FBI agents fatally shot about 70 “subjects” and wounded about 80 others from 1993 to early 2011, and every one of those episodes was deemed justified by internal investigations, reports the New York Times. In most of the shootings, the FBI's own investigation was the only official inquiry. That is the case with the killing of a Chechen man during questioning by FBI agents in Orlando last month, which the Times calls "murky."
Occasionally, the agency does discipline an agent. Out of 289 deliberate shootings covered by documents obtained by the paper, many of which left no one wounded, five were deemed to be “bad shoots,” in agents’ parlance. A typical punishment involved adding letters of censure to agents’ files. But in none of the five cases did a bullet hit anyone.
The Washington Post describes a string of coded email messages that allowed National Security Agency to foil a suicide bombing plot in the New York City subway system four years ago. Officials say about 50 such plots have been disrupted as a result of information gathered by National Security Agency monitoring.
The Post said one case began in 2008 when Abid Naseer, a Pakistani student living in Manchester, England, began to e-mail a Yahoo account traced back to his home country that used the names of women — Nadia, Huma, Gulnaz and Fozia — as code for different types of explosives. Another message, announcing a “marriage to Nadia,” was a signal that a terrorist attack in England was imminent. The intelligence helped stop that plot, and the contacts from that case helped the NSA disrupt the subway threat, which used similar codes, such as "The marriage is ready."
California is a national leader in reducing the number of juvenile offenders incarcerated in state and county lockups, reports the Associated Press. Driven by budget cuts, lawsuits and research, the state reduced the number of youths in correctional facilities by 41 percent between 2000 and 2010. About 9,800 youths were in state and county custody in 2010, down from a peak of 17,551 in 2000. The number continues to drop.
The statistics were included in a report by the National Juvenile Justice Network and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The report cited California and eight others states that have dramatically reduced juvenile incarceration. The others are Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Mississippi, New York, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
As investigators spend a third day digging through an overgrown Michigan farm field for missing teamster Jimmy Hoffa, skeptics continue to question whether the search will yield another dead end, reports the Detroit Free Press. The search has attracted a horde of reporters and curious onlookers, including a man wearing a horse head mask and carrying a shovel.
The dig, which started Monday, was scheduled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. FBI agents are returning to Oakland Township with a backhoe, bulldozer and forensic anthropologists. Officials are questioning whether a Michigan State Police K-9’s alert at the Buell Road site near Orion and Adams roads Tuesday is for human remains – or animal bones.
Rick Raemisch, a former prison official in Wisconsin, has been appointed executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, reports the Denver Post. Raemisch, hired by Gov. John Hickenlooper, succeeds Tom Clements, who was gunned down at his front door by a parolee on March 19.
Clements' murder "drove me to seek the position," Raemisch told the paper. Investigators believe Clements was killed by Evan Ebel, a parolee who was a member of a white supremacist prison gang. Ebel was killed by law officers in Texas during a car chase and shootout two days after Clements' death.
A Georgia judge on Tuesday indicated he would find that defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating scandal gave coerced statements when interviewed by investigators, putting the 65-count indictment against 35 educators and administrators in jeopardy, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. At the close of a two-day hearing, Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter told prosecutors it appeared defendants had been threatened with the prospect of losing their jobs if they did not cooperate.
“I think you can sort of get where I’m headed,” Baxter told prosecutors and defense attorneys. If Baxter finds defendants gave compelled statements, prosecutors will then have to prove that they did not use the statements when preparing their case or presenting it to the grand jury. That would be difficult, experts said.
Utah's leading gun lobbyist will be without his arsenal for at least a few more weeks after a continuance of his hearing Tuesday on a protective order filed by his ex-wife, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. Clark Aposhian, a widely known firearms instructor who helps draft gun policy for Utah, was charged with domestic violence on Memorial Day after he drove a two-ton army surplus truck onto his ex-wife’s property and told her husband he would "bury" him.
Under federal law, he is banned from accessing his weapons while the court action is pending. His collection of 300 guns was moved into private storage. His attorney said he plans to fight the federal law as overreach.
California Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to sign legislation that could reduce the public's access to basic government records that have long been used to scrutinize the actions of elected officials, reports the Los Angeles Times. The proposal, a late insert into the state budget that lawmakers passed last week, would allow local officials to opt out of parts of the California law that gives citizens access to government documents.
Officials now must respond to a request for records within 10 days and are required to make the documents available electronically. The change, which Brown requested as a cost-cutting measure, would allow the officials to skip both requirements with a voice vote. The same vote would permit them to reject requests without explanation. The California Newspaper Publishers Association called the measure a stealth attack on government transparency and a blow to the public's right to information.
A scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where 13 female guards were indicted in April for essentially handing over control of the jail to gang members, may be partly the legacy of a short-lived state experiment of hiring corrections officers as young as 18, says the Washington Post. Seven of officers accused of smuggling drugs and cellphones for the Black Guerilla Family were barely out of high school when they became corrections officers.
Youth and inexperience may have marked some officers as easier prey for the highly organized prison gang, corrections experts said, thus adding age to a broken disciplinary system, ineffective training and poor supervision as factors making the detention center fertile ground for corruption. In 2002, Maryland lowered the hiring age from 21 to 18 for guards, and a number of county jails in Maryland still hire officers younger than 21.
Gun sales boomed in Sacramento and across California to record levels last year as horrific mass shootings reignited the gun control debate, new state figures show. The Sacramento Bee said a growing number of gun dealers – about 200 and counting – in that area sold a total of 74,000 firearms in 2012, roughly 20,000 more than in the previous year.
The trend has its roots in a series of high-profile mass shootings last year – and the gun control debate that followed, gun dealers and buyers said. A California Department of Justice spokeswoman said the trend has continued in 2013.