Crime & Law Enforcement

U.S. Department of Justice Report: Sheriff Joe Arpaio, famous for his tough stance on illegal immigration, “carried out a blatant pattern of discrimination against Latinos and held a systematic disregard for the Constitution” in a series of civil rights violations

December 15, 2011

“The government found that Arpaio’s office committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including unjust immigration patrols and jail policies that deprive prisoners of basic Constitutional rights. The Justice Department’s expert on measuring racial profiling said it is the most egregious case of profiling in the nation that he has seen or reviewed in professional literature, said Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice Department’s civil rights division.”

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American Civil Liberties Union: 4 American citizens were ‘erroneously arrested’ in Southern California recently through the federal immigration enforcement program ‘Secure Communities’

December 15, 2011

“Four U.S. citizens were erroneously arrested in Southern California recently through the federal immigration enforcement program called Secure Communities, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday. The arrests offer another point of tension between immigrant rights groups and Homeland Security, especially after President Barack Obama’s administration said the highly criticized local-federal immigration enforcement program would only focus on illegal immigrants with serious criminal records.”

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A criminal investigation into the hazing death of a marching band student at Florida A&M University has led to a new investigation into fraud and misconduct by the university

December 15, 2011

“A criminal investigation into the alleged hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, has led to the launch of a new fraud and misconduct probe at the university. The possible fraud was uncovered by Florida authorities looking into the death of the 26-year-old who died on November 19. The new investigation was triggered by information investigators discovered regarding the finances of the Marching 100, reports ABC News.”

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U.S. Senator Schumer (D-NY) and State Senator Michael Gianaris (D-NY) call for passenger advocates at airports during security screenings in response to strip search claims in U.S. airports

December 13, 2011

“U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris, both Democrats, told Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole in a letter that an on-site passenger advocate would help strike the right balance between security and protecting vulnerable travelers.”

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Attorney General Eric Holder: Nobody at the Department of Justice has lied

December 8, 2011

“Attorney General Eric Holder denied that anybody at the Department of Justice lied about the Fast and Furious program that allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug lords, even though he admitted that the DOJ sent inaccurate information to Congress. Last week, the DOJ took the rare step of formally withdrawing a letter it sent to Congress in February that falsely claimed the program being executed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not allow guns to “walk” into Mexico.”

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Silicon Valley joins the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act

December 8, 2011

“The entertainment industry says the anti-piracy bill is needed to stem the theft of content it creates. But the Internet industry says it would squelch the innovation that sparked companies like YouTube and Facebook, while saddling existing companies with repressive rules. “The stakes are extremely high with this legislation. If we get this wrong, we could jeopardize the Internet’s entire content ecosystem,” said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University.”

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Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on the House Judiciary Committee: Attorney General Holder must ‘clean up the Fast and Furious mess quickly’ or else be fired himself

December 8, 2011

“Republican lawmakers told Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to fire some Justice Department subordinates over the flawed arms-trafficking investigation Operation Fast and Furious. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin said impeachment is an option if Holder does not “clean up this mess” quickly. Sensenbrenner and other Republicans hold the attorney general responsible for the operation, in which federal agents failed to track illicitly purchased weapons that were later recovered in Mexico and the U.S., many of them at crime scenes.”

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White House unveils its new strategy to combat ‘homegrown’ terrorism, including better coordination between federal and local authorities and teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism

December 8, 2011

“The White House unveiled a strategy Thursday aimed at battling homegrown terrorism that emphasizes better coordination with local authorities. The strategy draws broad outlines for fighting extremism and follows up on the White House’s National Strategy for Counterterrorism, which was released in June. One interesting facet of the new document is a call for teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism. The strategy suggests federal and local authorities tweak the way they approach the American Muslim community on the issue.”

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Fomer Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years in prison

December 7, 2011

“Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. U.S. District Judge James Zagel handed down the sentence on Wednesday, shortly after Blagojevich made a plea for leniency, following his conviction on 18 corruption counts.”

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Rep. Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says it is up to the White House whether to keep Attorney General Holder

December 3, 2011

“(Mr. Holder) did not order this operation,” Mr. Issa said. “He didn’t demand they do something this stupid.” He said Mr. Holder should fix the problem and it was up to the White House to decide whether the attorney general should go.”

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Justice Department withdraws its inaccurate ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ letter sent to Congress

December 3, 2011

“Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole sent nearly 1,400 pages of emails and other documents to Capitol Hill late Friday afternoon that lay bare the raw and sometimes cringe-worthy process by which the letter was drafted. The materials contain clues into how misleading information about the botched gun trafficking operation made it into a Feb. 4, 2011 letter to Congress.”

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Justice Department provides documents to Congress explaining how department officials gave inaccurate information to a U.S. Senator in the controversy surrounding Operation Fast and Furious

December 3, 2011

“The Justice Department letter was responding to Grassley’s statements that the Senate Judiciary Committee had received allegations the ATF had sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers. Grassley said there were allegations that two of the assault weapons had been used [to] killed customs agent Brian Terry.”

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U.S. Senate declines to clarify the rights of American citizens in the United States suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda

December 1, 2011

“After a passionate debate over a detainee-related provision in a major defense bill, the lawmakers decided not to make clearer the current law about the rights of Americans suspected of being terrorists. Instead, they voted 99 to 1 to say the bill does not affect “existing law” about people arrested inside the United States.”

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Police raid ‘Occupy’ encampments in Los Angeles and Philadelphia

November 30, 2011

“Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia stormed Occupy Wall Street encampments under darkness Wednesday to arrest or drive out some of the longest-lasting protesters since crackdowns ended similar occupations across the country.”

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Independent Riot Communities and Victims Panel: ‘Bungled’ police response was a factor in the British riots

November 28, 2011

“The August riots, which began as a peaceful protest over a police killing, were also driven by hopelessness, deprivation and criminal opportunism, the government says.

The riots that convulsed Britain in August had no single cause but were driven by hopelessness, deprivation, criminal opportunism and a bungled police response, a government commission said in a report Monday.”

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