Monday, June 10th, 2013 — Good Afternoon, Stay Safe
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Violent Psycho Takes 25th Precinct P.O. John Chiodi Firearm and Shoots Chiodi's 25 Pct. Partner P.O. Fausto Gomez in Foot (Graze Wound)
Officer Shot in the Foot at Harlem Hospital
By J. DAVID GOODMAN — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The New York Times'
An emotionally disturbed man being escorted in handcuffs by the police on Monday ripped a gun from the holster of an officer outside Harlem Hospital Center and shot a second officer in his left foot, the authorities said.
The officer struck by the bullet, Fausto Gomez of the 25th Precinct in East Harlem, was treated at the hospital and released, the police said. The man, identified as Guiteau Idore, 42, was taken to Metropolitan Hospital Center for psychiatric evaluation.
During a close-quarter struggle on the ramp leading into the hospital around 5:30 a.m., Mr. Idore managed to pull a 9-millimeter service weapon from the holster of Officer John Chiodi and fire two shots, striking Officer Gomez once.
"It's very hard to do, it's unusual, but it happened," said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman.
After the gun went off, the three men tumbled to the ground, with Mr. Idore – hands cuffed behind his back (?) – still gripping the weapon.
Brendon Hernandez, a paramedic who traveled with the man and the officers to the hospital, saw the gun and managed to wrest it from Mr. Idore. His actions brought praise from Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly during a news conference at the hospital.
"I understand Mr. Hernandez has aspirations of becoming a New York City police officer," Mr. Kelly said Monday. "He certainly demonstrated today that he has what it takes."
The Police Department responds to tens of thousands of calls a year related to men and women described as emotionally disturbed. Such calls, in some instances, can turn violent.
It was in the course of escorting a man to the hospital in East Harlem for psychiatric evaluation in April 2012 that Detective Eder Loor, then a patrol officer, was stabbed in the head. The man, who had concealed a knife, drove the blade through the officer's temple and into his brain. Detective Loor survived, leading his neurosurgeon to call him "the luckiest unlucky man."
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, standing with Mr. Kelly at the hospital, said the chaotic scene on Monday was "another example, I think, of the dangers our officers face every day and the incredible restraint that they demonstrate."
It began around 4:55 a.m. when Officer Gomez, 40, and Officer Chiodi, 42, responded to a call of a man hurling bottles near Lexington Avenue and 117th Street. The officers took Mr. Idore into custody, cuffing his hands behind his back and placing him in an ambulance, Mr. Browne said.
The ride to the hospital was uneventful, with Officer Chiodi in the ambulance with Mr. Hernandez and Officer Gomez following behind in a patrol car.
But as they arrived at the 135th Street entrance to the hospital, Mr. Idore attempted to flee. The two officers grabbed him and began escorting him up the ramp to the hospital.
"Then, as they reached the top of the ramp, the individual began to struggle again," Mr. Kelly said. "He managed somehow to remove Officer Chiodi's service weapon and fire that weapon two times, striking Officer Gomez one time in his left foot, a graze wound."
It was at that point, Mr. Kelly said, that Mr. Hernandez sprung to action, pouncing on the weapon and pulling it from Mr. Idore. "He racked it, to make it safe," Mr. Kelly said. "He did an outstanding job."
New York City Police Officer Shot in Foot
By PERVAIZ SHALLWANI and JOSHUA DAWSEY — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The Wall Street Journal' / New York, NY
A New York City police officer was shot in the foot early Monday morning at Harlem Hospital when a handcuffed man being transported for a psychiatric evaluation grabbed a second officer's gun and fired two rounds, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Officer Fausto Gomez, 40 years old, was treated and released from the hospital for the non-life-threatening wound, a graze to the instep of his left foot, Mr. Kelly said.
The shooting occurred shortly after 5:30 a.m. near the entrance to the hospital's emergency room, police said. Officer Gomez and his partner Officer John Chiodi were taking a suspect, Guiteau Idore, into the hospital, Mr. Kelly said. Mr. Idore was handcuffed behind his back but was allegedly able to gain control of Officer Chiodi's gun and fire two rounds.
"This is a very unusual situation, and officers handled it appropriately in my opinion," Mr. Kelly said at a news conference outside the hospital.
Police arrested Mr. Guiteau Idore, 42, a Queens man who has a history of assault and domestic incidents, Mr. Kelly said. It was unclear what Mr. Idore was doing in Harlem.
Officer Gomez has been with the NYPD for seven years. Officer Chiodi has 18 years experience.
"Fortunately in this case it was not a serious wound, but a tiny degree of difference in the direction of the gun and it could have been," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The incident began at 5:10 a.m. when police received a 911 call to the corner of Lexington Avenue and 117th Street where Mr. Idore had allegedly been throwing bottles, Mr. Kelly said.
Officers Gomez and Chiodi responded in their squad car. Mr. Idore was handcuffed and placed in the back of an ambulance by Officer Gomez, who rode with the suspect to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, Mr. Kelly said.
Officer Chiodi followed the ambulance to the hospital in the marked patrol car, Mr. Kelly said.
"Upon arrival at the hospital, as Officer Gomez began to remove Idore from the ambulance, the suspect tried to flee," Mr. Kelly said.
With the officers on either side of Mr. Idore, the suspect went limp, Mr. Kelly said.
As officers escorted the hand-cuffed Mr. Idore up the ramp to emergency room, "he managed, somehow, to get his hands on Officer Chiodi's service weapon" and fire two shots, Mr. Kelly said.
Emergency medical technician Brendon Hernandez, who was with the officers, was able to take the gun away from Mr. Idore and rack it, to make it safe, Mr. Kelly said.
Mr. Kelly commended the EMT's quick thinking.
"I understand Mr. Hernandez has aspirations of becoming a New York City police officer." Mr. Kelly said. "He certainly demonstrated today that he has what it takes."
The commissioner said Mr. Hernandez would be contacted about his standing at a future job by day's end.
Mr. Idore was transported to Metropolitan Hospital Center in East Harlem for psychiatric evaluation before police determine what charges to file against him, Mr. Kelly said.
NYPD officer shot in foot outside hospital
By Unnamed Author(s) (The Associated Press) — Monday, June 10th, 2013; 9:32 a.m. EDT
NEW YORK — A police officer was struck in the foot Monday morning after a handcuffed man being escorted to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation grabbed another officer's gun and fired two rounds.
Officer Fausto Gomez was struck in the instep of his left foot. He was not seriously injured and was expected to be released from the hospital later Monday, authorities said. No one else was injured.
Police got a call at about 5:30 a.m. that a person was throwing bottles on the street in Harlem. Believing it was an assault in progress, arriving officers quickly discovered the man was alone and was emotionally disturbed, police said. They handcuffed Guiteau Idore, 42, at the scene and took him to Harlem Hospital in an ambulance for evaluation, police said. When they arrived, Idore tried to run from them, but the officers caught up to him. Gomez and a second officer, John Chiodi, were walking closely on either side of the suspect when Idore managed to grab the gun from Chiodi's holster, police said. He fired twice from behind his back, striking Gomez once, and the trio tumbled to the ground in a struggle.
A quick-thinking emergency medical technician who witnessed the incident grabbed the gun away from the suspect, who was still handcuffed, police said. Idore remains in custody. He was taken to a different hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and charges were pending. It was not clear if he had an attorney and an address for him could not immediately be located.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly visited Gomez in the hospital and said he was expected to recover fully. Gomez, 40, has been on the job for seven years, and Chiodi, 42, for 18 years.
The EMT, Brendan Hernandez, wants to be a police officer and Kelly spoke to him about joining the force.
"He demonstrated today that he has what it takes to be a police officer," Kelly said.
Police Officer Shot in Struggle With Suspect at Harlem Hospital
The wounded officer, a 7-year NYPD veteran assigned to the 25th precinct, is expected to make a full recovery
By Shimon Prokupecz and Lori Bordonaro (NBC New York) — Monday, June 10th, 2013; 9:39 a.m. EDT
A veteran NYPD officer was shot in the foot during a struggle with a handcuffed suspect who grabbed the cop's gun while being taken into Harlem Hospital Center early Monday, officials and witnesses said.
Mayor Bloomberg said officer Fausto Gomez, a seven-year NYPD veteran assigned to the 25th precinct, is expected to make a full recovery and has been treated and released from the Lenox Avenue hospital.
Gomez and his partner, John Chiodi, initially responded to a report of an assault in progress on Lexington Avenue shortly before 5 a.m. and, after determining the 42-year-old suspect was emotionally disturbed, they cuffed his hands behind his back, put him in an ambulance and brought him to the hospital for evaluation, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a news briefing.
When Gomez went to get the suspect out of the ambulance, Kelly said the man tried to run. The two officers grabbed onto the man and, with one on either side of him, escorted him up a ramp to the hospital entrance. Once there, the suspect began to struggle again. Despite having his hands cuffed behind his back, he managed to grab Chiodi's gun and fire two times, striking Gomez once in the foot, Kelly said.
An EMT managed to disarm the suspect, and no other injuries were reported, police said.
The suspect, identified as Guiteau Idore, was taken to another hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Police say Idore has an extensive arrest record, including for assault and domestic violence.
Twelve NYPD officers were shot in the line of duty last year. While Bloomberg said Gomez's graze wound thankfully was not too serious, he said the shooting should serve as a reminder about the risk police undertake each day to protect the city.
"They put their lives on the line to protect us every day, and we need to make sure that we do everything that we can to protect them," the mayor said. "Fortunately, this was not a serious wound, but a tiny fraction of a degree difference in the direction of the gun and it could've been."
Police: NYPD Officer Shot Outside Harlem Hospital
Kelly Says EMT Grabbed Gun From Suspect's Hand After Shooting
By Unnamed Author(s) (CBS News - New York) — Monday, June 10th, 2013; 10:15 a.m. EDT
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A police officer was injured in a shooting early Monday morning outside Harlem Hospital.
Officer Fausto Gomez was shot in his left foot as he and another officer were taking an emotionally disturbed person to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
When they arrived at the hospital, the suspect tried to run and a struggle between the suspect and the officers ensued, Kelly said.
With his hands cuffed behind him, Kelly said the suspect somehow managed to grab the gun from the other officer's holster and fired twice, hitting Gomez in the foot.
An emergency medical technician was able to grab the gun from the suspect's hand and the suspect was taken into custody, police said.
Kelly said the suspect has an extensive arrest history for assault and domestic violence incidents. He was taken to another hospital for an evaluation.
"This could have been an awful lot worse, but it still highlights the dangers that our police officers face every day — they have to deal with situations that are unpredictable and with people who are unpredictable," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Gomez is in good condition and is expected to be released from the hospital.
'One Police Plaza'
President Obama's Fairy Tales
By: Leonard Levitt – Monday, June 10th, 2013 'NYPD Confidential.Com'
(Op-Ed / Commentary)
How ironic [and convenient] for President Obama to cite the case of Colorado-based terrorist Najibullah Zazi to justify his eavesdropping on citizens by stockpiling their telephone logs and emails.
Until he revealed last week that the government was first alerted to Zazi's New York City subway bombing plot through an intercepted email with a Pakistan address, that information was apparently classified under "national security" — so secret that it could not be disclosed at the trial last November of Zazi's terrorist co-defendant, Adis Medunjanin.
As Medunjanin's attorney, Robert Gottlieb, put it Sunday: "I am certain as we speak that l was not aware of the connection between that initial contact, whether by email or another means, and this secret program that now has come out."
This week, to take the heat off him, it's suddenly okay for the President to disclose it to the world. So much for national security.
Now let's turn to the irony of Obama's Zazi disclosure.
Irony because the Zazi case provides an example of something other than how technology led to his capture.
Rather, it is that human failing nearly derailed it.
And Obama, who apparently has no qualms in addressing the importance of technology in fighting terrorism, has, at least in the Zazi case, shied away from addressing this human issue.
We have told this Zazi story before but it bears repeating -- over and over until President Obama or Mayor Michael Bloomberg or someone at the nation's highest level of law enforcement publicly addresses it so that it doesn't happen again.
As Obama described it last week, the intercepted email from Pakistan, in Sept.,2009, was traced to an email address in Aurora, Colorado.
This led the FBI to pursue Zazi as he drove across the country to New York City, where with two high school friends from Queens he planned to place bombs in the city's subways during the anniversary week of 9/ll.
The FBI monitored him so closely that, as the NY Times put it in reporting Obama's remarks: "What followed was a cross-country pursuit in which the police stopped Mr. Zazi on the George Washington Bridge, let him go, and after several false starts, arrested him in New York."
What actually occurred was far more complicated.
According to testimony at Medunjanin's trial, Port Authority police searched the trunk of Zazi's car and, for reasons never fully explained, did not discover the triggering chemical device necessary to assemble his bombs.
Instead, they allowed Zazi to proceed into New York, where the FBI, now joined by the NYPD, continued to track him.
Then, the trouble really started.
Apparently to take the lead in the investigation, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen, with the apparent approval of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, authorized detectives from the NYPD's Intelligence Division to contact an NYPD informant, Queens Imam Ahmad Wais Afzali.
On Sept. 10, they showed Afzali photographs of Zazi and his two conspirators.
The NYPD did not inform the FBI of their plan to contact Afzali. Nor did they inform the FBI after they contacted Afzali.
On Sept. 11th, Afzali, telephoned Zazi's father.
Mercifully, the FBI had placed a wiretap on the father's phone.
We now reprint a portion of a Justice Department affidavit of Sept. 20, 2009, that spells out what happened.
"On or about Sept. 11, 2009, pursuant to a legally-authorized electronic surveillance, FBI agents intercepted a telephone conversation between Individual A [Zazi] and Individual A's father. During the conversation, the father advised Individual A that the defendant Ahmad Wais Afzali called him and told him that "they" had showed Afzali's photographs of Individual A and others …"
On Sept. 12, Zazi cut short his trip to New York and flew back to Colorado. The FBI arrested him shortly afterwards.
Zazi and a third co-conspirator pleaded guilty. Medunjinan went to trial and was found guilty. Afzali was deported.
On Sept. 17, the NYPD disciplined a mid-level deputy inspector from the Intelligence Division, transferring him to the Trials Bureau, where his assignment was to prepare the schedules of the department's five police trial judges, an obvious demotion.
After the media — i.e., NYPD Confidential and the NY Times — suggested he had been made a scapegoat for the mistakes of Intel's higher-ups, he was transferred him again — this time to the position of commanding officer of the Highway Unit — a full inspector's position, suggesting a future promotion.
Although the NYPD's actions defied common sense and protocol, FBI Director Robert Mueller subsequently praised the NYPD in a misguided display of law enforcement unity.
That Christmas, Obama personally called Kelly at Police Plaza to congratulate him on Zazi's capture, a call that Kelly's spokesman, Paul Browne, trumpeted to the media.
No mention, at least publicly [and probably not privately], was made then of the NYPD's attempt to circumvent the FBI. Nor has any public explanation ever been offered.
The vetting of the full story continued last fall at Medunjinan's trial.
No mention was made of the NYPD's contacting the imam. Instead, Zazi testified that the car stop at the George Washington Bridge caused him to abort his plot.
Deputy Commissioner Browne then pointed out to reporters — [not this one] — that Zazi's version of events disproved the notion that the NYPD had acted inappropriately. [As though secretly contacting its own informant without notifying the FBI in a joint investigation is accepted procedure.]
Question that Browne has never answered: If the NYPD was as blameless as Browne suggested, why dump the deputy inspector?
Maybe Obama knows but his explanation remains classified.
Edited by Donald Forst
911 / NYPD Communications Div.
City Council Sets Hearing on Glitches in 911 System
Officials Raise Questions Following Lag in Ambulance Response
By LISA FLEISHER and PERVAIZ SHALLWANI — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The Wall Street Journal' / New York, NY
The New York City Council will hold a hearing next week on the city's emergency 911 system, after several recent glitches and a four-minute lag in sending an ambulance to assist a 4-year-old girl who was struck during a police pursuit last week.
The girl, Ariel Russo of the Bronx, died at a hospital Tuesday morning after a teenager allegedly fleeing police in his parents' sport-utility SUV careened onto the sidewalk at West 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, hitting the girl and her grandmother. Police called for an ambulance from the field but officials said it took four minutes for the request to be processed. New York Fire Department officials said the delay was caused by human error—a dispatcher missing a request—not by technical problems.
The delay in Ariel's case came a week after a new dispatch system used by the NYPD, called ICAD, was fully launched on May 29. That new system, part of the city's $2 billion system upgrade, crashed several times during its first few days, officials said.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn and several other mayoral candidates on Sunday said they wanted to know whether the new system was working properly and whether it contributed to the delay in getting help to Ariel. The hearing is scheduled for Monday.
"Obviously that's the first thing that pops into everybody's mind," Ms. Quinn said while marching in the Puerto Rican Day Parade. "911 is part of the foundation of our first-response network. It has to work, and it has to work all the time."
When the crash happened, an officer's request for an ambulance was routed through the new NYPD system to the FDNY's medical dispatch, which uses an older system, a mayoral spokesman said. FDNY spokesman Jim Long said the dispatcher in position to relay calls from the police to an ambulance didn't see the initial request. Then that dispatcher took a scheduled break, and a replacement dispatcher saw the call and sent the ambulance, he said.
"Strictly human error on this one," Mr. Long said.
The president of Local 2507, which represents dispatchers, said it wasn't the operator's fault. "She swears there was nothing on her screen" when she was relieved, union president Israel Miranda said. He said the city was passing the blame for the "shortcomings" of the new system.
Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, a Democrat running for mayor, said: "We still have to get down to the bottom of how it happened, and make sure it doesn't happen again."
Ariel's funeral was held Sunday evening at a funeral home in Rego Park, Queens. More than 200 people, including friends and family, gathered in the funeral home, many with tears in their eyes. Ariel's body was in a white closed casket. A bouquet of pink roses covered the casket, with a photo of her propped on top of the flowers.
Sofia Russo, the child's mother, was at times sobbing uncontrollably, while being consoled by those in attendance. She got out of her seat before the service ended and retreated to a private room with other family members.
The family declined to comment about the City Council looking into the emergency response to the crash. The driver of the SUV, Franklin Reyes, 17, of Manhattan, was charged with vehicular manslaughter, fleeing police and driving without a license. He didn't enter a plea. His attorney said police didn't have to chase him, but police officials have defended the chase, saying Mr. Reyes was driving recklessly.
43 Pct. P.O. Nicholas Finelli
Doctors: NYPD officer Nicholas Finelli's death from cancer related to time spent at Ground Zero after 9/11 attacks
By Unnamed Author(s) (News 12 Hudson Valley) — Sunday, June 9th, 2013; 10:47 p.m. EDT
HAWTHORNE - Doctors say that the death of NYPD officer, Nicholas Finelli, is related to the time he spent at Ground Zero following the World Trade Center attack on 9/11.
Finelli died Saturday night, after a long battle with esophageal cancer.
After the World Trade Center attack, Finelli spent three months at Ground Zero attempting to recover survivors. His wife, Lucy, says Finelli got cancer from the time he spent there.
Nicholas Finelli is survived by his wife, two sons, mother, two brothers and his step-grandson. A wake will be held for Finelli Tuesday and he will be buried in Westchester on Wednesday.
NOTE: Nick Finelli's wake will be held at Hawthorne Funeral Home On Tuesday June 11, 2013 from 2-4 PM & 6-9 PM.
The address is 21 Stevens Ave, Hawthorne NY
The funeral is at Holy Rosary Church. Mass At 10:00 a.m. Burial at Gate Of Heaven Cemetery
Puerto Rican Day Festivities
Cop breaks leg in collision during Puerto Rican Day parade: officials
By NATASHA VELEZ and MATT McNULTY — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The New York Post'
An police officer on a motorcycle broke his leg after he collided with a luxury car today during the Puerto Rican Day parade, cops said.
The white BMW was headed north on Park Avenue near 84 Street when had a run with the NYPD cop at around 11:45 a.m., cops said.
"It's really minor," the female driver told The Post. "We have nothing else to say about it."
The cop was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell and is expected to make a full recovery, cops said.
The driver of the vehicle was not charged.
There were 43 arrests at yesterday's parade. All were misdemeanor charges from criminal possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct, cops said.
Legal Guns en Route to New York Are Cause for Arrest Before Flight Home
By MICHAEL WILSON — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The New York Times'
A subset of visitors to New York City looks, on the surface, just like the rest. Some are high profile, like the boxer this year, and the football player, and the Tea Party leader from California. They are joined by the anonymous: the military wife from Minnesota, and the hazardous waste expert. There was a minister, and a surgeon, and someone in pest control.
What sets them apart is what each brings along on a visit to the city. A handgun. The guns are legally owned, with the home state permits all in order. The visitors have locked the gun in a box and checked it at the local airport, as they were told to do by the airline. But for these visitors, the trip to New York will almost certainly end in handcuffs and felony weapons charges, and their flights home will leave without them.
"They're so used to carrying it," said Dennis B. Coppin, a lawyer who has represented defendants in airport gun arrests. He described clients who don't realize that the laws of the state they are leaving do not apply in the state where they are headed. They had tried to do the right thing.
"They contact the airline and say, 'I want to bring my gun with me. How do I do this?' " said Martin D. Kane, a criminal defense lawyer in Queens. The travelers are told that the gun must be packed, unloaded, into a preapproved lockbox.
The visitor arrives in New York and retrieves the gun. No problem there. They see the city, whether armed or with the gun locked away at the hotel, without incident.
Trouble arrives upon their return to La Guardia Airport or Kennedy Airport to fly home. The visitors repeat the procedure practiced at their home airport, presenting the firearm to a gate agent to be checked. Only this time, the gate agent calls police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the airports. The gun owners are then placed under arrest.
There were 42 arrests for gun possession in the two airports in 2012, according to the Queens district attorney's office. Some charges of criminal possession of a weapon bring minimum sentences of three and a half years in prison. Like many arrested in New York, the gun owners can wait a day or more behind bars for a hearing before a judge.
"They're locked up the same as anybody else on any other felony charge," Mr. Kane said. "People's lives are really, really disrupted, as you can imagine." Mr. Kane has represented so many of these tourists that he has posted a greeting to prospective new clients on his Web site.
"When you came to the airport to return home and followed the same approved procedure, all hell broke loose," he writes. "You were arrested, spent several hours or overnight in custody, appeared before a judge where the D.A. asked for humongous bail, and you were finally released and told to come back with a lawyer. Now you're scared and fighting mad at the same time. What's going on?"
With the exception of high-profile defendants, most of those arrested remain anonymous after they make a plea deal, as they often do, and their records are sealed. But a defendant in a similar case, Bobby Glen Jackson, provided the fish-out-of-water gun owners' point of view. He said he did not think twice about bringing his pistol to New York City from North Carolina in April. When he went to visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and realized guns were forbidden, he hid his under a chair cushion in a hotel lobby, prompting a huge police response and his arrest.
"If I knew that, I never would have gone up there with a handgun. I don't disrespect other people's laws," he said later. "Down South, anybody can carry a firearm anytime they want to," he said. "I'm just an old country boy. I've always had guns."
On March 28, Robert Guerrero, a welterweight boxer, approached a Delta agent at Kennedy shortly before 7 a.m. and declared he had a firearm in his luggage that he wanted to check, a .40-caliber handgun, which he was bringing to Las Vegas to shoot target practice on a television show. He was arrested.
"I hope that Mr. Guerrero fights better than he thinks," said the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, later that day.
A month earlier, a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Da'Quan Bowers, was arrested at LaGuardia after trying to check his own handgun. And in 2011, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, a coalition of Tea Party groups, was arrested after presenting his lockbox containing his Glock pistol to an airline agent at La Guardia. In all three cases, the guns were legally owned.
The military wife arrested in March, Beth Arneson Ferrizzi, had flown with her 6-year-old daughter from Minnesota to La Guardia, where they were to reunite with her husband, who had been stationed overseas. Her husband had asked her to bring the gun along for a visit to the rough Philadelphia neighborhood where he was raised.
After their visit, she tried checking the gun in at La Guardia for the return flight home on March 26 and was arrested.
"I do my best to set a good example for my daughter and to be a law-abiding citizen," she wrote on a blog. "I believe that I am being overcharged for my lack of knowledge. I was misinformed."
Delta and other airlines, in their online instructions regarding handguns, suggest travelers review the laws of the state they are visiting before bringing a gun.
"It's like a disclaimer," Mr. Kane said.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Jack Ryan said visitors should know better. "New York gun laws are not exactly a secret," he said. "If you were on Mars and you wanted to know who had strict gun laws, I think most people would know they're pretty strict." Nonetheless, there is lenience in these sorts of cases.
In a vast majority of cases like the ones described above, the defendant is allowed to plead guilty to a far lesser charge, a violation, and pay a fine. Mr. Bowers, the football player, paid less than $400 in fines, according to USA Today, and his case was later sealed. Mr. Guerrero, the boxer, was ordered to serve 50 hours of community service and was fined $250.
In a statement that day, he said, "Lesson learned."
There is one thing the defendants do not get back: their guns. Those are confiscated and destroyed.
Weiner likes Ray Kelly, but not as police commissioner
By Azi Paybarah (By Azi Paybarah) — Monday, June 10th, 2013; 8:00 a.m. EDT
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, again, went after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for saying she would try to keep Ray Kelly on in his role as commissioner of the New York Police Department, in what was the most aggressive attack of yesterday's mayoral forum in Astoria, hosted by Make the Road New York.
Last month, de Blasio released a video reminding voters that Quinn wants to keep Kelly.
In an interview with Steve Scott of WCBS, Anthony Weiner was asked whether he, like Quinn, would seek to retain Kelly as police commissioner. Weiner said no, but added, "I like Ray Kelly and I think he's a talented guy. So if he's willing to take another job in my administration, I might offer it to him."
Weiner did not mention that admiration of Kelly when he spoke to the National Action Network on Saturday, where he said the NYPD's current stop-and-frisk tactic was being used "as a racial tool."
License, registration and cell phone: Bill would let N.J. cops search phones after crashes
By Ryan Hutchins and Matt Friedman — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The Newark Star-Ledger' / Newark, NJ
TRENTON — License, registration and cell phone, please.
Police officers across New Jersey could be saying that to motorists at the scenes of car crashes if new legislation introduced in the state Senate becomes law.
The measure would allow cops — without a warrant — to thumb through a cell phone to determine if a driver was talking or texting when an accident occurred. It requires officers to have "reasonable grounds" to believe the law was broken.
Supporters say it could be an important tool for cops investigating crashes in a state where distracted driving causes lots of accidents and driving while using hand-held cell phones is illegal.
Opponents say it could touch off a contentious legal debate over whether giving officers such access violates a motorist's right to privacy or protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
There were 1,840 handheld cell phone-related crashes in New Jersey in 2011, resulting in 807 injuries and six deaths, according to the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety,
"Think about it: The chances of the cop witnessing the accident are slim to none," said the bill's sponsor, state Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean), the bill's sponsor, who has worked as a county and municipal prosecutor. "He's dispatched, and by the time he gets there — unless they're unconscious and the phone is in their hands, or some passenger says they were on the phone — then he's got to do what? Subpoena the service to see if the phone was actively used or not?"
The measure is troubling to the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, which said it is "likely susceptible to a constitutional challenge."
"This bill is problematic because it infringes on the privacy rights of citizens," said Alexander Shalom, the ACLU's state policy counsel. "Our state and federal constitutions generally require probable cause before authorizing a search, particularly when it comes to areas that contain highly personal information such as cell phones."
Steve Carrellas, New Jersey representative of the National Motorists Association, said he doubts the bill would solve any problems and whether it would be implemented fairly.
"Here's the bottom line: If you went all through what the bill is supposedly allowing, you still can't determine if the person with the phone actually had a distraction that contributed to a crash," he said.
The bill has the support of police officers, according to Ken Drost, a sergeant in South Brunswick and the president of the Middlesex County Traffic Officers Association. He said officers do apply for warrants to search phones and can also simply ask for consent.
"It's one of the questions you ask them: 'Were you on your cell phone at the time of the crash?' And, of course, they say 'no,' " he said. "Without the phone you really can't tell."
If enacted, the measure would be at the center of the national debate over whether allowing an officer to access a phone is an invasion of privacy, said Jenny Carroll, an associate professor at Seton Hall Law school and an expert in criminal procedure and evidence.
"There's no question, the Supreme Court, at some point, is going to have to weigh in on this issue," she said.
Law enforcement officials have argued that some phones delete text messages automatically, Carroll said. That's why, she said, officers would want to look through a phone immediately.
Holzapfel said his intent is for the bill to allow officers to check text messages. They would be required to return the phone once they've reviewed the data.
Experts say the courts have weighed in over whether confiscating a phone without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment search and seizure protections.
"All the Fourth Amendment requires is that an officer have probable cause before seizing evidence of a crime," said George Thomas, a professor at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. That's why an officer can confiscate an open bottle of liquor without asking a judge's permission, he said.
Holzapfel said he knows the legislation could face a legal challenge.
"To me, is it any different from an open bottle of liquor?" he said. "It may be an issue. But keep in mind that operating a vehicle is a privilege, not a right."
New Jersey police officer charged in fatal Maryland road-rage shooting
Joseph Walker, 40, an officer with the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, is accused of killing 36-year-old Joseph Harvey Jr. Saturday night. The men were driving south of Baltimore when the confrontation occurred, state police said. Walker is being held on $1 million bond.
By Erik Ortiz — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The New York Daily News'
A New Jersey police officer is being held on $1 million bond after allegedly killing another driver in a suspected road-rage shooting in Maryland.
Joseph Walker, a 40-year-old officer with the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, was off duty Saturday night when he opened fire on another driver on the shoulder of Route 3, south of Baltimore, according to Maryland State Police.
The victim — Joseph Harvey Jr., 36, of Halethorpe, Md. — was pronounced dead at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, police said in a news release.
Walker, a father of three, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. He's expected to appear at a bail review hearing Monday.
"We are aware of the fatal shooting incident involving one of our detectives, who was off-duty and traveling in Maryland with his wife and children," Hudson County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Gene Rubino said in a statement Sunday.
Police were investigating the cause of the confrontation, which began after Harvey and his passenger entered Route 3 and came into contact with Walker and his family around 8:30 p.m..
The men pulled onto the shoulder near the I-97 off-ramp when Harvey, driving a green Honda Accord, got out and walked toward Walker's gold Kia minivan.
Walker stepped out of his car, then fired a .45-caliber Glock pistol at Harvey multiple times, police said. His body was later found with three gunshot wounds, an autopsy revealed.
Harvey's passenger was uninjured in the shooting.
Walker, meanwhile, was also taken to the hospital after suffering chest pains, police said. He remains in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center.
His neighbors in the Philadelphia suburb of Eastampton, N.J., described the veteran officer as a "family man" who deserves the "benefit of the doubt," the Burlington County Times reported.
"We have a block party every year. He's always been there," neighbor Wayne Stevenson told the newspaper.
Friend Tom Mills said Walker is considered someone to trust in the community.
"The guy has a great outlook, very professional, very friendly," Mills told ABC affiliate WPVI-TV. "I mean, as a professional, the man seems as if he knows his job. I mean, he knows the law."
Maryland State Police is asking people who may have witnessed the incident to call 410-761-5130.
U.S.A. (Police Handling of the Mentally Ill a/k/a Violent Psychos)
Houston's solution to mental health system problems offers a case study for Milwaukee
By Meg Kissinger — Sunday, June 9th, 2013; 'The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' / Milwaukee, WI
Houston — Just five years ago Houston faced many of the same challenges that continue to vex Milwaukee County's mental health system.
Like Wisconsin, Texas is one of a handful of states where only police — and not doctors or health care professionals — can detain a patient in an emergency.
Like Milwaukee, Houston saw far too many people with severe mental illness cycling in and out of emergency care, being hauled in for treatment in handcuffs and shackles after reaching the depths of their disease.
Then tragedy forced the nation's fourth largest city to find a better way.
And it started with the police.
By comparison, Milwaukee County's latest approach has a panel of advocates and administrators talking to each other about how to change the county's defective system — which still focuses less on continual care and more on emergency psychiatric treatment than any in the nation, despite 20 years of scandals, investigations and promises of reform.
Not one of the 32 members of the Mental Health Redesign Team is a police officer or sheriff's deputy — the people responsible for determining whether to bring a patient into the psychiatric emergency room.
If Milwaukee really wants to improve this time around, it would do well to study some of the best practices found in Houston.
Since developing their mental health unit — now a full division — Houston police have dramatically reduced the number of people with mental illness who are detained against their will. They've helped get more than 200 homeless people with severe mental illness off the streets in the past three years.
And they are spending less money for these better results.
Division of mental health
Houston is the first police department in the nation to devote an entire division to mental health. The department has five programs aimed at helping people in psychiatric crisis avoid arrest — including a homeless outreach team, a team dedicated to identifying chronic consumers and a team of 10 officers who are paired with mental health counselors to go out on calls for help.
Since 2008, the department has cut the number of its mental illness emergency contacts in half.
Houston's Chronic Consumer Stabilization Unit is especially instructive for Milwaukee as it focuses on ways to reduce emergency care.
When launching that program in 2009, Houston police reviewed all reports involving people with mental illness. They found that more than 200 people in mental health crises had repeated interactions with police officers since 2006, the year the department began compiling the data.
They then narrowed that list down to those who had been taken in on emergency detentions four or more times — a total of 57 "chronic consumers."
Two caseworkers were assigned to the 57. Some could not be found; others were in jail, prison or hospitals. They located 30 people and got them help.
In the six months before the pilot program began, those 30 people had been named in 194 offense reports and 165 emergency psychiatric detention orders.
"This is a total of 359 time-consuming events which averages close to one hour of work per officer per event," a department report on the program noted.
After intense intervention by the two case managers, the same 30 individuals were reported to have been involuntarily committed by officers 39 times in the following six months — a decrease of 76.4%. They were involved in 65 police offense reports — a 66.5% decrease.
Police estimate they saved 768 patrol manpower hours and 194 investigative hours on those 30 people alone. That doesn't count the cost in time, money and resources of emergency room care, hospitalizations, lawyers and court costs.
One man had been hospitalized 17 times in a six-month span before the program. He had 23 contacts with police and was incarcerated five times. The total cost to police alone: $145,938.
In the first six months he was in the program, he was hospitalized twice, had two police contacts and was not incarcerated. The total police cost: $1,764.
Houston has seen a 30% drop in the number of people taken to its county's psychiatric emergency room and a 37% reduction in patients admitted to its public psychiatric hospital.
Houston's population of 2.1 million is more than twice that of Milwaukee County, yet in 2011 it had about 28% of the number of emergency detentions — 2,259 in Houston, to 8,019 in Milwaukee County.
"We are very proud of what we've been able to do so far," said Mike Pate, who heads the Houston department's Chronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative.
Roots of reform
Houston's decision to focus on mental illness began in earnest in 2007 after two people with schizophrenia were shot and killed by police two months apart.
In the first case, a 42-year-old woman had gone to a neighborhood police station with a knife, demanding to be shot. She was killed when she lunged at an officer.
Two months later, police killed a 39-year-old man who had been refused admission at the public psychiatric hospital after doctors determined he did not meet the standard of being an imminent danger to himself or others.
Police Chief Charles McClelland ordered all officers to undergo training to identify signs and symptoms of mental illness.
In addition, Houston dispatchers have been trained to ask two questions at every call:
Does this involve someone with a mental illness?
Is anyone in danger of being harmed?
The first step: Find out if the person police have been called about has a mental health history.
"If you are going to help people, you need to know who they are," said Steve Wick, a sergeant in the Division of Mental Health.
Wick and his partner, Jaime Giraldo, keep a bulletin board with the pictures of people they meet on streets and under bridges. They call them by their nicknames, like Spider and Momma D and Sergeant Major.
In two years, these two police officers have found homes for 243 people who were sick, homeless and not getting better.
"Most have stayed off the streets, but some come back," said Wick. "You can only help people as much as they will let you."
Sgt. Patrick Plourde spends big chunks of his day not combing the alleys of Houston but diving through data on his computer screen. He developed a program that allows police to see if a person has a psychiatric history and previous contacts with police.
"You can't identify the sickest people without looking at the numbers," Plourde said.
He reviews 1,200 reports a month of people who have come into contact with police.
"They used to sit untouched," Plourde said of the reports.
He and his staff investigate firearms sales to make sure people who have been committed do not buy guns; they check credentials of group homes and adult protective service workers.
Plourde stood last week in front of a screen of charts he had assembled to train officers how to find people who suffer from mental illness so they can better respond to their needs.
"It's not a crime to be mentally ill," Plourde said. "We don't have to criminalize them."
Officers in 10 crisis intervention response teams are paired with psychological counselors with master's degrees. They respond together to calls involving people with mental illness.
Last Tuesday, a reporter and photographer were allowed to go with Plourde as he responded to the scene of a man in crisis.
Glancing at his computer screen, Plourde could see that the man, 26, had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He had been hospitalized in March at the county's 250-bed psychiatric hospital.
The man's mother told police that he had stopped taking his medication and was extremely agitated. He would not let her leave that morning as she was trying to get to work.
An officer and counselor persuaded the man to go with them to the county's psychiatric emergency room, known as the Neuropsychiatric Crisis Center.
Before the department began focusing on improving its mental health procedures, such trips were rarely voluntary and typically took between four and five hours, as police filled out cumbersome paperwork, Plourde said. Police did not have working relationships with hospital intake workers.
"Now, we can do them in about 15 to 20 minutes," he said. The form police officers fill out requesting that a patient be detained has been streamlined from seven pages to one.
Police in Houston's Mental Health Division share office space with the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County, a quasi-private mental health agency that contracts to provide services.
"There was a time not so long ago that police officers didn't think it was their job to serve people with mental illness," Plourde said.
Nor did mental health workers see officers as partners.
"Now, we're all about collaboration," said Ann McLeod, a mental health counselor who works with Pate and Plourde. "It doesn't happen overnight, but it can happen."
Last summer three Milwaukee police officers went to Houston to learn more effective ways for police and mental health counselors to collaborate.
"It's exciting to see how working together can help," said Karen Dubis, one of the officers.
Dubis heads Milwaukee's homeless outreach team, a part-time assignment for officers who have other duties. She drafted a proposal when she got back last summer for Milwaukee police to develop its own mental health unit after seeing the success of Houston's.
She's still waiting for an answer.
Last year, Milwaukee County law enforcement officers brought patients to the county's psychiatric emergency room against their will more than 7,200 times. Add in people who go voluntarily and more than 13,000 patients a year are treated for psychiatric emergencies. A Journal Sentinel investigation found one man who was detained 10 times in one month. One woman was admitted 196 times in six years.
Each emergency detention costs a minimum of $150 in police time, said Inspector Carianne Yerkes, who heads the Milwaukee Police Department's program training officers to deal with people who suffer from mental illness.
She estimates the department handles about 5,000 cases a year, with sheriff's deputies and others handling the rest. If Milwaukee could do what Houston did, and cut the amount of police time in half, the department would save more than $350,000.
Yerkes said that any task force seeking to reduce emergency psychiatric crises in the Milwaukee area should include law enforcement members.
"We are the first responders," she said. "So, we probably should be at the table more."
On June 1, Chad Stiles became the first Milwaukee police officer to join the county's mobile crisis team. He has been paired with a psychologist and social worker to go out to the scene of a person in a psychiatric emergency.
"It's a start," Yerkes said.
But that's all it is.
In Houston, all new officers are required to take a 40-hour course on Crisis Intervention Training — a curriculum developed by a Memphis police officer that is now widely practiced worldwide.
Just one in five Milwaukee officers is trained in CIT.
Often that means officers without training or counselor partners are the only ones available when a call comes in.
Last July, dispatchers did not alert officers that John Kriewaldt, 30, had mental illness and mental retardation when they sent two officers to a group home where he was staying overnight. No officers with mental illness training were available to take the call.
Kriewaldt, who had poor communication skills and could speak only in short sentences, struggled with police, who misunderstood him and thought he lived at the group home. Kriewaldt was begging to be taken home to his mother. He banged his head repeatedly in the back of the police car, was wrestled to the ground and eventually stopped breathing. Paramedics restored his breathing and heartbeat, but he died two days later.
An autopsy found that he was suffering from pneumonia, which the county medical examiner said probably led to the angry outburst that had led to the police call.
No one knows the differences between Milwaukee and Houston's emergency mental health care systems better than Daryl Knox.
Knox is medical director for the psychiatric emergency program for Mental Health Mental Retardation Agency of Harris County, the agency that provides public mental health services. Before coming to Houston, Knox was medical director of Milwaukee County's psychiatric emergency room.
He left Milwaukee, he said, because he couldn't stand the various dysfunctional relationships that prevented cooperation between the County Mental Health Complex, law enforcement officers and public defenders. Too many put their own agendas before helping sick people.
"There is much less mistrust here," Knox said. "Milwaukee is mired in an awful lot of politics."
Knox offered this advice for his hometown: Don't overlook the importance of cooperation between police and mental health workers.
"You can fight it, or you can resolve to figure it out," he said. "It's a lot better for everyone if you work together."
Alleged Law Enforcement Corruption: F.B.I. Boston / Massachusetts State Police
Bulger Trial Could Shed Light On Shameful Period For FBI
By ERIK LARSON and JANELLE LAWRENCE (Bloomberg News) — Sunday, June 9th, 2013 'The Hartford Courant' / Hartford, CT
BOSTON — Almost two decades after a corrupt FBI agent helped him avoid capture, reputed crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger is facing a trial starting this week that may shed new light on a shameful period for the FBI.
Bulger, 83, is accused of 19 murders and widespread racketeering while he led an Irish-American organized crime gang in South Boston from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Prosecutors say Bulger was an FBI informant during most of that time, and at least three agents were corrupted by his alleged schemes.
He had a connection to Connecticut through what authorities say was a murderous but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to take over the World Jai Alai company. World Jai Alai once operated venues called frontons in Hartford and south Florida where customers could bet on the sport.
Bulger and his partners — including two former FBI agents — tried to penetrate the pari-mutuel gambling industry, resulting in the 1981 shooting deaths of World Jai Alai owner Roger Wheeler in Tulsa and former World Jai Alai President John B. Callahan in Miami in 1982.
Before his death, Wheeler told investigators in Connecticut, who were looking into jai alai gambling irregularities, that New England mobsters were trying to take over his jai alai fronton in Hartford. He was dead within months.
The Connecticut investigators decided to fly to Miami in an effort to obtain information from Callahan.
"We fly to Miami to interview Callahan," former Connecticut Chief State's Attorney Austin J. McGuigan once told the Courant. "As we are landing, the Miami police are pulling Callahan's body out of the trunk of his Cadillac in an airport parking lot."
In 2008, former Boston FBI Special Agent John Connolly, who "handled" Bulger when he was an informant, was convicted of participating in Callahan's murder by tipping Bulger that Connecticut investigators were looking for Callahan. Another Boston agent, H. Paul Rico, died in a Tulsa jail before he could be tried for setting up Wheeler's murder for the Bulger gang.
Bulger was captured in 2011 after 16 years on the run, and may spend the rest of his life in prison if he's found guilty. U.S. District Judge Denise Casper, who is overseeing the trial, started selecting a jury Tuesday in Boston, with opening statements scheduled for June 10.
Bulger, who grew up in the predominantly Irish-Catholic housing projects of South Boston, became involved in serious crimes at a young age, including rape, and spent three years in the Alcatraz federal prison, on an island in San Francisco Bay, for bank robbery before rising to dominate much of Boston's criminal underworld, the FBI has said. His list of alleged victims includes gangsters who crossed him and two young women who were missing for years before their bodies were unearthed in secret mob graves.
"This is a very violent and very dangerous guy who corrupted certain people within the FBI and used those relationships to his advantage," Mark Pearlstein, a criminal defense lawyer who was a prosecutor in Boston from 1989 to 2000, said in a phone interview.
Families of victims say federal agents wrongfully protected Bulger from local and state authorities for years, letting him kill and steal in exchange for information about a bigger FBI target that he was associated with, the Patriarca Family organized crime group.
The symbiotic relationship came to an end when Bulger vanished in 1994, tipped off about impending charges. The warning had come from Connolly, who's now serving a total of 50 years in prison for crimes linked to Bulger, including murder.
Bulger eventually shared a space on the FBI's most-wanted list alongside Osama bin Laden. The agency described Bulger as one of its "most notorious fugitives," known for infiltrating the FBI and "sowing seeds of public distrust in law enforcement that remain in South Boston to this day."
Bulger's capture in Santa Monica, Calif., followed an advertising blitz by U.S. investigators seeking tips. The FBI had offered a $2 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who had gone into hiding with him, was also arrested. In March 2012, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive and was sentenced to eight years in a federal prison.
Security at the courthouse will be tight during Bulger's trial, and hundreds of people are expected to vie for seats in the courtroom. Bulger's family members will have five reserved seats, according to court officials.
Bulger's brother William, the former longtime president of the state senate, was forced out as president of the University of Massachusetts in 2003, after he admitted he spoke to his fugitive brother in the 1990s and didn't help law enforcement capture him.
Whitey Bulger, who denies he was an FBI informant, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and claims he struck an immunity deal with the Justice Department years ago that protects him from prosecution. His lawyer, J.W. Carney, hasn't explained why Bulger would have an immunity deal if he wasn't an informant.
The government said in court filings that Bulger's immunity deal is a fantasy, and that no official can confer what amounts to "a license to kill." Casper ruled on May 2 that Bulger's lawyers can't tell the jury about the alleged immunity.
Prosecutors are calling about 70 witnesses to testify against Bulger, including several of his closest associates who were captured after he fled. They include his longtime partners Stephen Flemmi and Kevin Weeks, and gunman John Martorano, who admitted he killed 20 people, sometimes on Bulger's orders.
The defense is calling about 30 witnesses, including Richard Stearns, the judge who was removed from Bulger's case by a federal appeals court after Bulger complained he might be biased because he was once a top prosecutor in Boston. FBI Director Robert Mueller, who will leave in September after 12 years on the job, was also called as a witness.
The trial may unearth new information about the extent of the FBI's links to Bulger when he was loose on the streets of Boston, according to Pearlstein.
The trial will be a relief for other law enforcement in Boston whose past efforts to bring Bulger to justice were thwarted by corruption, said Thomas Peisch, a former Boston prosecutor who's now a white-collar criminal defense lawyer.
Bulger's defense team will seek to undermine the U.S. case by portraying their witnesses as "unsavory characters" who are willing say anything to get a deal, according to Pearlstein.
Bulger's defense "will lacerate them on cross-examination," Pearlstein said. "Some will be murderers or people who were involved in the very crimes that Bulger stands accused of committing."
Mike Kendall, who as a Boston prosecutor for eight years helped generate early evidence for the case and later represented the family of one of the murder victims, said the trial could be especially embarrassing for the FBI if Bulger decides to take the stand.
Among the witnesses against Bulger is Patricia Donahue, whose husband Michael, 32, was a bystander allegedly gunned down by Bulger during a 1982 hit on a former gang associate, Brian Halloran. Prosecutors allege that Halloran was targeted because he'd agreed to become an informant against Bulger.
Tom Donahue, who was 8 years old when his father was killed, said his family still doesn't have a full account of the murder and believes Bulger may have had an accomplice whom the government decided not to prosecute as part of a plea agreement.
"These guys with their sweet deals they got were able to pick and choose who they rat on, which is pretty disgusting," Donahue said.
A federal judge found the FBI responsible for Donahue's and Halloran's deaths and awarded the families $8.5 million, though an appeals court threw out the award on the grounds the claim was filed too late.
Prosecutors say Bulger strangled Debra Davis, 26, a former girlfriend of Flemmi, in 1981 when she tried to leave Flemmi. He's also accused of killing Deborah Hussey, 26, who was Flemmi's stepdaughter, in 1985 when she accused Flemmi of sexual abuse.
Stephen Rakes, a former South Boston liquor store owner, is another prosecution witness. Rakes said he's been waiting for justice ever since the night in 1984 when Bulger allegedly forced him at gunpoint to sell his store to him for a bag of cash. Rakes' $120 million lawsuit against the FBI, which accused the agency of ignoring the extortion and protecting Bulger, was thrown out by a judge in 2005, because it was filed too late.
"The best revenge is getting on the stand and looking him in the eyes," Rakes said in an interview inside Boston's federal courthouse on May 22. "It's going to be a great day."
Bulger's trial is also the last chance at justice for the family of Wheeler, the World Jai Alai gambling magnate who was killed in the parking lot of a Tulsa country club. A lawsuit by the Wheeler family against the FBI seeking $850 million in damages was thrown out in 2003 after a judge ruled it was filed too late.
Connolly, who grew up in the same housing project as Bulger, was convicted in 2002 on federal racketeering charges and again in 2008 on state charges for his role in the 1982 slaying of Callahan.
John Morris, Connolly's supervisor at the agency, was also implicated. He got immunity from prosecution by admitting he accepted cash from Bulger in exchange for protecting him. Morris agreed to testify against Connolly and will also testify against Bulger, court records show.
Another former FBI agent, H. Paul Rico, who helped develop Bulger as an informant, was charged in 2003 with helping him carry out another murder in 1981 in Oklahoma. Rico died in prison in 2004 while awaiting trial. His former lawyer, William Cagney III, is listed as a government witness.
In 1999, then-Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Special Prosecutor John Durham to investigate wrongdoing involving the FBI's ties with Bulger. While the probe led to Connolly's conviction, the Justice Department never made the report public.
At the time of the report, Durham said the statute of limitations prevented authorities from filing additional charges against any other law enforcement personnel.
Flemmi, one of Bulger's former associates, avoided a federal death penalty by pleading guilty in 2004 to 10 murders and is serving a life sentence. Federal courts threw out an attempt by Flemmi to claim immunity as an informant.
Weeks, who turned against Bulger in 1999 after learning he'd been an FBI informant, became a key witness against Connolly and led investigators to the hidden graves of eight people.
Martorano, the hit man, admitted to killing 20 people from the 1960s to 1982 under a controversial plea agreement. He served 12 years and was released in 2007.
Courant reporter Edmund H. Mahony contributed to this story.
Whitey' Bulger's lawyers ask for trial delay, accusing State Police of 'cover up' for hitman turned cooperating witness
By Milton J. Valencia, Shelley Murphy and John R. Ellement — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The Boston Globe' / Boston, MA
Furious lawyers for James "Whitey" Bulger today demanded that opening statements, now set for Wednesday, be put on hold so they can investigate allegations that State Police protected confessed hitman John Martorano from being prosecuted for crimes committed after 2007.
In a nine-page motion filed in US District Court today, Bulger's attorneys accused US Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office of hiding exculpatory information and also attacked the Massachusetts State Police for ignoring allegations from one of its own troopers that Martorano had resumed his criminal ways.
"The defense moves that the Court end the government's cover-up of hiding information implicating their star witness in ongoing criminal activity and the steps taken by his handlers to protect him,'' Bulger's lawyers, J.W. Carney Jr. and Henry Brennan wrote today.
According to the Bulger attorneys, State Police Detective Lieutenant Stephen P. Johnson has been Martorano's "handler'' since the confessed killer of 20 people agreed to cooperate against Bulger and corrupt FBI agents in return for a reduced sentence.
Martorano was a Bulger associate who began cooperating with the government in 1998, after learning that his longtime associates and fellow Winter Hill gang members — Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi — were FBI informants. Bulger has denied he was an informant.
Martorano was freed from prison in 2007, and the defense claimed since then that another, unidentified trooper allegedly learned that Matorano was engaging in criminal activity since his release, tried to start a new investigation into him, but was blocked by Johnson.
At a hearing on the issue on Friday, Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak defended Johnson and declared that the trooper making the allegations went "off the deep end'' and made allegations that federal and state investigators later determined baseless.
But Bulger's lawyers called the trooper "highly regarded'' and "seasoned'' who has been vilified by law enforcement to protect Matarono and the case against Bulger. They also quoted Dana Pullman, the president of the troopers' union, the State Police Association of Massachusetts, as speaking in support of the unidentified trooper.
"These inflammatory comments were subsequently described by the president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts as a 'large misstatement' and a 'mischaracterization,' " the Bulger lawyers wrote.
"This eleventh hour revelation creates an unfair prejudice to the defense. In consequence to the government's conduct the defense moves that the Court complete jury empanelment and then stay opening statements in this case until the government has given the defense the requested materials and the defense has had the opportunity to review and then conduct its own investigation into these troubling allegations,'' the Bulger lawyers wrote.
In a brief two-page response filled with disdain towards Bulger and the unidentified trooper, federal prosecutors urged US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to reject the defense idea and continue with both jury selection and the opening statements.
"Consistent with his attempts to pretend he was immunized and to pretend he was not an informant, Bulger now pretends he has 'discovered' some shocking discovery violation,'' Assistant US Attorney Brian T. Kelly wrote.
He added: "The anonymous allegations against a witness (John Martorano) who has already admitted participating in multiple murders, have been thoroughly debunked after an extensive investigation. The anonymous letter writer, who praised himself profusely in the letter, turned out to be a disgruntled [State Police] trooper who falsely accused another [State Police] trooper of ignoring the allegations against Martorano.''
Kelly also insisted there was no cover-up and the information was given to Bulger's lawyers more than a month ago.
Today, Casper and the lawyers are continuing their search for 18 people who can sit as jurors in the trial of the 83-year-old Bulger, who faces a 32-count federal indictment alleging that he participated in 19 murders at a time when he was an informant for the FBI.
Bulger, who insists he was not an informant, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held without bail. Today, he is in court wearing a hunter green shirt, jeans and glasses.
This morning, Casper ruled that Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr can cover the trial.
Chicago's gun registry on the ropes
State concealed carry legislation would invalidate maligned database
By John Byrne — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The Chicago Tribune' / Chicago, IL
Chicago's 3-year-old gun registry could go away as part of the concealed carry law state lawmakers recently passed, but few are publicly mourning the loss of a database once heralded as a key part of the city's gun control laws.
The registry, put in place by then-Mayor Richard Daley after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out Chicago's 1982 handgun ban, required people who wanted guns in Chicago to buy city permits and register the weapons with police.
Gun rights advocates derided the registry and Chicago's municipal permit process as ineffective in curbing gun crime and an unfair burden for law-abiding gun owners.
The numbers indicate the registry wasn't effective. There are now about 8,650 Chicago firearms permit holders who have registered around 22,000 firearms, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. That's compared with the roughly 150,000 Chicago households the University of Chicago Crime Lab estimates currently have guns.
The idea was that the list would be available to police officers and firefighters so they would know if they were responding to a call for help at a home where there were firearms, Daley said at the time.
But the registry was troubled from its inception, with aldermen noting on the day they voted for it that criminals who would be a threat to emergency workers were unlikely to submit an application to police ahead of time saying they had a gun.
And four months after the city created the registry, the database still wasn't available to the Police and Fire departments. Daley said that failure was "annoying" and that "they should have it by now."
Now the gun registry is on the verge of going away. During negotiations in Springfield to set up rules to allow people to carry concealed weapons, gun rights advocates won a concession to scrap the Chicago registry. The bill is now awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn, who could veto it, sign it or write changes into the legislation.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, singled out the elimination of the Chicago registry and permit process as one of the big improvements for gun owners in the state under the bill. "That goes bye-bye, and it's a good thing because that was a terrible law," Pearson said. "It didn't serve any purpose except to harass law-abiding gun owners in Chicago."
In a city where Emanuel has pressed for tougher gun control as street violence continues, the municipal registry's disappearance will also take away an extra set of local hoops to jump through and additional cost for people who want to legally keep handguns in Chicago.
As part of the city's registration process, prospective gun owners had to undergo extra training and fill out an additional application for each weapon after getting a state firearm owner's ID card. They also had to pay $100 every three years for a municipal gun permit. Only then could they legally buy a gun and register it, at a cost of $15 per gun. No more than one gun could be registered each month.
Registration and permit rules would now fall to the state. Under the legislation, a $150 concealed weapons permit issued by the Illinois State Police to applicants 21 and older would be valid for five years. In addition, 16 hours of training would be required before getting a permit. A series of provisions were was included in an attempt to prevent people with mental health problems from getting guns.
Last year, Emanuel pushed for a statewide gun registry similar to Chicago's, reasoning it would help Chicago police trace guns used in crimes in the city. That idea, which garnered fierce opposition from several lawmakers who said it would be ineffective, did not make it out of the General Assembly.
The Emanuel administration declined to take a position on the new state law or the loss of the registry.
"The Chicago Police Department and the City Law Department are carefully reviewing the conceal carry bill that passed the legislature on (May 31), and it would be premature for us to comment on its impact on city laws before that review is complete," City Hall spokesman Bill McCaffrey said in an email.
Immigration Enforcement / Illegal Aliens
Near the Border, a Few Deputies Are Outnumbered by Drugs and Bodies
By MARIO KORAN — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The New York Times'
AJO, Ariz. — On a recent morning, Lt. Bill Clements, commander of a remote sheriff's department substation here, sent his deputies into the sun-blasted Sonoran Desert to recover a body — the fifth in five days. Hours later, back at the station, a deputy unzipped a white body bag, revealing the corpse of a man who had died making the brutal crossing from Mexico, his lips shrunken, either with dehydration or from being partly eaten by wild animals, the deputies said.
Out here, life expires suddenly and without dignity. The Ajo district station recovered 18 bodies last year. As of late May, the station had recovered eight, and the summer sun was still a few weeks away.
In Ajo, where cactuses dot the horizon and blue hangs in the sky like a canopy, national drug and immigration policies meet desperation.
The deputies here act as the tip of the sword. Their work is a routine of grinding boredom broken by blasts of grotesque reality. Drug seizures, domestic violence, arson and methamphetamine addictions are all part of what they confront on the job. And, of course, the bodies in the desert.
The sheriff's department in the Ajo district of Pima County operates as a kind of self-sufficient outpost of the county sheriff's department in Tucson, some 140 miles east. Most shifts are covered by four staff members — two deputies, a corrections officer for the 21-bed jail and a 911 dispatcher — who are responsible for a brutal 3,000-square-mile stretch of terrain between the Arizona-Mexico border and Phoenix, 110 miles to the northeast.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department collaborates with federal agencies like the Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The alliance of agencies is called the Border Anti-Narcotics Network. The network made 440 drug seizures in the first quarter, netting 18,000 pounds of marijuana, according to Lieutenant Clements. That's 2,500 pounds more than the first quarter of last year.
Lieutenant Clements attributed that to "increased technology and more officers in the field." Still, he said, there is no way to know how many illegal drug shipments are making their way northward, undetected.
What does a law enforcement officer have to do to end up in a place like this? Some deputies out of the police academy, eager to make their mark and ascend department ranks, agree to serve three years in Ajo. Most leave after their required stint expires.
Back in Tucson, a deputy who chose to put in his time at the desert outpost joked that he did so without realizing what he had signed up for. "Nobody told me I wasn't supposed to check the box," said the deputy, Jesus Bañuelos, who served three years in Ajo before becoming a spokesman for the sheriff's department.
Despite its drawbacks, serving in Ajo is a rite of passage for young officers. Because of the small staff, officers often work their cases from beginning to end — making arrests, filing cases with the district attorney and presenting facts to the grand jury if needed, Deputy Bañuelos said.
The deputies' primary responsibility is to cover the community — usually sticking to town unless called by Border Patrol or other federal agencies operating in the area. Ajo, an old copper mining town, has about 2,500 residents. A green tint runs down the mounded rock just outside town, a vestige of the mine, which closed in 1986.
"There's no industry here," said Deputy Brad Gill, adding that law enforcement agencies keep the community afloat. "This is a government town."
Spanish colonial architecture rings the Ajo plaza. Throughout the town, tidy southwestern-style homes share a block with dilapidated ranch houses — some of which, deputies suspect, could be active drug spots.
Small-town sensibilities mean knowing that the individuals whom deputies arrest for heroin today may well stand next to them in church tomorrow, Deputy Gill noted. He said it is hard to build rapport with the community if people assume the officers will soon move on, leaving Ajo and its problems behind.
Since April, a serial arsonist has set three fires in town. Officers speculate the fires could be drug related, since a fire requires all deputies on duty to respond, creating a possible diversion for drug shipments to move unimpeded through town.
But officers said that despite its isolation, working in the Ajo district has its advantages. "I like the freedom of working out here," said Deputy Andrew Fletcher, 28, who has served two years in Ajo. "You see things you'd never see anywhere else."
Deputy Fletcher said that in mid-May he stopped a man carrying 75 pounds of marijuana in his backpack.
Accompanied by a reporter and a photographer on a blazing hot day recently, he drove his truck down the rough dirt road straddling the border 40 miles from town.
Two miles from the small border checkpoint, a high pedestrian fence drops to a short cattle fence. Farther along, there is no fence at all separating Mexico from the United States.
It is easy to cross the border here, if you do not know what lies ahead. Deputy Fletcher pointed to an empty black water jug, probably left behind by a migrant heading north. "Those must be standard-issue in Mexico," he said. "They use black jugs because the clear ones reflect sunlight." That could give away a migrant's position, he said.
So far this year, the border network has apprehended 257 immigrants crossing — a 38-person increase from the same period in 2012.
A border-length fence might help to deter those crossing illegally, Deputy Fletcher said. "But it's just like anything else," he said. "You solve one problem and people are going to find another way around it."
Deputy Fletcher said that discovering human remains is a regular part of the job. His boss, Lieutenant Clements, said that he had encountered 300 to 400 bodies in his 15 years at the outpost.
Sometimes, Deputy Fletcher said, the officers come across migrants who have gone mad with dehydration, walking in circles or making "snow angels in the sand."
And sometimes, Deputy Gill added, "They quit and just walk down the highway. They'll get picked up and brought back to Mexico and try again another day."
A recent report by the federal Border Patrol indicated that the number of immigrant apprehensions has fallen sharply since its peak in 2000, but Deputy Gill is unconvinced that the situation is improving. "All I know is that people are still coming, people are still dying, and Border Patrol is busier than ever," he said.
On patrol, the deputy parked his truck near the edge of town, looking for routine infractions: speeding, a vehicle whose windows were too darkly tinted, a too-noisy muffler, or fuzzy dice blocking the view from a rearview mirror.
"Tickets are a method of correcting behavior," he said, adding that he uses his discretion with each traffic stop. "If I'm convinced someone is going to slow down, I'll let them off with a warning."
"I'm looking for the real criminals," he said. "I'm looking for the drugs."
But when it comes to immigration, he said, he has no latitude.
In Pima County, the passage of the hotly debated SB 1070, commonly referred to as the "show me your papers law," had little effect on the way deputies do police work, Deputy Gill said.
"As a law enforcement officer, it didn't change how I do my job," he said, adding that he uses "good police work" to establish a probable cause.
If an individual is wearing multiple layers of clothing or carrying a backpack, or is dirty from trekking across the desert, the person may be worth a second look, he said.
"All of that adds up to a kind of profiling, but there's value to that," he said. "Profiling is a dirty word. People assume that when I'm profiling, I'm making a judgment," he added. "But I'm not judging them, I'm doing my job efficiently."
Deputy Gill said that he did not actively seek to detain immigrants crossing illegally. Often, he said, he feels sympathy toward migrants who come north to work.
"It's hard," he said. "I stop these guys and they pull out their wallets. I see the pictures of their kids and I think about my own kids. I realize I'd probably do the exact same thing if the situation was reversed."
The outsourcing of U.S. intelligence raises risks among the benefits
By Robert O'Harrow Jr. — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The Washington Post' / Washington, DC
The unprecedented leak of National Security Agency secrets by an intelligence contractor, including bombshells about top-secret programs to collect telephone records, e-mail and other personal data, was probably an inevitable consequence of the massive growth of the U.S. security-industrial complex.
Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old man who identified himself as the source behind stories in The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers, has worked at Booz Allen Hamilton and other intelligence contractors. Before entering the private sector, he says he held a series of technical jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency.
In a statement Sunday, Booz Allen said, "Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, has been an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter."
Snowden was among tens of thousands of private intelligence contractors hired in the unprecedented push to "connect the dots" after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They work side by side with civil servants as analysts, technical support specialists and mission managers. An unknown number have access to secret and top-secret material.
Several years ago, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence estimated that almost one in four intelligence workers were employed by contractors.
The growing reliance on contractors reflects a massive shift toward outsourcing over the past 15 years, in part because of cutbacks in the government agencies. It has dramatically increased the risk of waste and contracting abuses, government auditors have found, in part because the government has repeatedly acknowledged that it does not have a sufficient workforce to oversee the contractors.
But given the threat of terrorism and the national security mandates from Congress, the intelligence community had little choice. In a briefing presentation several years ago, the ODNI estimated that 70 percent of the intelligence community's secret budget goes to contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton.
"We Can't Spy . . . If We Can't Buy!" the briefing said.
The former director of naval intelligence, retired Rear Adm. Thomas A. Brooks, said in a report in 2007 that private contractors had become a crucial part of the nation's intelligence infrastructure.
"The extensive use of contractor personnel to augment military intelligence operations is now an established fact of life. . . . It is apparent that contractors are a permanent part of the intelligence landscape," he said.
Since Sept. 11, more than 30 secure complexes have been constructed to accommodate top-secret intelligence work in the Washington area. They occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons, about 17 million square feet.
An examination by The Post in 2010 found that 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the country.
At the same time, tens of billions of dollars have been spent by intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security on computers, networks, satellite systems and other technology to collect and mine information. Those systems have been shown repeatedly to be vulnerable — to attacks and exploitation by both hackers and insiders.
The most notable example is Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, 25, who downloaded more than 700,000 classified documents from secure military networks. He is accused of passing them on to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, in what was the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.
Manning is being court-martialed on 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, and could face life in prison. He obtained access to the documents while working as a low-level intelligence analyst on assignment in Baghdad, during the war in Iraq.
The documents leaked by Snowden have been fewer but far more sensitive, including top-secret material. None of Manning's documents were top secret.
Snowden's release of scores of pages of top-secret material about a data surveillance program, code-named PRISM, and an NSA program to collect information about millions of phone calls from Verizon underscores one of gnawing worries in the national security community: The more people allowed in the top-secret tent, the higher the risk of leaks.
Data-Driven Tech Industry Is Shaken by Online Privacy Fears
By DAVID STREITFELD and QUENTIN HARDY — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The New York Times'
SAN FRANCISCO — The dreamers, brains and cranks who built the Internet hoped it would be a tool of liberation and knowledge. Last week, an altogether bleaker vision emerged with new revelations of how the United States government is using it as a monitoring and tracking device.
In Silicon Valley, a place not used to second-guessing the bright future it is eternally building, there was a palpable sense of dismay.
"Most of the people who developed the network are bothered by the way it is being misused," said Les Earnest, a retired Stanford computer scientist who built something that resembled Facebook nine years before the inventor of Facebook was born. "From the beginning we worried about governments getting control. Well, our government has finally found a way to tap in."
The technology world has always strived to keep Washington at a certain arm's length. Regulation would snuff out innovation, the entrepreneurs regularly cried. Bureaucrats should keep their hands off things they do not understand, which is just about everything we do out here.
So the first mystifying thing for some here is how the leading companies — including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook — apparently made it easier for the National Security Agency to gain access to their data. Only Twitter seems to have declined.
The companies deny directly working with the government on the project, called Prism. But they have not been exactly eager to talk about how they are working indirectly and where they would draw the line.
Entrepreneurs around Silicon Valley are publicly urging more disclosure.
"The success of any Silicon Valley consumer company is based not only on the value their products bring to users but also on the level of trust they can establish," said Adriano Farano, co-founder of Watchup, which makes an iPad app that builds personalized newscasts. "What is at stake here is the credibility of our entire ecosystem."
It is an ecosystem that thrives on personal data. Prism, which collects e-mails, video, voice and stored data, among other forms of Internet information, was exposed at a moment when the very possibility of online privacy seemed to be in doubt.
New technologies like Google Glass are relentlessly pushing into territory that was out of reach until recently. From established behemoths to new start-ups, tech companies are bubbling with plans to collect the most intimate data and use it to sell things.
"We're pushing our government to protect us, and we're also busy putting more and more of our information out there for people to look at," said Christopher Clifton, a Purdue computer scientist who has done extensive work on methods of data collection that preserve privacy. "The fact that some of that data is indeed going to be looked at might be disturbing but it shouldn't be surprising."
Edward Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency worker who disclosed on Sunday that he was the one who leaked government surveillance documents to The Guardian newspaper, ranks high among the disturbed. In an interview with the newspaper, he called the Internet "the most important invention in all of human history." But he said that he believed its value was being destroyed by unceasing surveillance.
"I don't see myself as a hero," he told the paper, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
President Obama, trying to play down the uproar, said Prism targets only foreign nationals and that it was worth giving up a little privacy for more security.
"I think that's a dangerous statement," said Bob Taylor, a computer scientist who played a major role in the 1960s in formulating what would become the Internet. "The government should have told us it was doing this. And that suggests the more fundamental problem: that we're not in control of our government."
For some tech luminaries with less than fond feelings for Washington, the disclosures about Prism had special force. This was personal.
Bob Metcalfe, the acclaimed inventor of the standard method of connecting computers in one location, wrote on Twitter that he was less worried about whatever the National Security Agency might be doing "than about how Obama Regime will use their data to suppress political opposition (e.g. me)."
But if Silicon Valley is alarmed about the ways that the personal data now coursing through every byway of the Internet can be misused, it has been a long time coming.
Even as the larger computer makers sold their systems to the government and start-ups of all sorts trafficked in personal information, the companies tried to keep clear of government rules that might cramp their vision — and their profits. They also proved adept at lobbying.
Threats by regulators like Christine Varney, the Internet specialist at the Federal Trade Commission, to impose greater oversight on how personal data was being used online resulted in the formation in 1998 of the Online Privacy Alliance. The industry coalition was credited with turning the debate in the industry's direction.
Its chief spokeswoman: Ms. Varney, who went through the Washington revolving door and emerged as a champion of industry.
In 1999, Scott McNealy, the chief executive of Sun Microsystems, summed up the valley's attitude toward personal data in what became a defining comment of the dot-com boom. "You have zero privacy," he said. "Get over it."
Mr. McNealy is not retracting that comment, not quite; but like Mr. Metcalfe he is more worried about potential government abuse than he used to be. "Should you be afraid if AT&T has your data? Google?" he asked. "They're private entities. AT&T can't hurt me. Jerry Brown and Barack Obama can." An outspoken critic of the California state government, and Mr. Brown, the governor, Mr. McNealy said his taxes are audited every year.
But arguing that computer makers have some role in creating a surveillance state, he said, "is like blaming gun manufacturers for violence, or a car manufacturer for drunk driving." The real problem, he said, is: "The scope creep of the government. I think it's great they're looking for the next terrorist. Then I wonder if they're going to arrest me, or snoop on me."
Microsoft has recently been casting itself as a champion of privacy — at least when Google is involved. Ray Ozzie, the former software chief at Microsoft, was one of those sounding the alarm late last week.
"I hope that people wake up, truly wake up, to what's happening to society, from both a big brother perspective and little brother perspective," Mr. Ozzie said at a conference on Nantucket, according to The Boston Globe. But he did not address whatever Microsoft's role might have been with Prism.
Aaron Levie, the founder of Box.com, a popular file-sharing system, initially joked on Twitter that Prism was simply putting people's Gmail, Google, Facebook and Skype data all in one place. "The N.S.A. just beat out like 30 start-ups to this idea," he wrote.
That was funny, because it was true, but also because the interests of the government and Silicon Valley are not necessarily in conflict here.
"The most important issue here is transparency and our lack of visibility around how our data is being used," Mr. Levie said. "The government and the tech industry clearly will need to come together to create a better model for this."
In the meantime, some tech leaders have another idea: lie low. Gordon Eubanks, a valley entrepreneur for 30 years, can see both sides of the argument over privacy and security. Until it is resolved, he said, "I've just become really careful about what I put out there. I never put online anything about where I live, my family, my pets. I'm even careful about what I 'like.' "
Ex-Worker at C.I.A. Says He Leaked Data on Surveillance
By MARK MAZZETTI and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The New York Times'
WASHINGTON — A 29-year-old former C.I.A. computer technician went public on Sunday as the source behind the daily drumbeat of disclosures about the nation's surveillance programs, saying he took the extraordinary step because "the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong."
During a 12-minute video interview that went online Sunday, Edward Joseph Snowden calmly answered questions about his journey from being a well-compensated government contractor with nearly unlimited access to America's intelligence secrets to being holed up in a Hong Kong hotel room, the subject of a United States investigation, with the understanding that he could spend the rest of his life in jail.
The revelation came after days of speculation that the source behind a series of leaks that have transfixed Washington must have been a high-level official at one of America's spy agencies. Instead, the leaker is a relatively low-level employee of a giant government contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, that has won billions of dollars in secret government contracts over the past decade, partly by aggressively marketing itself as the premier protector of America's classified computer infrastructure.
The episode presents both international and domestic political difficulties for the Obama administration. If Mr. Snowden remained in China, the White House would have to navigate getting him out of a country that has been America's greatest adversary on many issues of computer security.
Then the United States must set up a strategy for prosecuting a man whom many will see as a hero for provoking a debate that President Obama himself has said he welcomes — amid already fierce criticism of the administration's crackdown on leaks. The court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who released a vast archive of military and diplomatic materials to WikiLeaks, resumes Monday.
Mr. Snowden, who said he was seeking asylum abroad, perhaps in Iceland, gave the interview to The Guardian, the British newspaper and global Web site that during the past week published a string of articles about classified National Security Agency programs. Both The Guardian and The Washington Post, which also published articles disclosing the surveillance programs, identified Mr. Snowden on Sunday as the source for their articles.
In his interview with The Guardian, Mr. Snowden said his job had given him access to myriad secrets that the United States government guards most jealously, including the locations of Central Intelligence Agency stations overseas and the identities of undercover agents working for the United States.
But he said he had been selective in what he disclosed, releasing only what he found to be the greatest abuses of a surveillance state that he came to view as reckless and having grown beyond reasonable boundaries. He was alternately defiant and resigned, saying at one point that the C.I.A. might try to spirit him out of China, and speculating that it might even hire Asian gangs to go after him.
"If you realize that that's the world you helped create and it is going to get worse with the next generation and the next generation and extend the capabilities of this architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risks and it doesn't matter what the outcome is," Mr. Snowden said.
Some outside experts said the push in recent years to break down barriers between spy agencies and share information across the government had greatly expanded the universe of government employees and outside contractors with access to highly classified intelligence.
"In past years, someone like Snowden may not have had access to briefings detailing these collection programs," said Cedric Leighton, a former deputy director of the National Security Agency, "but now with the push from a 'need to know' to a 'need to share' philosophy, it's far more likely for an I.T. contractor like him to gain access to such documents."
Mr. Snowden's disclosures prompted some calls from Congress on Sunday to hold hearings about the surveillance programs or reopen debate on portions of the Patriot Act.
The disclosures also were published just as the Obama administration was grappling with the fallout from its many investigations into leaks to the news media. After it was revealed in May that the Justice Department had secretly obtained phone logs for reporters at The Associated Press and Fox News, criticism of the administration's leak investigation was heightened. Mr. Obama said he was "troubled" by those developments, and ordered Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to review the Justice Department's procedures for investigating reporters.
As part of that review, Mr. Holder and senior department officials have met with editors and media lawyers to try to assuage their fears that the administration is trying to silence the press. A day before The Guardian published its first article on how the government was collecting Americans phone data, Mr. Holder met with lawyers for several media outlets about legislation and other measures that may help protect reporters.
A White House spokesman declined to comment on Sunday. A spokesman for James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, referred questions to the Justice Department. In a statement, the department said it was in the initial stages of an investigation into the matter, though it did not name Mr. Snowden.
In a weekend interview with NBC News, Mr. Clapper warned that the revelations could create serious risks to national security. "We're very, very concerned about it," he said. "For me, it is literally — not figuratively — literally gut-wrenching to see this happen, because of the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities."
Mr. Snowden, a native of North Carolina, told The Guardian that he signed up in 2003 for an Army Special Forces training program because he wanted to fight in Iraq.
"I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression," he said.
But he said he had quickly become disillusioned with the military.
"Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said.
After breaking his legs during a training accident, Mr. Snowden was discharged from the Army and took a job as a security guard at an N.S.A. secret facility on the University of Maryland's campus, according to The Guardian, which said it had confirmed his story.
Despite not having a high school degree, he was later hired by the C.I.A. to work on information technology security, serving in Geneva. In 2009, he joined the N.S.A. as a contractor at a facility in Japan, where, he said, he watched "as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in."
Most recently, Mr. Snowden has been part of a Booz Allen team working at an N.S.A. facility in Hawaii. Three weeks ago, he made final preparations to disclose the classified documents, The Guardian said. It said he had copied the documents and told a supervisor that he needed to take a few weeks off to deal with medical problems. He then flew to Hong Kong.
While it was not clear whether Mr. Snowden had remained in Hong Kong, if he had, his presence could complicate any possible American effort to extradite him for prosecution. A British colony until its return to China in 1997, Hong Kong retains autonomy from the mainland in its immigration system and its rule of law. Hong Kong has an independent immigration system, but it is part of China for purposes of foreign policy.
Hong Kong has an extradition agreement with the United States, in case American officials can provide a legal basis for seeking Mr. Snowden's transfer to the United States. Hong Kong also has a very long tradition, dating back to British control, of close cooperation with the United States on criminal and criminal intelligence issues.
There was no indication in the Guardian article that Mr. Snowden had ever acquired legal residency in Hong Kong, so he would appear to be subject in principle to the 90-day limit that all American passport holders have for visa-free stays there.
Another complexity for Mr. Snowden is that the new administration of President Xi Jinping of China is pursuing better relations with the United States, including a meeting with Mr. Obama on Friday and Saturday in California, and may be more inclined than usual to put pressure on officials in Hong Kong to hand over Mr. Snowden.
On Sunday evening, Booz Allen released a statement confirming Mr. Snowden's employment. "News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm," the statement said. "We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter."
The revelation that Mr. Snowden worked for Booz Allen is perhaps the most awkward for Mike McConnell, a former head of the N.S.A. and director of national intelligence who in 2011 was promoted to vice chairman at Booz Allen. He is now responsible for driving Booz Allen's cybercapabilities and advancing its relationship with his former agency.
Mr. McConnell said in an interview last year that the United States was not using its full capabilities to address threats from foreign cyberattacks because of privacy concerns.
"If you harness all the capabilities of our nation, you could have a better understanding of foreign threats," he said. "But what makes it hard is that everyone has an opinion. There's very little appreciation for the threat, and there are so many special interests, particularly civil liberty groups with privacy concerns. That mix keeps us from getting to the crux of the national issue."
Reporting was contributed by Keith Bradsher from Hong Kong, Nicole Perlroth from San Francisco, and Emmarie Huetteman and David E. Sanger from Washington.
Extradition of Leaker (In Brooklynese: Forgetaboutit)
Edward Snowden's tricky path to justice
By: Reid J. Epstein and David Nather — Monday, June 10th, 2013 'The Politico' / Arlington, VA
The National Security Agency contractor who admitted to what officials have called one of the worst leaks in American history faces a complicated path to U.S. courts.
Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton employee, said in a Guardian interview published Sunday that he is staying at a hotel in Hong Kong and hopes to win asylum in a country like Iceland.
While Snowden may be hoping for a life forever on the run, he'll have to navigate a labyrinthine international legal system with little precedent for Americans accused of committing political crimes.
But for all the harm that government officials have warned of, legal experts expect that the charges he'd face would carry maximum penalties of 10 years apiece.
Snowden's situation is different from that of Bradley Manning, the army private now on trial at Fort Meade, Md. Manning faces life imprisonment for the huge data dump he provided to WikiLeaks, but as a member of the military, he's being tried via court-martial. And Snowden didn't sell the secrets or give them to a foreign power, so he won't be subject to the huge penalties of the espionage laws, as Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames were when they were caught spying.
The Justice Department can charge Snowden, indict him and leave the charge sitting out there — but to go beyond that, he would need to be brought back to U.S. soil.
Like many extradition treaties, the one between the United States and Hong Kong contains an exception for political crimes, a category Snowden's admitted acts would almost certainly fall under. Even so, Hong Kong could decide simply to expel him without turning him over to American authorities.
And given Hong Kong's reversion to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 — after the extradition treaty was entered into — it is not immediately clear which government would decide Snowden's status. Coming immediately after the weekend summit between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping aimed at improving relations between the two countries, the questions are even more complicated: turning Snowden over, if the Americans seek that, could have major diplomatic consequences. Remanding him to the United States might serve as an act of good faith for the Chinese, but they would also likely have high demands for what they would want in return.
The United States does not have a separate extradition treaty with China.
"There has to be a political decision on the part of the extraditing country that that sort of act is in its political interest," said Ryan Scoville, an expert in international law at Marquette University Law School.
If Snowden can get himself to a Hong Kong consulate of a nation that will welcome him, he could stay there indefinitely without being captured by U.S. or Chinese officials. Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has gone this route in London, staying in Ecuador's embassy for nearly a year to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.
Scoville said it is unlikely that another country would shelter Snowden and bear the political costs of harboring such a high-profile American wanted by the U.S. government, but that possibility remains.
"If there were some sort of consulate in Hong Kong that was willing to grant him entry and shelter him from authorities that would want to cooperate, he could have the same sort of protection that Julian Assange has had over the last year or so," Scoville said.
There's some question about whether U.S. and international law would allow the U.S. to send agents to essentially kidnap Snowden wherever he is and bring him before American courts without the agreement of the country in which he is located.
The 2004 Supreme Court case Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain allowed a Mexican drug kingpin captured in Mexico to be tried in U.S. courts for the torture and murder of a Drug Enforcement Agency official.
"They can go get him and bring him back and it doesn't matter how he gets before the court," said Anthony Colangelo, an expert in extraterritorial jurisdiction at Southern Methodist University's law school. "It doesn't matter at all how you get somebody, if you get him back you can subject him to judicial process."
Snowden acknowledged this possibility to The Guardian.
"Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA," he told the paper. "I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners."
Politically, grabbing Snowden off the streets of Hong Kong is extremely difficult, particularly for such a high-profile target, Colangelo said.
It's also not clear what kind of penalties Snowden could face. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Saturday called the leaks of classified electronic surveillance program "reckless," but it remains unclear if Snowden's case rises to the level of Manning's.
Despite the image of the federal government locking Snowden away forever — treating him like another Manning — the most likely kinds of charges that could be filed in his case wouldn't lead to lengthy jail time.
Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who works on national security issues, says national security leakers often face two kinds of charges under the Espionage Act: transmitting information to someone who's not authorized to receive it, or, in lesser cases, illegal retention of national security information.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.
The most likely outcome is some kind of Espionage Act charge as long as Snowden can be extradited, according to Aziz Huq of the University of Chicago Law School, who specializes in national security issues.
There's also a separate civilian charge, theft of government property, that could be used depending on the specifics of the case, Clark said. That, too, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison in most cases.
And even in other high-profile leak cases, the federal government hasn't always used the harshest penalties.
Clark cited the case of Matthew Diaz, a former Navy lawyer who leaked a list of Guantánamo Bay prisoners to a civil rights lawyer in New York. He was dismissed from the Navy and disbarred, but got only six months of jail time.
It wasn't as though Diaz got off easy — his life was basically ruined. But "they did not throw the book at him," Clark said.
That case, however, wasn't anywhere close to the scale of this leak — which exposed whole systems of antiterrorism intelligence, not just a list of prisoners.
And John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst who pleaded guilty to disclosing classified information, was in January ordered to spend 30 months in prison. He began serving his sentence in February.
Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.