Saturday, June 15th, 2013 — Good Morning, Stay Safe
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Frisky talk for Kelly, Bratton
Bratton slaps Kelly on police frisks; two spar over Operation Impact
By Jonathan Lemire AND Rocco Parascandola — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The New York Daily News’
The long-simmering rivalry between Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and former top cop William Bratton flared up Friday over a defining issue in the mayoral race — stop-and-frisk policing.
The controversial NYPD tactic is currently under review by a federal judge and is a source of fierce debate on the campaign trail, with critics charging it unfairly targets minorities.
But Bratton laid the blame for the criticism squarely on Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg, saying the problem isn’t the tactic but the “political decision” from the city’s brass to “reduce the size of the police force from 41,000 to about 34,000, 35,000” to save money.
Addressing the conservative Manhattan Institute in a midtown speech, Bratton said that pushed Kelly to flood high-crime areas with rookies cops in a program known as Operation Impact.
“They are not closely supervised,” he said of the rookie cops. “So, if they make a mistake in how they do a stop-and-frisk, if they’re disrespectful, if they don’t have the appropriate cause, who’s there to correct them?”
Kelly defended Operation Impact. “We’re down 6,000 police officers, so we had to do what we had to do and create impact zones,” he said at St. Gregory the Great School in Manhattan, where he was the keynote graduation speaker. “We’ve had the lowest number of murders in this city in modern times. We’ve had a record-low number of shootings. Something is going right here.” “So, the unintended consequence of Operation Impact is the stop-question-and-frisk controversy,” he continued.
Kelly and Bratton — and their respective supporters — have long feuded over which man deserves more credit for the city’s historic drop in crime over the last 20 years.
Two mayoral candidates, Republican Joe Lhota and independent Adolfo Carrion Jr., were in attendance at the speech to hear Bratton. Both support the basic tenants of stop-and-frisk.
But all of the Democratic candidates believe it must at least be modified. One candidate, city Controller John Liu goes beyond his rivals to say it should be eliminated completely.
“Liu is out of his mind,” Bratton told the Daily News after the event. “[Stop-and-frisk] is basic policing and it’s incredibly naive to suggest otherwise. If police don’t have that tool, you’ll have anarchy.”
The Liu campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bratton, who has also headed the police departments in Boston and Los Angeles, has made no secret of his interest in returning as the NYPD’s top cop. He said he has consulted with several mayoral candidates on law enforcement issues but has not been promised the commissioner’s chair.
Ray Kelly blasts Obama administration over stop-frisk stance
By ERIN CALABRESE — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The New York Post’
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly tonight blasted the Obama administration for recommending a monitor to oversee the NYPD’s stop and frisk program.
“It is disappointing, quite frankly,” Kelly said following a graduation ceremony.
Kelly said he’s known Attorney General Eric Holder for some time and was stunned by his last minute intrusion into a controversial federal court case that could force the NYPD to make sweeping changes to stop and frisk.
“We were not given an opportunity to address the issues that they supposedly had seen,’’ Kelly said at St. Gregory The Great on the Upper West Side, a school he attended as a child.
He called the “11th hour, 59th minute” court filing by the Justice Department “unfair, unnecessary,”
And Kelly noted that the city’s murder rate is at an all-time low.
“We’re at 140 murders. This is the 165th day of the year,” Kelly said.
It was Kelly’s first public comments since Holder put his thumb on the scale in the closely watched case.
Meanwhile, former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had the NYPD’s back. He defended stop and frisk as “the most basic tool fundamental of policing” and said city Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu is “out of his mind” for wanting to scrap it.
”One of the mayoral candidates is campaigning on the idea that he’s going to do away with stop-question-and-frisk. He’s out of his mind,” Bratton said at a conference sponsored by the Manhattan Institute.
“Quite clearly he [Liu] knows nothing about stop-question-and-frisk,” added Bratton.
Kelly Disappointed With DOJ Stance On Possible NYPD Court Monitor
By Unnamed Author(s) — Friday, June 14th, 2013; 10:28 p.m. ‘NY 1 News’
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he's disappointed with the Justice Department's stance on a possible court monitor of the New York City Police Department.
A federal judge will decide if the department's stop-and-frisk practices are unconstitutional.
The Justice Department said it would be in favor of having a monitor if the judge rules against the NYPD.
Kelly said police have made historic reductions in crime, and top officials should be consulted on any reforms.
"We're doing something right here, it's working here in New York City, yet people want to tinker with it, want to change what we're doing," Kelly said. "We're open to suggestions and recommendations, but they simply didn't give us the opportunity."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg also expressed his strong disagreement with the Justice Department.
City Council to vote on bills to increase NYPD oversight
By Jillian Jorgensen — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The Staten Island Advance’ / Staten Island
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - A rarely moved legislative maneuver means the New York City Council is set to vote on a package of bills aimed at increasing NYPD oversight -- and beyond his opposition to the legislation, Councilman James Oddo thinks the move sets a bad precedent.
"I think my colleagues who want to quote-unquote democratize the Council are only empowering the executive branch," Oddo, who serves as the Council's minority leader, said in his office last week.
The New York Safe Act comprises two bills -- one that calls for an inspector general to oversee the NYPD, and a second that tightens racial profiling laws.
The bills have been stuck in committee -- Public Safety Chairman Peter Vallone is opposed to the profiling bill, and has not scheduled votes on the legislation.
Speaker Christine Quinn, meanwhile supports the inspector general bill, but not the racial profiling legislation. Typically, only bills with her support come up for a vote in the Council, since she sets the agenda for each meeting.
But the motion to discharge, if it's passed, would mean both bills -- the one she supports and the one she opposes -- would skip past both Vallone and the Speaker to come up for a vote, likely by the end of June.
The bill's lead authors, Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander, re-introduced the bills Wednesday, to include amendments added during the committee process, and filed a motion to discharge Thursday.
And Oddo thinks that's a fundamentally bad thing.
"If you turn this body into 51 members, going into 51 different directions, you will have absolutely no check on the executive and you will have an imperial mayor," he said. "I think it undercuts the Speaker, which undercuts the institution of the City Council."
It would be ironic, he said, if the Council undercuts Quinn's leadership now using the motion to discharge -- only for the use of that measure to make her stronger should she be elected mayor.
"Theoretically, you could have a motion to discharge on the non-citizen voting" legislation, Oddo said, which many Council members do not support. "What happens if every Council member says, 'I'm gonna motion to discharge my favorite bill now?' Have you looked at some of the legislation?"
Not everyone agrees with Oddo's assessment -- Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) a supporter of both NYPD bills, signed on to the motion to discharge, according to a spokeswoman, who said Ms. Rose was unavailable for an interview to discuss the topic.
But to Oddo, if the Council's bills aren't strengthened by having to earn support of its members and its Speaker, the legislature simply loses its power and influence.
"If we're on a see-saw, the see-saw is already way out of whack in favor of the mayor," Oddo said. "And it's a zero sum game -- the weaker the Council, the stronger the mayor."
Kelly Supports Speed Cameras for New York City
Push for Speed Cameras Turns to School Zones
By MICHAELLE BOND — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The New York Times’
A leader of the State Senate is adopting a new strategy focused on young New Yorkers to try to build support for a bill to install speed-tracking cameras that has languished in the Legislature for years.
Instead of introducing cameras throughout New York City, the measures in the Senate and Assembly would limit cameras to some school zones where speeding is a problem.
The Senate leader, Jeffrey D. Klein, a Bronx Democrat, made a final push on Friday to build momentum for the bill before the legislative session ends next week.
“It makes it much more of a compelling argument because it goes to the safety of our children,” Mr. Klein said after a news conference outside Public School 81 in the Riverdale neighborhood. “I think the first duty of government is to protect our citizens.”
Mr. Klein used a traffic safety report from the city’s Transportation Department to bolster his argument that the cameras, which the Bloomberg administration and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly have strongly supported, are needed.
The agency’s report, published in March, emphasized the issue of speeding near schools and said P.S. 81 had the highest rate in the Bronx of speeding in a school zone, with 96 percent of vehicles going above the 30 miles per hour speed limit.
Mr. Klein’s office and the Transportation Department conducted a follow-up survey in May; it found that 268 vehicles went six or more miles per hour over the speed limit during a three-hour period on one school day.
Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said a pedestrian hit by a car traveling 40 m.p.h. would have a 70 percent change of dying. If the car’s speed was 30 m.p.h., the pedestrian would have an 80 percent chance of living, she said.
“Too many of the streets near our schools are used as racetracks,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said.
The legislative bills would introduce the speed cameras as a five-year pilot program that could become permanent if it proved successful, Mr. Klein said. An effort to include the cameras as part of this year’s state budget failed in March, and led Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to lash out at senators he blamed for opposing the initiative.
The city’s largest police union is against the use of cameras, arguing that the solution to careless drivers is more police officers.
“It’s our belief that people who speed are often guilty of other violations,” said Al O’Leary, a spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. An increased police presence, he said, “vastly improves public safety.”
But Juan Martinez, the general counsel for Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group promoting cycling, walking and public transportation, scoffed at the union’s position. “Of course we need more police officers,” he said. “But to oppose the cameras is like firefighters opposing automatic sprinklers. We need both.”
Former PBMS Investigations Unit Sgt. Haytham Khalil
NYPD Sergeant Convicted of Misusing Terror Database Now "Integrity" Officer in Brooklyn Precinct
By Graham Rayman — Friday, June 14th, 2013 ‘The Villiage Voice’ / Manhattan
Five years ago, NYPD Sergeant Haytham Khalil was indicted for illegally accessing the FBI criminal records and terrorism database on behalf of a friend in a child custody dispute. He pleaded guilty in 2009.
Today, Khalil not only is still with the police department, despite his conviction, but he is an integrity control officer in a Brooklyn precinct.
In sum, an officer convicted of abusing his position to access confidential information for a private purpose is now monitoring whether other officers are following the rules.
We asked the NYPD's public information office for comment, but received no response.
The National Crime Information Center maintains a database filled with sensitive information used by law enforcement agencies across the country in investigations.
Khalil, 37, of Brooklyn was convicted of using another sergeant's password to access the NCIC database and retrieved an entry which identified an individual as being on the terrorist watch list. He then sent that document to a female friend in a child custody dispute in Canada. That dispute was with a man who was being monitored by the feds. The friend then filed the document in court records in Canada.
Khalil pleaded to accessing a computer beyond his authority, a misdemeanor. He faced a maximum of one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. He was sentenced in 2009 to one year probation and a $500 fine.
Under state law, if he had pleaded guilty to a felony, he would have been fired. But since he pleaded to a misdemeanor, the NYPD could decide to keep him on the job.
DA big is ‘N’ & out
Hynes lowers ax over racist, anti-gay slurs
By JOSH SAUL and JENNIFER BAIN — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The New York Post’
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has fired the head of his Gang Bureau for using homophobic language and calling a top prosecutor “the head n----r,” The Post has learned.
Deanna Rodriguez had been suspended since March for using terms including “faggot” and “dyke” to insult interns, paralegals and assistant DAs, as The Post had exclusively reported.
But further investigation found the fiery Rodriguez had also used a racial slur.
“When this issue first arose, Deanna Rodriguez was immediately suspended for 90 days without pay,” Brooklyn DA spokesman Jerry Schmetterer said yesterday.
“Today, after complete review of her conduct, she was terminated effective immediately,” he added.
Rodriguez, who earned about $160,000 a year, had run the office’s gang unit since 1996.
The Post reported in March that she had been suspended after allegedly sending an e-mail to a female paralegal that contained physical threats and the homophobic slurs.
Assistant DAs in the Gang Bureau spoke highly of Rodriguez’s leadership, but several Brooklyn prosecutors said she had a reputation for tirades.
“She’s a wild woman. She’s nuts,” one law-enforcement source said when she was suspended.
Employees of the DA’s Office filed several complaints against Rodriguez, including one with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity, sources said.
“A lot of people have had incidents with her,” the law-enforcement source said.
In the course of the internal probe, it was discovered that she had referred to one of Hynes’ top prosecutors, an African-American man, as “the head n----r” in a conversation with another employee in the office, a source with knowledge of the investigation told The Post.
She was talking about Lance Ogiste, counsel to the district attorney, the source said.
MTA Police inducts newest graduating class of bomb-sniffing dogs
They aim to take a bite out of crime. Meet Buck, Mikey, Geo, George, Matty, Glen, Jake and Stiehl — the MTA's latest graduating class of police dogs specially trained to sniff out explosives and help keep rail riders safe.
By Nicholle Buckley AND Corky Siemaszko — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The New York Daily News’
The MTA Police Department's eight new recruits have 32 legs among them — and each has a nose for trouble.
Meet Buck, Mikey, Geo, George, Matty, Glen, Jake and Stiehl — the MTA's latest graduating class of police dogs specially trained to sniff out explosives and help keep rail riders safe.
In addition to bearing heavy responsibilities, each of the German shepherds bears the name of a two-legged hero.
Matty, for example, is named after Spc. Matthew Baylis, who was killed in action six years ago in Iraq.
"We're very proud," said Baylis's dad, Richard, who attended the ceremony at Grand Central Terminal. "Very proud that we were offered this opportunity, to have a bomb sniffing dog named after our son. You know, any way we can memorialize him."
Sgt. William Finucane, who is the chief trainer and "Dog Father" to these prized pooches, said the dogs were named by the officers who will be their masters.
They were told to pick the name of a police officer who died on duty - or a service member killed in action.
"When they come into the unit, they're told this is our tradition," said Finucane. "To honor them in this way I think is the ultimate honor."
So Glen was named by his master, Officer James Finn, after NYPD Officer Glen Pettit, who was killed on 9/11.
"Officer Finn is very good friends with the family, so it was his decision to name the dog after Officer Petit," said Finucane.
Here's who the other dogs are named after:
Buck was named in memory of Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr., who was murdered by an Afghan police officer.
Geo is named for Army Staff Sgt. Jorge Oliveira, a sheriff's deputy in Essex County, N.J. also killed in Afghanistan.
Jake is for Army Pfc. Jacob Fletcher, who was killed in Iraq.
George is for NYPD Officer George Wong, who died of cancer that doctors believe he contracted while serving at Ground Zero.
Mikey is named in memory of MTA Police Officer Michael Aurisano
Stiehl is named after late MTA Lt. Kristin Stiehl Murray.
The MTA's police Canine Unit is one of the largest in the U.S., with 50 dogs in active duty patrolling LIRR, Metro-North and Staten Island Railway stations, tracks and facilities, officials said.
Facebook Discloses Basic Data on Law-Enforcement Requests
By VINDU GOEL — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The New York Times’
Facebook on Friday disclosed for the first time how many requests for data about its 1.1 billion users it had gotten from law enforcement authorities in the United States.
The social networking company said that in the last six months of 2012, it had 9,000 to 10,000 requests for information about its users from local, state and federal agencies. Those requests covered 18,000 to 19,000 user accounts.
“These requests run the gamut — from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat,” the company’s general counsel, Ted Ullyot, said in a blog post disclosing the data.
Facebook said it was legally prohibited from saying how many of the data requests were related to national security. But generally speaking, the vast majority of the law-enforcement data requests received by tech companies are for other matters, like local criminal cases.
Facebook’s disclosure comes after negotiations with the federal government that began after the first news reports a week ago about the National Security Agency’s secret Prism surveillance program. Those reports revealed that a number of American Internet companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, had secretly provided data about foreigners to the United States government under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The tech companies have also secretly provided data to the F.B.I. under National Security Letters, which the government uses to gather information about Americans.
Under federal law, companies generally cannot disclose even the existence of national security data requests they receive. But in recent days, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have been pressing the government for permission to share more information.
“We’re pleased that as a result of our discussions, we can now include in a transparency report all U.S. national security-related requests (including FISA as well as National Security Letters) – which until now no company has been permitted to do,” Mr. Ullyot wrote. “As of today, the government will only authorize us to communicate about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range. This is progress, but we’re continuing to push for even more transparency.”
Google had previously published a transparency report that included N.S.L. but not F.I.S.A. data requests. Microsoft’s recent transparency report excluded both types of national security requests.
Late Friday, after Facebook’s data release, Microsoft provided similar information about requests for data that it had received from law enforcement at all levels of government.
For the six months ended Dec. 31, 2012, Microsoft received between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from governmental entities in the United States, the company’s deputy general counsel, John Frank, said in a statement.
“We have not received any national security orders of the type that Verizon was reported to have received that required Verizon to provide business records about U.S. customers,” Mr. Frank said.
Facebook, Microsoft Disclose Government Data Requests, But Google Balks
By Evelyn M. Rusli and Shira Ovide — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The Wall Street Journal’ / New York, NY
Under scrutiny for handing over user information to the U.S. government, Facebook and Microsoft each disclosed figures on data requests from U.S. government and law enforcement entities–though in a form that shed little light on how many of the information transfers were associated with intelligence agencies.
Google, however, said it wouldn’t follow the lead of the other two tech giants, and questioned the value of disclosures without more detailed information.
Facebook late Friday for the first time disclosed that it got between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from all government entities in the U.S. in the second half of 2012. That number includes all requests–from local, state and federal authorities as well as classified national security-related requests.
Microsoft later Friday said it received 6,000 to 7,000 requests for data in the second half of the year, from all U.S. government and law-enforcement entities in the U.S.
In corporate blog posts, both Microsoft and Facebook indicated they weren’t satisfied with the level of detail the U.S. government allowed them to provide publicly. Microsoft, for example, already has previously disclosed its 2012 volume of U.S. and worldwide law enforcement requests.
It’s not possible to determine how many of requests are associated with agencies such as the National Security Agency, or the secret U.S. court that handles classified foreign-surveillance orders under a law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.
“We continue to believe that what we are permitted to publish continues to fall short of what is needed to help the community understand and debate these issues,” John Frank, Microsoft deputy general counsel, said in a blog post Friday evening.
In a statement after Microsoft and Facebook released their data, a Google spokesman said the company has “always believed that it’s important to differentiate between different types of government requests,” referring to requests for data in criminal cases, and data requests stemming from national security-related, classified orders.
“Lumping the two categories together would be a step back for users,” the Google spokesman added in the statement. “Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.”
Like Microsoft, Google has previously disclosed the total number of government and law-enforcement data requests it received last year, excluding the secret surveillance orders the companies previously weren’t permitted to acknowledge publicly.
Facebook General Counsel Ted Ullyot said the Facebook requests in the second half of last year sought data about somewhere between 18,000 and 19,000 individual Facebook accounts. He pointed out that the total amounts to a tiny fraction of 1% of the company’s 1.1 billion monthly active users worldwide.
“We hope this helps put into perspective the numbers involved, and lays to rest some of the hyperbolic and false assertions in some recent press accounts about the frequency and scope of the data requests that we receive,” Ullyot said in a statement.
Facebook, Google and other U.S. Web companies have been under fire since last week’s news reports on U.S. government programs that require the companies to turn over user data, such as texts of emails and online photos, if required by orders from a secret U.S. court.
Since those reports, the Web companies have scrambled to deflect accounts of their deep cooperation with U.S. government surveillance efforts on foreigners. Friday evening’s disclosures leave murky the questions of how often the companies are ordered to turn over user information, and how often the companies deflect or fight those information orders.
A person familiar with the matter said Facebook executives are still pushing government officials to allow them to release more information about classified orders. They are also requesting permission to disclose the total number of users that may have been impacted by these orders.
A person with knowledge of the matter said in a “substantial number” of the data requests disclosed Friday, Facebook provided only basic user information, name and the length of time on the service. Facebook complied at least partially with 79% of these requests during that period, that person said.
For more than week, the company, led by Ullyot, lobbed more than 100 calls to White House, Department of Justice, and intelligence officials, “aggressively” asking them for permission to release data, this person added.
Government officials also got calls from Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, who has deep ties to Washington as a former chief of staff to the Secretary of Treasury.
Note: This post was updated to include information from Microsoft and Google.
Dozens of States Eye Drone Laws
By Jacob Gershman — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 ‘The Wall Street Journal’ / New York, NY
More than 40 states are considering or have enacted legislation dealing with drones, according to Westlaw researchers.
The legislation, most of which has not been signed into law, varies widely, reflecting an unsettled debate over the growing use of aerial surveillance and what should be done to safeguard privacy.
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota and Vermont are the only states that haven’t introduced drone legislation, according to WestlawNext, an electronic legal research database owned by Thomson Reuters.
The most common type of bill involves search warrants requirements for the use of drones by law enforcement. Just under 40 states have enacted laws or proposed bills addressing warrants, according to Westlaw.
Across the nation:
* 20 states have proposed or established privacy rights of action for those aggrieved by violations of drone rules;
* 17 have laws or bills banning “weaponized” drones;
* 17 have proposed or carved out emergency exceptions for drone use; and
* 16 have introduced or enacted laws making it a crime to violate drone statutes.
At least three states, North Carolina, Utah and Virginia, have “called for the investigation of, or express concern for, the authorized use of drones against U.S. citizens by the U.S. government,” according to Westlaw.
A Virginia state senator introduced a bill this year that would make it a crime to use a drone to “impede the lawful hunting of wild birds or wild animals.” A Massachusetts bill would ban the use of drones to “collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual.”
At the same time, lawmakers in other states, including California, have proposed tax incentives aimed at luring drone manufacturers to their borders.
Cleveland mayor denies police chase revealed ‘systemic’ failure
By Unnamed Author(s) (The Associated Press) — Saturday, June 15th, 2013; 5:35 a.m. EDT
CLEVELAND — The mayor and the Ohio attorney general disagreed sharply yesterday over state findings that widespread failures in the Cleveland Police Department led to a chase last year that ended with 137 shots being fired at a fleeing driver and passenger who were killed.
Mayor Frank Jackson disputed the findings, done at the city’s request and released in February, that “systemic” failures of police command, control and communications led to the Nov. 29 chase.
Attorney General Mike DeWine stood by his findings as reasonable and carefully done and said he was shocked by Jackson’s comments.
Jackson said any failures during the chase resulted from police supervisors and rank-and-file officers who didn’t follow department procedures.
“There was a failure,” the mayor told reporters in a city hall interview. “It was not systemic. It was a failure on the part of some supervisors and some patrol officers to do what they knew they should have done and what they were trained to do.”
The mayor said the state report had jeopardized legal due process rights in the continuing investigation of officers by a county grand jury and a police disciplinary review.
Jackson said he had waited to speak out because he wanted the internal disciplinary process against officers to move along.
Twelve police supervisors are appealing disciplinary measures, including one dismissal, and more than 100 patrol officers involved in the chase are facing possible punishment at hearings beginning in July.
Disciplinary proceedings against another 13 officers who fired shots as the chase ended will be conducted after the county grand jury reviews the case for possible criminal wrongdoing.
DeWine said he was surprised by the mayor’s comments and reiterated his conclusion that the chase resulted in police command, control and communication failures.
When the DeWine report was issued, Jackson’s comments were muted, with him and Police Chief Michael McGrath saying the findings were among factors the city would consider in its review.
The chase began when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding by the police and courts complex in downtown Cleveland.
The chase ended in a blocked-off parking lot, with driver Timothy Russell, 43, shot 23 times and passenger Malissa Williams, 30, shot 24 times.
The police union has said the shootings were justified because the driver tried to ram an officer. No weapon or shell casings were found in the fleeing car.
Police don’t know why Russell didn’t stop. Russell had a criminal record including convictions for receiving stolen property and robbery. Williams had convictions for drug-related charges and attempted abduction.
The DeWine report noted the driver was legally drunk when he became involved in the chase, and both people in the car tested positive for cocaine. DeWine said they likely had been smoking crack.
Immigration Enforcement / Illegal Aliens
Agents: Fuel-saving measures hamper Border Patrol
By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN (The Associated Press) — Friday, June 14th, 2013; 6:13 p.m. EDT
McALLEN, Texas (AP) -- Budget cuts have hampered the U.S. Border Patrol's work in its busiest sector on the Southwest border, agents said Friday, with the agency introducing fuel conservation measures in the Rio Grande Valley that have agents patrolling on foot and doubling up in vehicles.
The Border Patrol instituted the changes after the across-the-board government spending cuts known as sequestration. The constraints come as Congress moves deeper into the debate over comprehensive immigration reform and Republican legislators push for stronger border security components as a precursor to any path to citizenship for immigrants who have entered the country illegally.
The Rio Grande Valley sector - a stretch of border from Brownsville to Laredo on the southernmost tip of Texas - has become the agency's hottest area along the border. The Border Patrol's arrests of people trying to cross the border illegally jumped 65 percent in that area last year. At the end of May, sector Chief Patrol Agent Rosendo Hinojosa said agents had already made more than 90,000 apprehensions in the first eight months of the fiscal year, a 50 percent increase over the same period last year.
In a prepared statement Friday, the Border Patrol said, "Sequestration continues to have serious impacts on (Customs and Border Protection's) operations including nearly $600 million in cuts." A spokesman declined to address the fuel restraints specifically.
But a February letter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to the union representing Border Patrol agents outlined cost-cutting measures the agency expected to implement. Among them were stopping Border Patrol supervisors from taking their vehicles home and assigning two agents to every vehicle instead of one. "CBP will also make reductions in fleet fuel and maintenance costs, as well as longer life-cycles for vehicles," the letter said.
An undated internal memo published Thursday by KRGV-TV in Weslaco indicates some of those steps and more have been taken. The Border Patrol would not comment on the authenticity of the memo, but agents in the sector confirmed Friday that the agency had cracked down significantly in the past month on fuel use.
Some agents are being shuttled into the field and then patrol on foot, while others are paired up in vehicles, an official with the agents' union, the National Border Patrol Council, said.
"If you're putting the same amount of people out there in the field but in less vehicles you're creating a smaller footprint, therefore leaving areas open," said Christopher Cabrera, vice president of the local National Border Patrol Council.
Officer safety becomes an issue because agents on foot can't respond in the same way as those in vehicles and backup can take longer to arrive, he said.
The impact is felt not only in the Border Patrol's own operations, but also in the border communities.
"Some of these communities out there, sometimes we're the only law enforcement presence they have out there and for us not to be there hurts," said Cabrera, an agent stationed in McAllen.
"Local police departments who do great job of helping us out, now they're going to be taxed even further because they're having to take up for our slack," he said. "More pursuits are coming through the area because these vehicles that are loading up with people and narcotics are moving forward from the river area because we don't have the presence down there and they're taking up the slack."
Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has said the department has taken notice of the spike in apprehensions along the border in the Rio Grande Valley and is making sure additional resources are available to Border Patrol agents in the area.
"We know the traffic is higher now. Actions are being taken to turn that traffic back," Napolitano told a Senate panel in April.
More than 2,500 Border Patrol agents are in the sector and the agency has said it's sending most of its new academy graduates to the Rio Grande Valley.
Associated Press writer Alicia A. Caldwell in Washington contributed to this report.
Arizona: Monitor Is Likely in Case Against Maricopa County Sheriff
By BRIAN SKOLOFF and JACQUES BILLEAUD (The Associated Press) — Friday, June 14th, 2013; 6:38 p.m. EDT
PHOENIX (AP) -- A federal judge who ruled an Arizona sheriff's office racially profiled Latinos delayed instituting remedies Friday to allow parties time to agree on options, but he indicated a court-appointed monitor likely would be assigned to assure the agency is complying with constitutional requirements.
In May, U.S. District Judge Murray Snow concluded that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has systematically singled out Latinos in its immigration patrols and that deputies unreasonably prolonged the detentions of people who were pulled over, marking the first finding by a court that the agency engages in racial profiling.
Snow delayed issuing any orders in the case Friday after parties on both sides indicated they wanted time to work toward an agreement that could be approved by the court. He set an Aug. 30 hearing to revisit the issue.
However, the judge made clear he planned to assign a federal monitor who would have "significant authority" to oversee retraining of deputies, among other changes at the office.
"I do realize it is important for this court to recognize the sovereignty of the people of Arizona. ... I intend to respect that," Snow said Friday. "However, the Constitution of the United States is supreme."
Snow said the monitor would work with the Sheriff's Office balancing the effort to institute reforms while respecting Arpaio's right to enforce the law, "as long as he does so in a way that does not infringe on the constitutional rights of the people of this country."
Snow's May ruling came after a small group of Latinos sued the agency for violating their constitutional rights.
Arpaio's lawyer, Tim Casey, told the judge parties on both sides already are near agreement "on everything except the monitor."
"We oppose a monitor," Casey said bluntly.
The six-term sheriff, who turned 81 on Friday, was expected to resist the court-appointed monitor after rejecting a similar proposal last year when the U.S. Justice Department leveled racial profiling allegations against the agency. Arpaio says allowing a monitor means every policy decision would have to be cleared through an observer and would nullify his authority.
"We believe it's very important that this court be the ultimate arbitrator of what is approved and what is not approved," Casey said Friday, indicating the sheriff's office would rather the judge oversee reforms than a separate federal monitor.
Casey said the department has ended some of its controversial programs and hasn't conducted any immigration sweeps since October 2011.
Arpaio's office "is out of the federal immigration enforcement control business," Casey told the judge.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who attended Friday's hearing, called it an "important step toward correcting the problem of what has become a national disgrace."
"It's victory for those that have fought so hard in this country for justice," he said.
Snow's ruling doesn't altogether bar Arpaio from enforcing the state's immigration laws, but imposes a long list of restrictions on his immigration patrols. They include prohibitions on using race as a factor in deciding whether to stop a vehicle with a Latino occupant and on detaining Latino passengers only on the suspicion that they're in the country illegally.
Stanley Young, the lead attorney who argued the case against Arpaio, said he was hopeful the parties could reach an agreement resulting in a consent decree that would govern how the Sheriff's Office operates going forward within the restraints of the Constitution.
The case that led to Snow's ruling focused on Latinos who were stopped during both routine traffic patrols and special immigration patrols known as "sweeps."
During the sweeps, deputies flood an area of a city - in some cases, heavily Latino areas - over several days to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Immigrants who were in the country illegally accounted for 57 percent of the 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps conducted by Arpaio's office since January 2008.
The ruling against the sheriff's department serves as a precursor to a lawsuit filed last year by the U.S. Justice Department, which also alleges racial profiling in Arpaio's immigration patrols. The federal government's suit, however, claims broader civil rights violations, such as allegations that Arpaio's office retaliates against its critics and punishes Latino jail inmates with limited English skills for speaking Spanish.
Secret to Prism success: Even bigger data seizure
By STEPHEN BRAUN, ANNE FLAHERTY, JACK GILLUM and MATT APUZZO (The Associated Press) — Saturday, June 15th, 2013; 9:11 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON — In the months and early years after 9/11, FBI agents began showing up at Microsoft Corp. more frequently than before, armed with court orders demanding information on customers.
Around the world, government spies and eavesdroppers were tracking the email and Internet addresses used by suspected terrorists. Often, those trails led to the world’s largest software company and, at the time, largest email provider.
The agents wanted email archives, account information, practically everything, and quickly. Engineers compiled the data, sometimes by hand, and delivered it to the government.
Often there was no easy way to tell if the information belonged to foreigners or Americans. So much data was changing hands that one former Microsoft employee recalls that the engineers were anxious about whether the company should cooperate.
Inside Microsoft, some called it “Hoovering” — not after the vacuum cleaner, but after J. Edgar Hoover, the first FBI director, who gathered dirt on countless Americans.
This frenetic, manual process was the forerunner to Prism, the recently revealed highly classified National Security Agency program that seizes records from Internet companies. As laws changed and technology improved, the government and industry moved toward a streamlined, electronic process, which required less time from the companies and provided the government data in a more standard format.
The revelation of Prism this month by the Washington Post and Guardian newspapers has touched off the latest round in a decade-long debate over what limits to impose on government eavesdropping, which the Obama administration says is essential to keep the nation safe.
But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government and technology officials and outside experts show that, while Prism has attracted the recent attention, the program actually is a relatively small part of a much more expansive and intrusive eavesdropping effort.
Americans who disapprove of the government reading their emails have more to worry about from a different and larger NSA effort that snatches data as it passes through the fiber optic cables that make up the Internet’s backbone. That program, which has been known for years, copies Internet traffic as it enters and leaves the United States, then routes it to the NSA for analysis.
Whether by clever choice or coincidence, Prism appears to do what its name suggests. Like a triangular piece of glass, Prism takes large beams of data and helps the government find discrete, manageable strands of information.
The fact that it is productive is not surprising; documents show it is one of the major sources for what ends up in the president’s daily briefing. Prism makes sense of the cacophony of the Internet’s raw feed. It provides the government with names, addresses, conversation histories and entire archives of email inboxes.
Many of the people interviewed for this report insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss a classified, continuing effort. But those interviews, along with public statements and the few public documents available, show there are two vital components to Prism’s success.
The first is how the government works closely with the companies that keep people perpetually connected to each other and the world. That story line has attracted the most attention so far.
The second and far murkier one is how Prism fits into a larger U.S. wiretapping program in place for years.
Deep in the oceans, hundreds of cables carry much of the world’s phone and Internet traffic. Since at least the early 1970s, the NSA has been tapping foreign cables. It doesn’t need permission. That’s its job.
But Internet data doesn’t care about borders. Send an email from Pakistan to Afghanistan and it might pass through a mail server in the United States, the same computer that handles messages to and from Americans. The NSA is prohibited from spying on Americans or anyone inside the United States. That’s the FBI’s job and it requires a warrant.
Despite that prohibition, shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to plug into the fiber optic cables that enter and leave the United States, knowing it would give the government unprecedented, warrantless access to Americans’ private conversations.
Tapping into those cables allows the NSA access to monitor emails, telephone calls, video chats, websites, bank transactions and more. It takes powerful computers to decrypt, store and analyze all this information, but the information is all there, zipping by at the speed of light.
“You have to assume everything is being collected,” said Bruce Schneier, who has been studying and writing about cryptography and computer security for two decades.
The New York Times disclosed the existence of this effort in 2005. In 2006, former AT&T technician Mark Klein revealed that the company had allowed the NSA to install a computer at its San Francisco switching center, a spot where fiber optic cables enter the U.S.
What followed was the most significant debate over domestic surveillance since the 1975 Church Committee, a special Senate committee led by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, reined in the CIA and FBI for spying on Americans.
Unlike the recent debate over Prism, however, there were no visual aids, no easy-to-follow charts explaining that the government was sweeping up millions of emails and listening to phone calls of people accused of no wrongdoing.
The Bush administration called it the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” and said it was keeping the United States safe.
“This program has produced intelligence for us that has been very valuable in the global war on terror, both in terms of saving lives and breaking up plots directed at the United States,” Vice President Dick Cheney said at the time.
The government has said it minimizes all conversations and emails involving Americans. Exactly what that means remains classified. But former U.S. officials familiar with the process say it allows the government to keep the information as long as it is labeled as belonging to an American and stored in a special, restricted part of a computer.
That means Americans’ personal emails can live in government computers, but analysts can’t access, read or listen to them unless the emails become relevant to a national security investigation.
The government doesn’t automatically delete the data, officials said, because an email or phone conversation that seems innocuous today might be significant a year from now.
What’s unclear to the public is how long the government keeps the data. That is significant because the U.S. someday will have a new enemy. Two decades from now, the government could have a trove of American emails and phone records it can tap to investigative whatever Congress declares a threat to national security.
The Bush administration shut down its warrantless wiretapping program in 2007 but endorsed a new law, the Protect America Act, which allowed the wiretapping to continue with changes: The NSA generally would have to explain its techniques and targets to a secret court in Washington, but individual warrants would not be required.
Congress approved it, with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the midst of a campaign for president, voting against it.
“This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide,” Obama said in a speech two days before that vote. “I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.”
When the Protect America Act made warrantless wiretapping legal, lawyers and executives at major technology companies knew what was about to happen.
One expert in national security law, who is directly familiar with how Internet companies dealt with the government during that period, recalls conversations in which technology officials worried aloud that the government would trample on Americans’ constitutional right against unlawful searches, and that the companies would be called on to help.
The logistics were about to get daunting, too.
For years, the companies had been handling requests from the FBI. Now Congress had given the NSA the authority to take information without warrants. Though the companies didn’t know it, the passage of the Protect America Act gave birth to a top-secret NSA program, officially called US-98XN.
It was known as Prism. Though many details are still unknown, it worked like this:
Every year, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence spell out in a classified document how the government plans to gather intelligence on foreigners overseas.
By law, the certification can be broad. The government isn’t required to identify specific targets or places.
A federal judge, in a secret order, approves the plan.
With that, the government can issue “directives” to Internet companies to turn over information.
While the court provides the government with broad authority to seize records, the directives themselves typically are specific, said one former associate general counsel at a major Internet company. They identify a specific target or groups of targets. Other company officials recall similar experiences.
All adamantly denied turning over the kind of broad swaths of data that many people believed when the Prism documents were first released.
“We only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Facebook said it received between 9,000 and 10,000 demands requests for data from all government agencies in the second half of last year. The social media company said fewer than 19,000 users were targeted.
How many of those were related to national security is unclear, and likely classified. The numbers suggest each request typically related to one or two people, not a vast range of users.
Tech company officials were unaware there was a program named Prism. Even former law enforcement and counterterrorism officials who were on the job when the program went live and were aware of its capabilities said this past week that they didn’t know what it was called.
What the NSA called Prism, the companies knew as a streamlined system that automated and simplified the “Hoovering” from years earlier, the former assistant general counsel said. The companies, he said, wanted to reduce their workload. The government wanted the data in a structured, consistent format that was easy to search.
Any company in the communications business can expect a visit, said Mike Janke, CEO of Silent Circle, a company that advertises software for secure, encrypted conversations. The government is eager to find easy ways around security.
“They do this every two to three years,” said Janke, who said government agents have approached his company but left empty-handed because his computer servers store little information. “They ask for the moon.”
That often creates tension between the government and a technology industry with a reputation for having a civil libertarian bent. Companies occasionally argue to limit what the government takes. Yahoo even went to court and lost in a classified ruling in 2008, The New York Times reported Friday.
“The notion that Yahoo gives any federal agency vast or unfettered access to our users’ records is categorically false,” Ron Bell, the company’s general counsel, said recently.
Under Prism, the delivery process varied by company.
Google, for instance, says it makes secure file transfers. Others use contractors or have set up stand-alone systems. Some have set up user interfaces making it easier for the government, according to a security expert familiar with the process.
Every company involved denied the most sensational assertion in the Prism documents: that the NSA pulled data “directly from the servers” of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL and more.
Technology experts and a former government official say that phrasing, taken from a PowerPoint slide describing the program, was likely meant to differentiate Prism’s neatly organized, company-provided data from the unstructured information snatched out of the Internet’s major pipelines.
In slide made public by the newspapers, NSA analysts were encouraged to use data coming from both Prism and from the fiber-optic cables.
Prism, as its name suggests, helps narrow and focus the stream. If eavesdroppers spot a suspicious email among the torrent of data pouring into the United States, analysts can use information from Internet companies to pinpoint the user.
With Prism, the government gets a user’s entire email inbox. Every email, including contacts with American citizens, becomes government property.
Once the NSA has an inbox, it can search its huge archives for information about everyone with whom the target communicated. All those people can be investigated, too.
That’s one example of how emails belonging to Americans can become swept up in the hunt.
In that way, Prism helps justify specific, potentially personal searches. But it’s the broader operation on the Internet fiber optics cables that actually captures the data, experts agree.
“I’m much more frightened and concerned about real-time monitoring on the Internet backbone,” said Wolf Ruzicka, CEO of EastBanc Technologies, a Washington software company. “I cannot think of anything, outside of a face-to-face conversation, that they could not have access to.”
One unanswered question, according to a former technology executive at one of the companies involved, is whether the government can use the data from Prism to work backward.
For example, not every company archives instant message conversations, chat room exchanges or videoconferences. But if Prism provided general details, known as metadata, about when a user began chatting, could the government “rewind” its copy of the global Internet stream, find the conversation and replay it in full?
That would take enormous computing, storage and code-breaking power. It’s possible the NSA could use supercomputers to decrypt some transmissions, but it’s unlikely it would have the ability to do that in volume. In other words, it would help to know what messages to zero in on.
Whether the government has that power and whether it uses Prism this way remains a closely guarded secret.
A few months after Obama took office in 2009, the surveillance debate reignited in Congress because the NSA had crossed the line. Eavesdroppers, it turned out, had been using their warrantless wiretap authority to intercept far more emails and phone calls of Americans than they were supposed to.
Obama, no longer opposed to the wiretapping, made unspecified changes to the process. The government said the problems were fixed.
“I came in with a healthy skepticism about these programs,” Obama explained recently. “My team evaluated them. We scrubbed them thoroughly. We actually expanded some of the oversight, increased some of the safeguards.”
Years after decrying Bush for it, Obama said Americans did have to make tough choices in the name of safety.
“You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” the president said.
Obama’s administration, echoing his predecessor’s, credited the surveillance with disrupting several terrorist attacks. Leading figures from the Bush administration who endured criticism during Obama’s candidacy have applauded the president for keeping the surveillance intact.
Jason Weinstein, who recently left the Justice Department as head of its cybercrime and intellectual property section, said it’s no surprise Obama continued the eavesdropping.
“You can’t expect a president to not use a legal tool that Congress has given him to protect the country,” he said. “So, Congress has given him the tool. The president’s using it. And the courts are saying ‘The way you’re using it is OK.’ That’s checks and balances at work.”
Schneier, the author and security expert, said it doesn’t really matter how Prism works, technically. Just assume the government collects everything, he said.
He said it doesn’t matter what the government and the companies say, either. It’s spycraft, after all.
“Everyone is playing word games,” he said. “No one is telling the truth.”
Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan, Peter Svensonn, Adam Goldman, Michael Liedtke and Monika Mathur contributed to this report.