circuit upholds jury award against two former LAPD for withholding exonerating evidence in robbery case
Federal appeals court agrees two ex-LAPD officers violated rights of innocent man jailed for 27 months

A federal appeals court upheld a civil jury award against two former Los Angeles police detectives Wednesday for concealing evidence that they had arrested and jailed -- for 27 months -- an innocent man.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Los Angeles' appeal of a $106,000 jury award to Michael Walker and a nearly $400,000 award for attorney fees and court costs.

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Controversial FBI agent in Jefferson case generates controversy in Arizona

Former FBI agent John Guandolo is back in the news. Guandolo was an FBI agent assigned to the corruption investigation of then-Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, who resigned from the agency after disclosure he had sex with the key government informant in the case.
william jefferson.jpgWith his wife Andrea by hisA side, former U.S. Representative William Jefferson listens to his attorney Robert Trout address the media outside the United States District Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia after Jefferson was convicted on 11 of 16 counts in his corruption and bribery trial on Wednesday, August 5, 2009. Jefferson is serving his sentence at Oakdale federal prison. Manuel Torres, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

The latest news reports come out of Arizona where his training session for law enforcement on Islamic terrorism drew complaints. The ACLU of Arizona, along with local Muslim leaders, complained that Guandolo is guilty of anti-Muslim bias, which "is highly offensive, disparages the faith of millions of Americans, and inevitably leads to biased policing that targets individuals and communities based on religion and ethnicity, and not on criminal acts or evidence of wrongdoing."

On his website, Guandolo says the Muslim Brotherhood has "achieved information superiority in their effort to overthrow the United States of America and reduce the American people under the tyranny of Islamic Law (a.k.a. 'The Sharia')."

After word of his affair with the FBI informant in the Jefferson was revealed, Guandolo apologized and left the agency. But the disclosure forced prosecutors to opt against calling the informant, Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody, as a witness. Instead, the lead FBI agent in the case testified about the video and audio tapes that captured some of the meetings between Jefferson and Mody.

The jury, which convicted Jefferson of 11 of the 16 corruption counts against him, didn't learn about the affair until after the trial. Jefferson, 67, is serving the remainder of his 13-year sentence at the Oakdale Federal Detention Center, slated for release on Aug. 30, 2023.
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see link for part 2


Despite disappointment, backers of civil rights 'cold case' law want it expanded

September 21, 2014 - 10:35

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — There has only been one prosecution under the Emmett Till Act, even though the law was passed with the promise of $135 million for police work and an army of federal agents to investigate unsolved killings from the civil rights era. Some deaths aren't even under review because of a quirk in the law.

Still, proponents are laying the groundwork to extend and expand the act in hopes it's not too late for some families to get justice.

In nearly six years since the signing of the law, named for a black Chicago teenager killed after flirting with a white woman in Mississippi in 1955, only one person has been prosecuted: A former Alabama trooper who pleaded guilty in 2010 to killing a black protester in 1965.

The government has closed the books on all but 20 of the 126 deaths it investigated under the law, finding many were too old to prosecute because suspects and witnesses had died and memories had faded. And Congress hasn't appropriated millions of dollars in grant money that was meant to help states fund their own investigations.

Perhaps most frustrating, an unknown number of slayings haven't even gotten a look because the law doesn't cover any killings after 1969. That saddens people like Gloria Green-McCray, whose brother James Earl Green was shot to death on May 14, 1970 by police during a student demonstration at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

The family never learned the name of the shooter, and no one was ever prosecuted.

"We've never really got any closure because of the investigation not being thorough and everything just being kicked out," said Green-McCray. "It was like, 'Just another black person dead. I mean, so what?'"

In a January report to Congress, the Justice Department said prosecutors are still continuing their work.

Hoping to spur more action, the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference have passed resolutions asking the federal government for more thorough reviews and to spend the money that was authorized in 2007.

SCLC President Charles Steele Jr. called the Till Act a major disappointment and said it may be time for marches.

"We can never let people think they can get away with these types of horrific crimes," he said.

The law expires in 2017 unless Congress extends it. The NAACP's vice president for advocacy, Hilary Shelton, said supporters have had "informal discussions" about expanding the law, partly to allow for the review of deaths that happened after 1969.

Passed with bipartisan support and signed by then-President George W. Bush in October 2008, the Till Act gave new hope to families that lost loved ones during the civil rights era, when Southern authorities and juries often looked the other way when a black person was killed.

Law professor Janis McDonald, who helps lead a program at Syracuse University to identify and investigate suspicious deaths from that era, said the Justice Department never formed regional task forces to probe killings, and it didn't do much more than review documents in many cases. While some hoped the program would get a jumpstart when Barack Obama became the nation's first black president, little progress has been made, McDonald said.

"For whatever reason the leadership does not seem to have made it a priority," said McDonald, co-director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse.

The Till Act did land one courtroom victory.

Former Alabama trooper James Bonard Fowler pleaded guilty four years ago to shooting Jimmie Lee Jackson during protests in Marion in 1965. The local prosecutor, District Attorney Michael Jackson, said the FBI assisted with the case by letting him search for photographs in Washington.

The lingering cases include the shooting deaths of three civil rights workers killed 50 years ago in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in what is known as the "Mississippi Burning" case after the movie by the same name. While seven people were convicted on federal civil rights charges in the deaths in 1967 and one person was convicted on a state manslaughter charge, the case remains open.
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FBI agents brought a total of 487 charges against criminals in 2007.
We don't know if they won 487 convictions.It cost the American taxpayer
$7 Billion dollars for the FBI to bring 487. charges.


Budget, mission and priorities

In the fiscal year 2012, the bureau's total budget was approximately $8.12 billion.[5]

The FBI's main goal is to protect and defend the United States, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.[4]

In August 2007, the top categories of lead criminal charges resulting from FBI investigations were:[7]

Bank robbery and incidental crimes (107 charges)
Drugs (104 charges)
Attempt and conspiracy (81 charges)
Material involving sexual exploitation of minors (53 charges)
Mail fraud – frauds and swindles (51 charges)
Bank fraud (31 charges)
Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses (22 charges)
Fraud by wire, radio, or television (20 charges)
Hobbs Act (Robbery and extortion affecting interstate commerce) (17 charges)
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)–prohibited activities (17 charges)

Indian reservations

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Thursday, September 25, 2014 1:46PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- An unarmed man shot by a South Carolina trooper during a traffic stop repeated one question through his anguished cries as he lay wounded, waiting for an ambulance: "Why did you shoot me?"

Levar Jones' painful groans and then-Trooper Sean Groubert's reply -- "Well you dove head first back into your car" -- were captured by a dashboard camera in the trooper's car.

Groubert had stopped Jones on a seatbelt violation at a Columbia gas station and fired the shots moments after asking Jones for his license.
South Carolina State Police trooper Sean Groubert

South Carolina State Police trooper Sean Groubert poses for a booking photo. (AP / South Carolina State Police)

Later on the recording, Jones said he was just reaching into his vehicle for his identification after the trooper pulled up without his siren on. What appears to be his wallet can be seen flying through the air as Groubert fires four shots within seconds after confronting Jones.

Groubert's lawyer, Barney Giese, said the shooting was justified because the trooper feared for his life and the safety of others. But prosecutors and Groubert's boss disagreed.

The 31-year-old officer was charged with felony assault and fired less than three weeks after the Sept. 4 traffic stop.

The dashboard camera video was released by prosecutors Wednesday night after they showed it at Groubert's bond hearing. He was released after paying 10 per cent of a $75,000 bond.

Jones is recovering after being shot in the hip. He released a statement last week saying he hopes his shooting leads to changes in how police officers treat suspects.

So far in 2014 in South Carolina, police have shot at suspects 35 times, killing 16 of them, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. The number of officer-involved shootings has been steadily increasing over the past few years, with 42 reported in 2013.

Groubert is white and Jones is black, but neither state police nor the FBI keeps detailed statistics on the races of people in officer-involved shootings.

Much like the recent police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the racial aspect of the South Carolina shooting bothers state Rep. Joe Neal, who wants a review of training for officers across South Carolina and police agencies to follow a law requiring them to collect data about the race of people stopped by officers.

"You are doing exactly what the police officer asked you do to and you get shot for it?" said Neal. "That's insane."
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see link for full story


September 29 2014

Release ordered of man convicted in NJ trooper deat

A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime more

A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime that still provokes strong emotion among law enforcement more than 40 years later was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday.

Sundiata Acoli was known as Clark Edward Squire when he was convicted of the 1973 slaying of Trooper Werner Foerster during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now in his mid-70s, Acoli was denied parole most recently in 2011, but the appellate judges reversed that ruling Monday.

The panel found that the parole board ignored evidence favorable to Acoli and gave undue consideration to past events such as a probation violation that occurred decades earlier.

One of the three people in the car when it was stopped was Joanne Chesimard, who also was convicted of Foerster’s slaying but eventually escaped to Cuba and is now known as Assata Shakur. Last year, state and federal authorities announced a $2 million reward for information leading to her capture, and the FBI made her the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorists. She and Acoli were members of black militant organizations.

At the news conference last year announcing the increased reward for Shakur, Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey state police, called the case “an open wound.”

“I am both disheartened and disappointed by the appellate decision in this matter,” Fuentes said Monday through a spokesman. “The mere passage of time should not excuse someone from the commission of such a horrendous act.”

According to court documents, Acoli’s gun went off during a struggle with Foerster, who had responded as backup after another officer pulled over the car for a broken tail light. The state contended Chesimard shot Trooper James Harper, wounding him, then took Foerster’s gun and shot him twice in the head as he lay on the ground. A third man in the car, James Costen, died from his injuries at the scene.

Acoli has claimed he was grazed by a bullet and blacked out, and couldn’t remember the exact sequence of events. He was sentenced in 1974 to life plus 24 to 30 years. He currently is in prison in Otisville, New York, about 75 miles northwest of New York City.

The appellate judges wrote Monday that the parole board ignored a prison psychologist’s favorable report on Acoli and the fact that he had expressed remorse for the trooper’s death and had had no disciplinary incidents in prison since 1996. They also faulted the board for giving too much weight to Acoli’s previous criminal record and an unspecified probation violation, which occurred several decades before the board’s decision.

“Make no mistake, we are completely appalled by Acoli’s senseless crimes, which left a member of the State Police dead and another injured, as well as one of Acoli’s associates dead and the other injured,” the judges wrote. “But Acoli has paid the penalty under the laws of this State for his crimes.”

Bruce Afran, an attorney who argued on behalf of Acoli, said his client was looking forward to living with his daughter and has been offered a job as a paralegal.

“He’s paid his penalty,” Afran said. “Keeping him longer in prison would not bring back Trooper Foerster, it would simply cause more cruelty.”

Christopher Burgos, president of the state troopers’ fraternal association, called the court’s decision “unbelievably insane.”
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n State Investigator Louis Freeh Accused Of Heading A Massive Cover-Up As Director Of FBI

Michael B Kelley
Jul. 16, 2012, 2:13 PM


The Department of Justice and FBI recently began reviewing 10,000 cases to look for flawed forensic evidence that might have convicted innocent people.

The FBI and DOJ had previously formed another task force in the '90s to investigate flawed evidence, the Washington Post reported in April.

The FBI director from 1993 to 2001, Louis Freeh, launched that task force with then-Attorney General Janet Reno.

After nine years of working in secret, the unit neither published its reviews of specific cases nor informed potentially innocent defendants or their attorneys, according to the Post.

Freeh has been praised lately for his independent investigation of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal and the alleged cover-up by top officials.

But ex-FBI agent and whistleblower C. Fred Whitehurst told William Fisher of Prism magazine that Freeh's action were similar to those of PSU officials because Freeh "did everything in his power" to cover up mistakes made by FBI forensic analysts:

“While I was reporting issues at the FBI crime lab, FBI Director Louis Freeh was doing every thing he could to shut me down including coming at me with proposed criminal charges, referrals for fitness for duty (psych evals), destroying my career, moving me around the lab like a rag doll, ruining my wife’s career. This man has no conscience and he is accusing Penn State managers of not taking any steps. He ought to be ashamed. Before the lab scandal is over you will find that Freeh was right in the middle of it. He did EXACTLY what the Penn State folks did.”

We reached out to Freeh's law firm – Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP – but Freeh was unavailable for comment.

Last week Whitehurst told Prism that the number of cases based on falsified or scientifically unfounded forensic evidence actually number in the hundreds of thousands because the FBI taught its forensic techniques to local, state, and federal crime lab personnel for decades.
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