The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
Story 1: 6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged — Obama’s National Police Force For The 21st Century! — Videos
We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
Breaking News – Specific charges, profiles of Freddie Gray officers
6 Baltimore Cops Charged In Freddie Gray’s Death
Sheriff Clarke: Baltimore is “George Zimmerman, Duke Lacross all over again..”
SHARPTON CALLS FOR DOJ TO TAKE OVER POLICING
Judge Nap: Gov’t Cannot Be Confronted By Blue Wall of Silence in Freddie Gray Case
Napolitano: There’s a ‘Serious Absence of Leadership’ in Baltimore
Judge Nap: Arrest of Black Man Who Died From Spinal Injury ‘Unconstitutional’
DOJ Targets Racism in Police Forces – CNN.com
Will Police Departments Face Scrutiny After DOJ Ferguson Report?
Al Sharpton called to Baltimore by Mayor
Al Sharpton Calls For Nationalization Of Police In Wake Of Baltimore Riots (Limbaugh responds)
OBAMA RIPS US POLICE: Target Poor, African Americans
What They Won’t Tell You About Baltimore Riots
BALTIMORE RIOTS – Maryland Governor Activates 5,000 National Guard Troops. Martial Law Coming?
Bishop Jackson to Rev. Sharpton: ‘March Right Back to N.Y. & MSNBC’
Sheriff David Clarke: Al Sharpton Should ‘Go Back into the Gutter He Came From’
Baltimore Mayor Hand Picked by Obama for Task Force, Plan to Nationalize Police
BALTIMORE MAYOR NAMED IN OBAMA NATIONAL POLICE FORCE DOCUMENT. FALSE FLAG
Obama Civilian Security
Obama National Police Force
Heads Up! Obama Just Federalized Police Forces In 6 US Cities
Glenn Beck Digs into Obama’s Civilian National Police Force
President Obama Meets with the Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Radley Balko on the Militarization of America’s Police Force: VICE Meets
Gestapo Hitler’s Secret Police
LARKE: FREDDIE GRAY CHARGES ‘DUKE LACROSSE CASE ALL OVER AGAIN’
by IAN HANCHETT
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) declared the charges brought against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray “George Zimmerman and the Duke Lacrosse case all over again” and said “these cops are political prisoners,” offered up as human sacrifices, thrown like red meat to an angry mob” on Friday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.
Clarke said of the charges, “it’s a miscarriage of justice. This neophyte prosecutor stood up there and made a political statement, Neil, and I say that because she’s chanting or voicing some of the chants from this angry mob. Her job is to tune that out. She said, I hear the voices. She’s not supposed to hear anything as she reviews this case that is not consistent with the rule of law and our system of justice. Look, I’m an experienced and a veteran homicide detective. I’ve had — I’ve participated in charging conferences. There is no way I have ever gotten a criminal charge within 24 hours after taking over all the reports and evidence to a prosecutor. A prosecutor who is thorough needs several days to sift through hundreds of pages of reports. They usually want to interview some of the witnesses themselves, in person, and they have to sift through all of the evidence, piece by piece, and they have to wait for some of the forensics evidence to conclude, to come back and that’s why I say on a minimum, three to four days. She just got this case yesterday. This is political activism. She’ll never prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, and I’m not going to silently stand by and watch my brother officers, offered up as human sacrifices, thrown like red meat to an angry mob, just to appease this angry mob.” And that “she rushed this thing through.”
After his interview was cut off to carry a Fraternal Order of Police press conference live, he continued, “she knows she’s not going to be able to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This is George Zimmerman and the Duke Lacrosse case all over again. A politically active district attorney or state’s attorney, you can tell the emotion in her voice, she almost did this with glee. And that’s why I believe, like they [the FOP] do…she needs to remove herself from the case. I hope the state’s attorney general gets involved in this, and sees the error of her ways. The smart thing for her to do is recuse herself and name a special prosecutor.”
He added that “there may be and probably are, some civil torts here, but what little I know, and I don’t know all the facts, but I’m listening to the emotion in their voice, and listening to those political statements that she made at the end of that news conference, that’s political activism, it’s wrong, it’s probably in violation of her code of ethics as a lawyer. And again, I’m going to take my time with this, but I’m not going to sit idly by, and I want to call out to every law enforcement officer in the country to pay attention to this. Because, I see a pattern, at least demands from an angry mob, that we be offered up as human sacrifices. We don’t do that in our system of justice in the United States just to please an angry mob. And I sense from what I heard her say, Neil, that that’s what is going on here.”
Clarke concluded, “there are some things I find in this case — what little I know — that are problematic from a procedural standpoint, but Neil, it doesn’t make it criminal. These cops are political prisoners. I’m calling them political prisoners because this state’s attorney, stood up there and made a political statement at the end, talking about she hears the voices, and no justice and no peace.”
Obama’s Push For That National Police Force
Marilyn Mosby Charges 6 Baltimore Police Officers in Death of Freddie Gray
Maryland State Attorney for the city of Baltimore Marilyn Mosby announced on Friday morning that Freddie Gray‘s death in police custody was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, and that there is sufficient probable cause to file criminal charges against the six officers involved.
The six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray will now face criminal charges ranging from murder to manslaughter to assault. The driver of the police van was charged with second-degree murder, while three officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter. Other officers were also charged with assault in connection with the murder.
Officers Charged In Freddie Gray’s Death, State’s Attorney Said Arrest Was Illegal
May 1, 2015 3:45 PM
City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby says Freddie Gray received his critical injuries in Baltimore police custody and has charged all six officers involved in his death.
The city state’s attorney outlined where they say the officers went wrong from the moment they arrested Gray all the way to the time they took him out of the van and realized he wasn’t breathing.
On April 12, when 25-year-old Freddie Gray first made eye contact with a city police officer and ran away, officers chased him down and arrested him at 1700 Pressbury Street.
Bystanders then began recording the arrest, watching as Gray was placed in the police van. The prosecutor faults the three arresting officers for not properly restraining or seatbelting Gray in the van, calling his arrest illegal to begin with.
“Lt. Rice, Officer Nero and Officer Miller failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest, as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray,” Mosby said.
The van made its first stop at Baker Street, where Gray was removed, put in flex cuffs and leg shackles and, again, not properly restrained. It is here prosecutors believe he was injured.
“Following transport from Baker’s Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being restrained, handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained by his feet inside the Baltimore Police Department wagon,” she said.
That van stopped again at the intersection of Mosher and Freemont Street. The driver got out and observed Gray, but gave him no medical aid—and Gray still wasn’t in a seatbelt. The van made a third stop at Dolphin and Druid Hill Street, where Gray said he couldn’t breathe and asked twice for medical attention.
“However, despite Mr. Gray’s request for a medic, both officers assessed Mr. Gray’s condition. At no point did they restrain Mr. Gray per BPD general order, nor did they render or request medical attention,” she said.
The van then headed to North Avenue and Pennsylvania, where it stops to pick up Donta Allen. At that time, Gray was already unresponsive, according to Mosby. The officers did not get him medical help; he was still not properly secured in the van. Finally, the van drove to the Western District Police Station, where officers first removed the other prisoner from the van, before realizing that Gray had stopped breathing and was now in cardiac arrest.
“The findings of our comprehensive, thorough, and independent investigation coupled with the ME’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Mosby said.
She charged all six officers in the death of Gray and said his arrest was illegal.
Mosby described the morning’s event:
She said Lt. Brian W. Rice along with Officer Garret Miller & Officer Edward M. Nero were on bike patrol when they made eye contact with Gray. Gray ran from Rice and Rice dispatched he was involved in a foot pursuit. Other officers got involved.
Gray surrendered to Miller and Nero and the officer handcuffed him behind his back, Mosby said. Gray asked for an inhaler because he “could not breathe,” but the officers did not get him medical attention.
They found a knife clipped inside his pants packet — the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law, she said.
The officers then restrained Gray in a “leg lace,” and held him down until the transport van arrived, while he “flailed and screamed.”
The officers failed to find probable cause for Gray’s arrest, Mosby said. When the police transport van arrived, he was placed into the wagon driven by Officer Caesar B. Goodson, but without a seatbelt.
“At no point was he secured by a seatbelt while in the wagon contrary to a BPD general order,” she added. “Despite stopping for the purpose of checking on Mr. Gray’s condition, at no point did he seek nor render any medical assistance for Mr. Gray.”
Gray was then removed from the wagon at Baker Street, places flex cuffs on his wrists and leg shackles on his ankles — while they completed paperwork. He was then placed back into the wagon’s floor head first and stomach down — without a seatbelt.
“Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the BPD wagon,” Mosby said.
After leaving Baker Street, the officers stopped again to check on Gray’s condition, but they did not seek medical attention for Gray. Again, Goodson drove off without buckling Gray into the van.
The van stopped once again, this time Officer William G. Porter met up with Goodson and checked on gray. Gray asked for medical attention stating he couldn’t breathe. Porter asked Gray if he needed a medic and although Gray insisted he did, the officers allegedly placed him back on the bench and decided he did not need a medic.
Then Porter left to assist with another arrest on West North avenue and Goodson shortly followed with Gray in the back of the police van to help transport another suspect. When they arrived at that located they Sgt. Alicia White, Goodson and Porter saw Gray was unresponsive on the floor of the back of the wagon.
White spoke to the back of Gray’s head and was advised he needed a medic, but Mosby said she made no effort to determine his condition.
The officer did not get Gray medical attention until they returned to the Western District station.
Mosby said the officers are being charged with a number of counts of manslaughter, assault and misconduct. One officer will even be charged with a count of murder.
- Officer Caeser B. Goodson, Jr. was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of manslaughter by vehicle and misconduct in office.
- Officer William G. Porter was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
- Lt. Brian W. Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
- Officer Edward M. Nero charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
- Officer Garret Miller charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
- Sgt. Alicia White involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Warrants have been issued for the arrest of the officers.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No Justice, No Peace,’ your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,” Mosby added.
The officers could face up to 20 years in prison for the charges. The driver — Goodson — could face up to 63 years in prison. They are expected to turn themselves in later today.
As groups take to the streets of Baltimore to celebrate the news, several officials reacted to the findings.
The Baltimore Police Fraternal Order of Police No. 3 issued a letter to Mosby Friday morning on behalf of the officers involved saying that the death was not the officers’ faults and they also requested a special prosecutor citing conflicts of interest with Mosby’s office.
“Each of the officers involved is sincerely saddened by Gray’s passing. They are all committed police officers who have dedicated their careers to the Baltimore City Police Department,” the letter states, “And that has been lost in all the publicity.”
“All death is tragic,” the FOP states. “And death associated with interaction with police is both shocking and frightening to the public.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings reacted to the charges filed against the officers in a press conference Friday afternoon.
“Let the wheels of justice roll, and it’s good that they are rolling, instead of standing still,” Cummings said. “”One of things that I’m determined to do and I’m hoping we’re able to do is make Baltimore a model for the nation.”
Gov. Larry Hogan who has been working from Baltimore this week due to the state of emergency also commented on Mosby’s findings:
“We finally get the process moving forward, but it’s a process. The criminal justice system is gonna work it’s way through, we believe in the criminal justice system. It’s just one component of what’s going on down here. There’s the Freddie Gray case, there’s the safety of the people of Baltimore, and then there’s the longer term issues,” Hogan said. “My role in the process is to try to keep folks safe.” … “I know emotions are running high. We want to keep the peace, keep the calm. We’ve got a lot folks out there demonstrating tonight and tomorrow and we want to continue to have the kind of success we’ve had over the past three days of keeping people calm.”
Hogan said he doesn’t have a timeline for when curfew will be lifted.
Death of Freddie Gray
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Death of Freddie Gray
Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr.
August 16, 1989 – April 19, 2015
||Incident April 12, 2015
||Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
||Death while in police custody
||Spinal cord injury
||Two witnesses to Gray’s arrest
||Freddie C. Gray, six Baltimore police officers
||Death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015
||April 27, 2015
|| U.S. Department of Justice
Baltimore Police Department
||Caesar R. Goodson Jr., William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice, Edward M. Nero, Garrett Miller, Alicia D. White
||Goodson: Second-degree murder
Others: involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle, misconduct in office, false imprisonment
On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, was taken into custody by the Baltimore Police Department for allegedly possessing a switchblade; however, Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn J. Mosby subsequently stated “The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law”. While being transported in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center. Gray died on April 19, 2015. His death was ascribed to injuries to his spinal cord. On April 21, 2015, pending an investigation of the incident, six Baltimore police officers were temporarily suspended with pay.
The circumstances of the injuries were initially unclear; eyewitness accounts suggested that the officers involved had partaken in unnecessary use of force against Gray while arresting him—a claim denied by an officer involved.Commissioner Anthony Batts reported that the officers did not buckle him inside the van when being transported to the police station—a report supported by a medical investigation which found that Gray had sustained the injuries while in transport.
On May 1, 2015, Baltimore prosecutors ruled that Gray’s death was a homicide, and that his arrest was illegal because the alleged switchblade was a legal-sized pocket knife. The prosecutors stated that they had probable cause to file criminal charges against the six police officers who were believed to be involved in his death. One officer was charged with second degree depraved-heart murder, and others were charged with crimes ranging from manslaughter to illegal arrest.
Gray’s death resulted in an ongoing series of protests and civil disorder, in the spirit of the reaction to the 2014shooting of Michael Brown. A major protest in downtown Baltimore on April 25, 2015, turned violent, resulting in 34 arrests and injuries to 15 police officers. After Gray’s funeral on April 27, civil unrest intensified with looting and burning of local businesses and a CVS drug store, culminating with a state of emergency declaration by GovernorLarry Hogan and Maryland National Guard deployment to Baltimore.
Freddie C. Gray was the 25-year-old son of Gloria Darden. He had a twin sister, Fredericka, as well as another sister, Carolina. At the time of his death, Gray lived in the home owned by his sisters in the Gilmor Homes neighborhood. He stood 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) and weighed 145 pounds (66 kg).
Gray had a criminal record, mainly for misdemeanors and drug-related offenses. He had been arrested a total of 22 times in Maryland, primarily for possession and distribution of illegal narcotics. Gray had been involved in 20 criminal court cases, five of which were still active at the time of his death.
Arrest and death
Police encountered Freddie Gray on the morning of April 12, 2015, in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore, an area known to have high levels of home foreclosures, poverty, drug deals and violent crimes. According to the charging documents submitted by the Baltimore police, Gray attempted to flee “unprovoked” on foot, but police on bicycles chased and tackled Gray, found what they claimed was a switchblade in his pocket, and took him into custody at 8:40 a.m. Two bystanders captured Gray’s arrest with video recordings, showing Gray being dragged into the van by officers. A bystander with connections to Gray stated that the officers were “folding” Gray—with one officer bending Gray’s legs backwards, and another holding Gray down by pressing a knee into Gray’s neck. Another witness told the Baltimore Sun that they had witnessed Gray being beaten with batons.
According to the police timeline, Gray was placed in a transport van within 11 minutes of his arrest, and within 30 minutes, paramedics were summoned to take Gray to a hospital. The van made four confirmed stops while Gray was detained. At 8:46 a.m., Gray was unloaded in order to be placed in leg irons because police said he was “irate.” A later stop, recorded by a private camera, shows the van stopped at a grocery store. At 8:59 a.m., a second prisoner was placed in the vehicle while officers checked on Gray’s condition, and 27 minutes later the van made its final stop so paramedics could transport an unconscious Gray to the hospital. He was taken to the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in a coma. The statement of charges filed by Officer Garrett Miller against Gray accused him of possessing a switchblade. Miller wrote, “The defendant was arrested without force or incident.” Officers also reported “that he suffered a medical emergency during transport”. The media has suggested the possibility of a so-called “rough ride“—where a handcuffed prisoner is placed without a seatbelt in an erratically driven vehicle—as a contributing factor in Gray’s injury.
In the following week, according to the Gray family attorney, Gray suffered from total cardiopulmonary arrest at least once but was resuscitated without ever regaining consciousness. He remained in a coma, and underwent extensive surgery in an effort to save his life. According to his family, he lapsed into a coma with three fractured vertebrae, injuries to his “voice box”, and his spine “80% severed” at his neck. Police confirmed that the spinal injury led to Gray’s death. The attorney also disputed the claim that Gray had been in possession of a switchblade, and stated that it was actually a “pocketknife of legal size”. He died on April 19, 2015, a week after his arrest.
The Baltimore Police Department suspended six officers with pay pending an investigation of Gray’s death. The six officers involved in the arrest were identified as Lieutenant Brian Rice, 41 (18 years on the force), Sergeant Alicia White, 30 (5 years on the force), Officer William Porter, 25 (5 years on the force), Officer Garrett Miller, 26 (3 years on the force), Officer Edward Nero, 29 (3 years on force), and Officer Caesar Goodson, 45 (16 years on the force). On April 24, 2015, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, “We know our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.” Batts also acknowledged police did not follow procedure when they failed to buckle Gray in the van while he was being transported to the police station. The U.S. Department of Justice also opened an investigation into the case.
On April 30, 2015, Kevin Moore, the man who filmed Gray’s arrest, was arrested at gunpoint following “harassment and intimidation” by police. Moore stated to have cooperated with police and gave over his video of Gray’s arrest for investigation. He claimed, despite aiding in the investigation, his photo was made public by police for further questioning. The same day, medical examiners reported Gray sustained more injuries as a result of him slamming into the inside of the transport van, “apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van”. 
On May 1, 2015, the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office ruled that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide, and that they had probable cause to file criminal charges against the six officers involved. Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, said that the Baltimore police had acted illegally and that “No crime had been committed” (by Freddie Gray). Mosby said that Gray “suffered a critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside the BPD wagon.” It was also ruled that the arrest of Gray was false imprisonment, because he was carrying a pocket knife of legal size, and not the switchblade police claimed he had possessed at the time of his arrest.
Three of the officers are facing manslaughter charges and one faces an additional count of second degree depraved-heart murder. The murder charge carries a possible penalty of 30 years in prison; the manslaughter and assault offenses carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. 
- Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.: Second degree depraved heart murder; involuntary manslaughter; second-degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence); misconduct in office
- Officer William G. Porter: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct in office
- Lt. Brian W. Rice: Involuntary manslaughter; two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
- Officer Edward M. Nero: Two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
- Officer Garrett E. Miller: Two counts of second degree assault; two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
- Sgt. Alicia D. White: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct 
As of May 1st, five of the six officers were in custody.
Response to charges
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said there was no place in the Baltimore Police department for those police officers who “choose to engage in violence, brutality, racism and brutality. Gene Ryan, president of the police union chapter said that despite the tragic situation, “none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray.”
Protesters at a police station near the site of Gray’s arrest on April 25
Public reaction to the death has drawn parallels to the response to the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, as part of a larger string of controversial uses of force by police officers in the United States. As of April 30, 2015, 22 demonstrations had been held nationwide in direct response to Gray’s death or in solidarity with Baltimore.
On April 18, 2015, hundreds of people participated in a protest outside the Baltimore Police Department. Three days later, on April 21, 2015, according to Reuters, “[h]undreds of demonstrators gathered in Baltimore”, protesting Gray’s death.The next day, Gene Ryan, the president of the local lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, expressed sympathy for the Gray family, but criticized the “rhetoric of protests” and suggested that “the images seen on television look and sound much like a lynch mob.” William Murphy, attorney for the Gray family, demanded an “immediate apology and a retraction”. Ryan defended his statement two days later, while admitting that the wording was poor. Charles M. Blow of The New York Times, reminded of a column he wrote several years ago, said that comparing protests to lynch mobs was too extreme because it inflames racial tensions by belittling the significance of the history of lynching in the United States.
On April 25, 2015, protests were organized in downtown Baltimore, and the protests turned violent as protesters threw rocks and set fires. At least 34 people were arrested, and 15 officers were injured. On April 27, rioting and looting began after the funeral of Gray, with two patrol cars destroyed and 15 officers reported injured. Protesters looted and burned down a CVS Pharmacy location in downtown Baltimore.
In reaction to the unrest, the Maryland State Police sent 82 troopers to protect the city. A Baltimore Orioles baseball game against the Chicago White Soxscheduled for the evening was postponed due to the unrest. The next game commenced as scheduled but, as a precautionary measure, fans were barred from attending. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, and activated the Maryland National Guard. Hogan also activated 500 state troopers for duty in Baltimore and requested an additional 5,000 police officers from other locales.
At a press conference, Baltimore’s mayor announced there would be a citywide curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. School trips were canceled until mid-May, and Baltimore’s city schools were closed on April 28. In addition, both the University of Maryland campus in downtown Baltimore and the Mondawmin Mall were closed early.
Protests outside Baltimore also took place in other U.S. cities. In New York City, 143 people at Union Square were arrested on April 29, 2015 for blocking traffic and refusing to relocate. On the same day, outside the White House in Washington, D.C., nearly 500 protesters converged without an incident. In Denver, eleven people were arrested as protesters were involved in physical altercations with officers. Other protests in response to Gray’s death took place in cities including Philadelphia,Minneapolis, and Portland.
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Raw video: George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict read in court
A six-woman jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Saturday, July 13, 2013. He is now a free man.
Attorneys React to Zimmerman Verdict
David Webb on NAACP Demands DOJ Investigation of Zimmerman Verdict- Fox & Friends – 7-14-13
Eric Holder Statement On George Zimmerman Verdict: ‘Tragic, Unnecessary Shooting Of Trayvon Martin’
7/12/12 Separate state and federal investigations found no evidence Zimmerman was a racist
George Zimmerman and FBI findings 7/12/12
FBI Report: George Zimmerman NOT Racially Motivated in Trayvon Martin Shooting – 7-13-12
George Zimmerman’s Lawyers React to Not Guilty Verdict in Trayvon Martin Case (HD)
Fox News Sunday Panel Debates Zimmerman Verdict, Nuclear Option Immigration Reform
Geraldo Rivera Clashes with FOX Guest on Zimmerman Verdict – 7/14/13
Tucker Carlson Says Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson Aren’t Real Civil Rights Leaders
Judge Napolitano To Megyn Kelly: Zimmerman Prosecution Brought Case To Court Out Of Public Pressure
Zimmerman trial: Should judge have stopped the case?
Former Sanford police chief speaks about Zimmerman
George Zimmerman Trial – Defense Closing Arguments – Part 1 – July 12, 2013
George Zimmerman Trial – Defense Closing Arguments – Part 2 – July 12, 2013
Prosecution “disappointed” with George Zimmerman verdict
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey and prosecutors Richard Mantei, Bernie de la Rionda and John Guy give their reactions following the not guilty verdict given to George Zimmerman
Zimmerman prosecutor: “I am disappointed’ by the verdict
Social media and the Zimmerman verdict
George Zimmerman Friend Tells Chris Cuomo George ‘Kept Everybody Safe’
A Vile Show Trial Ends
By George Neumayr
The prosecutors in the Zimmerman trial raged on and on about the defendant’s “false assumptions” while never questioning their own. What did they actually know about that night? Almost nothing, save a few pieces of testimony largely beneficial to Zimmerman. Yet they had no problem profiling him as a homicidal racist and concocting a paranoid hate-crime theory of the case. Their defeat deserves a special place in the annals of malicious prosecution.
The trial involved a striking reversal of customary roles: the defense attorneys behaved like hardheaded prosecutors while the prosecutors behaved like unscrupulous defense attorneys. Their closing was nothing more than a fact-free appeal for mob justice.
The victory for the defense appears even more impressive given the handicaps under which it labored. Zimmerman’s attorneys weren’t free to introduce any substantial evidence about Trayvon Martin’s past. So jurors didn’t know that he had drugs in his system, that he had been suspended from school after police found a burglary tool and stolen goods in his backpack, that he had sent text messages revealing a potential gun purchase, that he had a history of violence. “U got heat?” he wrote to a friend in one of the text messages the judge barred from the case. In another, a friend responds to his thuggish bragging, “So you just turning into a lil hoodlum.”
It turns out that all of Zimmerman’s “false assumptions” were perfectly accurate. They weren’t false assumptions but rational observations. If that is “profiling,” society needs more of it. There is nothing evil about behavior-based profiling. It was the prosecution that couldn’t profile intelligently, casting a Hispanic as a homicidal racist on the basis of a fragmentary, non-racist remark.
Their idea of proving this theory of the case was to yell portions of the 911 call at ever-higher pitches and muse darkly about what “was in George Zimmerman’s heart.” One wonders what resides in the hearts of prosecutors who try and goad juries into throwing people into prison for life on unproven hunches.
With egg on her face, Florida state attorney Angela Corey appeared before reporters on Saturday night to say that “common sense” drove her decision to prosecute. She still can’t understand how people, even “some with law degrees,” could have questioned her decision. After all, what could be more commonsensical than thinking a neighborhood watch volunteer called 911 before committing second-degree murder, somehow managed to manipulate conditions so that he sustained self-defense wounds, and then craftily complied with all police questioning without benefit of a lawyer afterwards?
Prosecutors capable of uncorking such theories deserve to be disbarred. The dominant media was equally complicit in the railroading of Zimmerman. But journalists treated defeat like an orphan on Saturday night. Caught a bit flatfooted by the late verdict, they stumbled into their sets to blather on about how the prosecutors had “overcharged.”
The “civil rights story of our time” had ended with a whimper and they didn’t quite know how to process it. In all their desperate attempts to squeeze grand meaning out of the fiasco, they weren’t honest enough to ask: How did we contribute to it? Why did we falsely portray Zimmerman as a “white” racist? Why did we doctor tapes and put racist words in his mouth? Why didn’t we take seriously the sacking of a police chief who had told prosecutors no evidence existed to convict?
It fell to Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara to give journalists a well-deserved smack after the verdict:
You guys, the media. He was like a patient on an operating table where a mad scientist was committing experiments on him and he had no anesthesia. He didn’t know why he was turned into this monster but quite honestly you guys had a lot to do with it. You took a story that was fed to you and you ran with it and you ran right over him.
If elite journalists had learned any lessons from the trial, they didn’t display any on Sunday morning. The sinister demagogues behind it turned up on the usual shows for more fawning questions. The wizened fraud Al Sharpton even got to stick around on Meet the Press to weigh in on new matters.
Amidst all the sham sanctimony and the blah, blah, blah about a “national conversation on race” (which just means the promotion of reverse racism), very little was said about abusive prosecutors. The suggestion was even raised that Zimmerman’s torments could continue with a federal hate-crimes case. Why not treat him like the cops from the Rodney King trial? That’s now the hope of Harry Reid and other hucksters.
So the sick show trial may continue in new venues. But at least one jury had the integrity to resist this vile tempting of America.
How a Miami School Crime Cover-Up Policy Led to Trayvon Martin’s Death
Posted by Robert Stacy McCain
The February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martion might never have happened if school officials in Miami-Dade County had not instituted an unofficial policy of treating crimes as school disciplinary infractions. Revelations that emerged from an internal affairs investigation explain why Martin was not arrested when caught at school with stolen jewelry in October 2011 or with marijuana in February 2012. Instead, the teenager was suspended from school, the last time just days before he was shot dead by George Zimmerman.
Trayvon Martin was not from Sanford, the town north of Orlando where he was shot in 2012 and where a jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder charges Saturday. Martin was from Miami Gardens, more than 200 miles away, and had come to Sanford to stay with his father’s girlfriend Brandy Green at her home in the townhouse community where Zimmerman was in charge of the neighborhood watch. Trayvon was staying with Green after he had been suspended for the second time in six months from Krop High School in Miami-Dade County, where both his father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, lived.
Both of Trayvon’s suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criiminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martin’s death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for “decreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011.” What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions.
In October 2011, after a video surveillance camera caught Martin writing graffiti on a door, MDSPD Office Darryl Dunn searched Martin’s backpack, looking for the marker he had used. Officer Dunn found 12 pieces of women’s jewelry and a man’s watch, along with a flathead screwdriver the officer described as a “burglary tool.” The jewelry and watch, which Martin claimed he had gotten from a friend he refused to name, matched a description of items stolen during the October 2011 burglary of a house on 204th Terrace, about a half-mile from the school. However, because of Chief Hurley’s policy “to lower the arrest rates,” as one MDSPD sergeant said in an internal investigation, the stolen jewerly was instead listed as “found property” and was never reported to Miami-Dade Police who were investigating the burglary. Similarly, in February 2012 when an MDSPD officer caught Martin with a small plastic bag containing marijuana residue, as well as a marijuana pipe, this was not treated as a crime, and instead Martin was suspended from school.
Either of those incidents could have put Trayvon Martin into the custody of the juvenile justice system. However, because of Chief Hurley’s attempt to reduce the school crime statistics — according to sworn testimony, officers were “basically told to lie and falsify” reports — Martin was never arrested. And if he had been arrested, he might never have been in Sanford the night of his fatal encounter with Zimmerman.
In fact, the reason Zimmerman was patrolling the townhouse community the night of the February 2012 shooting was that there had been a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood, although there was no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any of those crimes.
As for Chief Hurley’s policy, it was the controversy over Martin’s death that accidentally exposed it. In March 2012, the Miami Herald reported on Martin’s troubled history of disciplinary incidents at Krop High. Chief Hurley then launched the internal affairs investigation in an attempt to find out who had provided information to the reporter. During the course of that investigation, MDSPD officers and supervisors described Chief Hurley’s policy of not reporting crimes by students. Chief Hurley was subsequently accused of sexually harassing two female subordinates. He resigned in February, about a year after Trayvon Martin’s death.
Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin
By Frances Robles
Thousands of people gathered in Sanford to demand an arrest in the case, as more details surfaced about the teen’s suspensions in school.
As thousands of people gathered here to demand an arrest in the Trayvon Martin case, a more complicated portrait began to emerge of a teenager whose problems at school ranged from getting spotted defacing lockers to getting caught with a marijuana baggie and women’s jewelry.
The Miami Gardens teen who has become a national symbol of racial injustice was suspended three times, and had a spotty school record that his family’s attorneys say is irrelevant to the facts that led up to his being gunned down on Feb. 26.
In October, a school police investigator said he saw Trayvon on the school surveillance camera in an unauthorized area “hiding and being suspicious.” Then he said he saw Trayvon mark up a door with “W.T.F” — an acronym for “what the f—.” The officer said he found Trayvon the next day and went through his book bag in search of the graffiti marker.
Instead the officer reported he found women’s jewelry and a screwdriver that he described as a “burglary tool,” according to a Miami-Dade Schools Police report obtained by The Miami Herald. Word of the incident came as the family’s lawyer acknowledged that the boy was suspended in February for getting caught with an empty bag with traces of marijuana, which he called “irrelevant” and an attempt to demonize a victim.
Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds.
Trayvon was asked if the jewelry belonged to his family or a girlfriend.
“Martin replied it’s not mine. A friend gave it to me,” he responded, according to the report. Trayvon declined to name the friend.
Trayvon was not disciplined because of the discovery, but was instead suspended for graffiti, according to the report. School police impounded the jewelry and sent photos of the items to detectives at Miami-Dade police for further investigation.
A lawyer for the dead teen’s family acknowledged Trayvon had been suspended for graffiti, but said the family knew nothing about the jewelry and the screwdriver.
“It’s completely irrelevant to what happened Feb. 26,” said attorney Benjamin Crump. “They never heard this, and don’t believe it’s true. If it were true, why wouldn’t they call the parents? Why wasn’t he arrested?”
Trayvon, who was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, had never been arrested, police and the family have said.
“We think everybody is trying to demonize him,” Crump said.
No evidence ever surfaced that the jewelry was stolen.
“Martin was suspended, warned and dismissed for the graffiti,” according to the report prepared by schools police.
That suspension was followed four months later by another one in February, in which Trayvon was caught with an empty plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it. A schools police report obtained by The Miami Herald specifies two items: a bag with marijuana residue and a “marijuana pipe.”
The punishment was the third for the teen. On Monday, the family also said Trayvon had earlier been suspended for tardiness and truancy.
Trayvon was shot to death Feb. 26 while serving out his suspension in Sanford, where his father’s girlfriend lives. A neighborhood watch volunteer called the police to say he saw someone in a hoodie who looked high on drugs, and was suspicious because he walked too slowly in the rain. The unarmed teenager carried Skittles and iced tea, and was talking to his girlfriend on the phone, records show.
Zimmerman told police Trayvon jumped him, punched him in the face and slammed his head on the ground, according to information published by the Orlando Sentinel. The news account came a day after a friend of Zimmerman’s took to television network programs to say the watchman was the victim in the case.
“That sounded like someone in dire need of help,” said friend Joe Oliver, referring to cries heard on 911 tapes. “That sounded like George.”
Zimmerman’s attorney, Craig Sonner, did not return repeated requests for an interview.
Trayvon’s parents viewed the new reports as an orchestrated campaign to demonize their son as a “junkie and thief,” a routine occurrence in such cases, the Rev. Al Sharpton said at an afternoon press conference. Zimmerman, Sharpton said, had no way of knowing about Trayvon’s school record — “because he didn’t interview him before he shot him.”
“The only thing that’s relevant is what Zimmerman knew,” Sharpton said. “Let’s not play this double standard of trying to damage who is dead and sanitize who is the cause of the death.”
Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said her son never had any problems with gangs or the police. In fact, she said, when she transferred him out of Carol City High School to be closer to home, the school wanted him to stay at Carol City because they liked him and he was a good student.
“They killed my son, and now they are trying to kill his reputation,” Fulton said.
Another lawyer for the family said she didn’t put much credence in the report about the jewelry and the screwdriver.
“This is someone in a school writing a report, rumor as far as I’m concerned,” said attorney Natalie Jackson.
The boy’s checkered school record was of little importance to the thousands of people who descended on the city’s civic center for a special city council meeting. Speaker after speaker blasted the investigation and demanded the police file charges in the case.
“We want to reaffirm that we too are in pursuit of truth and justice,” Mayor Jeff Triplett said.
Participants included bus and carloads of people from Miami, including some from Trayvon’s church. Wearing a T-shirt declaring “I am a man,” Miami Homicide Sgt. Ervens Ford was among them.
“This is personal,” Ford said. “I have a son that age. I am getting ready to release him to the world. I have to expose him to things like this. I also have a 12-year-old. I have to be realistic about it: It very very well could have been either one of them.”
Like so many black fathers in America, Ford finds himself schooling his sons on what clothes to wear, what to say to a cop. He calls it “conflict resolution.”
“That man was following him around the way he was, placing Trayvon in fear. Had Travyon shot him and claimed ‘Stand Your Ground,’ Trayvon would have been arrested,” he said. “I’m saying this having been law enforcement for 25 years. I am saying this, and it is my conviction.”
Liberty City activist Renita Holmes attended with about a dozen fellow protesters.
“This case broke me,” she said. “If we continue to do it, it will make a difference. The way we handle this should be a precedent on how we handle every case.”
By Daniel J. Flynn on 7.5.13
Who in his right mind would ever hire George Zimmerman’s prosecutors?
It started by dropping an F-bomb. The prosecution’s case went downhill from there.
The state’s ineptness permeates the entire trial of George Zimmerman, from the over-the-top second-degree-murder charge to the lack of a single African American on the jury.
The prosecution playing video of Zimmerman providing his version of events without having to endure cross-examination demonstrates the level of incompetence. Instead of the cold, emotionless, blank stares of a killer, the jurors saw a likeable, unthreatening, mild-mannered, pudgy man. After demonizing Zimmerman outside of the courtroom, the prosecution strangely humanized him inside of it.
The mumbling and semi-literate Rachel Jeantel proved a stenographer’s worst nightmare. The prosecutors probably now regard her as their nightmare, too.
By testifying that Trayvon Martin referred to Zimmerman as a “nigga” and a “creepy-ass cracker,” Jeantel flipped the script on the racial motivations surrounding the tragedy. She appeared more of a partisan than a witness when she repeatedly told her pausing interrogator, “You can go.” When she admitted that by rushing through a deposition she had compromised its accuracy, Jeantel eroded whatever credibility her behavior hadn’t already destroyed. Like the deposition, and Martin’s wake and funeral that she skipped, Jeantel clearly found testifying a terrible bother. She tapped her fingernails, rolled her eyes, sighed, and when faced with the prospect of appearing on the stand for a second day, declared, “I’m leaving today.” The prosecution should have retroactively granted her wish.
Jeantel came to court to establish that George Zimmerman attacked Trayvon Martin. She instead testified as to the type of person with whom Trayvon Martin associated.
Other state witnesses similarly puzzled. Two cops helped the defense more than the prosecution by testifying that Zimmerman showed no malice toward Martin and that his story remained consistent in important details. The prosecution bizarrely placed the defendant’s best friend on the stand. “He didn’t have [the gun] to go out and commit a crime of hunting someone down and harming them,” Mark Osterman told the court. “It was for self-protection. And I’m glad that firearm was used to protect George.”
When a prosecution witness testifies that he’s happy that the defendant acted the way he did, that’s evidence that the trial isn’t going the state’s way.
What happened to Trayvon Martin in Sanford may not have been criminal. What’s happening to him in court in Sanford might be. No matter which side ones takes a rooting interest in — and this case appears more as a racial sporting event than a trial — it’s difficult not to see the prosecutors as a bunch of Mike Nifong wannabes, sacrificing the interests of justice or even of a conviction in favor of satiating a loud mob.
The client list of Don West and Mark O’Mara dries up if they perform the way their courtroom adversaries do. The prosecutors won’t be out of a job because of this fiasco. Because consequences rarely attach to actions in government, the state incentivizes recklessness.
If your life hung in the balance, would you rather have the state’s attorneys or Zimmerman’s lawyers drawn from private practice? Like the stall in the train station versus the bathroom in your house, a phone booth versus your iPhone, or a ride on a cramped and smelly bus versus one in your Lexus, private beats public nine times out of ten despite the state’s almost unlimited resources. That Rachel Jeantel can’t tell you about the quality of her public school education in cursive tells you all you need to know about the quality of her public school education.
The state’s weak case against George Zimmerman makes a strong case against the state.
NBC’s Sharpton Plans Protests In 100 Cities
During MSNBC’s 11 am hour, above a chyron that read, “More Marches, Protests Planned in Coming Days, Weeks,” MSNBC anchor Al Sharpton said that he and his National Action Network are “mobilizing” protests in 100 cities. Sharpton made clear that the protests were meant to pressure the Justice Department into taking legal action against George Zimmerman:
Well, I certainly think it is going to be on those that now feel that this verdict makes a lot of people vulnerable. The reason that people in the civil rights community, including [Sharpton’s] National Action Network, is talking about these hundred cities that we’re mobilizing this weekend, is not just questioning a verdict but, saying a precedent is now set where the Justice Department must come in[.]
NBC’s Sharpton was one of the first people to turn the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin into a national news story back in March of last year. In the run up to the trial this year, Sharpton has used his primetime MSNBC program, “Politics Nation,” to demand Zimmerman be convicted.
Sharpton achieved national fame in 1987 as the face of the fraudulent Tawana Brawley case and during the Crown Heights Riots, where his role as an agitator is believed by many to have resulted in the mob violence behind the stabbing death of a Jewish scholar visiting from Australia.
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Voting Rights Act Takes Hit by Supreme Court – 6/25/2013
The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a section of the Voting Rights Act, weakening a tool the federal government has used for nearly five decades to block discriminatory voting laws.
In a five-to-four ruling, the court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. That section of the landmark 1965 law provides the formula for determining which states must have any changes to their voting laws pre-approved by the Justice Department’s civil rights division or the D.C. federal court. Nine states are required to get pre-clearance, as are certain jurisdictions in seven other states.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority that Section 4 is unconstitutional because the standards by which states are judged are “based on decades-old data and eradicated practices.”
“Nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically,” Roberts wrote. “The tests and devices that blocked ballot access have been forbidden nationwide for over 40 years. Yet the Act has not eased [Section 5’s] restrictions or narrowed the scope of [Section 4’s] coverage formula along the way. Instead those extraordinary and unprecedented features have been reauthorized as if nothing has changed, and they have grown even stronger.”
The court could have made a much broader ruling by striking down Section 5, which dictates that those states must get pre-clearance. However, the court decided that the Justice Department still has a role in overseeing voting laws.
Nevertheless, civil rights advocates called the ruling a huge blow to democracy.
“The Supreme Court has failed minority voters today,” Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund said Tuesday outside of the court.
The ruling underscores the Supreme Court’s lawmaking powers, challenging Congress’ overwhelmingly bipartisan decision in 2006 to renew the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years. Ifill pointed out that the court renewed the law after holding 52 hearings over nine months and amassing 15,000 pages of evidence of discrimination — including more than 600 objections to voting based on intentional discrimination in the jurisdictions covered by Section 4.
It’s now up to Congress to change the coverage rules so that Section 5 — the section requiring pre-clearance of voting laws in certain states — can continue to be enforced.
“The ball has been thrown not only in Congress’ court, but in our court,” Ifill said, calling on the public to mobilize behind an update to the law.
CLASH Sean Hannity, Juan Williams, Erik Rush over Congress fixing Voting Rights Act
Howard Fineman: Voting Rights ‘Preclearance Is Dead Unless Congress Acts Soon’
The Huffington Post Editorial Director Howard Fineman delivered a grim prognosis relating to the sustainability of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 after the Supreme Court struck from the law provisions relating to the regions of the United States which must submit reapportionment proposals to the Justice Department for preclearance. “Preclearance is dead,” Fineman said, “unless Congress acts soon.”
NBC News reporter Luke Russert began by asking Fineman how today’s ruling on the VRA impacts Democratic plans to expand into traditionally Republican states in the Deep South and Southwest.
“I think a lot is going to depend on how we come to look at discrimination and voting now,” Fineman began. “I think the way to approach this is for the Democrats to say, ‘Look, let’s move forward here.'”
RELATED: If GOP Approaches New Voting Rights Act Like They Did Immigration Reform, The Party Is Doomed
“This is an opportunity to renew for the next century the spirit of the Civil Rights Acts of the ’60s,” Fineman continued. “At the very least, what they’re going to have to do, is raise a whole lot of money for a whole lot of lawsuits all over the country.”
“I think preclearance is dead unless Congress acts soon,” he concluded. “And that’s going to mean you’re going to have to have vigilant people filing lawsuits all over the country, seeking injunctions after the fact trying to make sure the voting procedures are just.”
BREAKING NEWS Supreme Court Throws Out Voting Rights Provision
The divided U.S. Supreme Court threw out a core part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, rolling back a landmark law that opened the polls to millions of southern blacks. The justices, voting 5-4, struck down the law’s formula for determining which states must get federal approval before changing their election rules. The ruling all but invalidates the section preclearance requirement, leaving it without force unless Congress can enact a new method for determining which jurisdictions are covered.
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Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §§ 1973–1973aa-6) is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.
Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” Specifically, Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African Americans from exercising the franchise. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
The Act established extensive federal oversight of elections administration, providing that states with a history of discriminatory voting practices (so-called “covered jurisdictions”) could not implement any change affecting voting without first obtaining the approval of the Department of Justice, a process known as preclearance. These enforcement provisions applied to states and political subdivisions (mostly in the South) that had used a “device” to limit voting and in which less than 50 percent of the population was registered to vote in 1964. The Act has been renewed and amended by Congress four times, the most recent being a 25-year extension signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006.
The Act is widely considered a landmark in civil-rights legislation, though some of its provisions have sparked political controversy. During the debate over the 2006 extension, some Republican members of Congress objected to renewing the preclearance requirement (the Act’s primary enforcement provision), arguing that it represents an overreach of federal power and places unwarranted bureaucratic demands on Southern states that have long since abandoned the discriminatory practices the Act was meant to eradicate. Conservative legislators also opposed requiring states with large Spanish-speaking populations to provide bilingual ballots. Congress nonetheless voted to extend the Act for twenty-five years with its original enforcement provisions left intact.
In the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder, the United States Supreme Court struck down Section 4(b) of the Act and its formula for requiring preclearance as unconstitutional based on current conditions, saying it was rational and needed at the time it was enacted but is no longer necessary. Preclearance itself was not struck down, but it currently has no effect unless or until Congress passes a new formula.
The first page of the Voting Rights Act
Further information: Disfranchisement after the Civil War
The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865 after the Civil War, abolished and prohibited slavery and secured a minimal degree of citizenship to former slaves. The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship to all people “born or naturalized in the United States,” and included the due process and equal protection clauses. This amendment did not explicitly prohibit vote discrimination on racial grounds.
The 15th Amendment, ratified on February 3, 1870, provided that, “The right of U.S. citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”. Additionally under the Amendment, the Congress was given the authority to enforce those rights and regulate the voting process. Soon after the end of Reconstruction, starting in the 1870s, Southern Democratic legislators found other means to deny the vote to blacks, through violence, intimidation, and Jim Crow laws. From 1890 to 1908, 10 Southern states wrote new constitutions with provisions that included literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses that permitted otherwise disqualified voters whose grandfathers voted (thus allowing some white illiterates to vote), some with the aim and effect of re-imposing racially motivated restrictions on the voting process that disenfranchised blacks. State provisions applied to all voters and were upheld by the Supreme Court in early litigation, from 1875 (United States v. Cruikshank) through 1904. During the early 20th century, the Supreme Court began to find such provisions unconstitutional in litigation of cases brought by African Americans and poor whites. States reacted rapidly in devising new legislation to continue disfranchisement of most blacks and many poor whites. Although there were numerous court cases brought to the Supreme Court, through the 1960s, Southern states effectively disfranchised most blacks.
In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was created with the mission to promote blacks’ civil rights, including to “secure for them impartial suffrage.” The NAACP’s success was limited: although they did achieve important judicial rulings by the Supreme Court and some legislative successes, Southern legislators quickly devised alternate ways to keep many southern blacks disfranchised through the early 1960s.
Following the 1964 election, a variety of civil rights organizations banded together to push for the passage of legislation that would ensure black voting rights once and for all. The campaign to bring about federal intervention to prevent discrimination in voting culminated in the voting rights protests in Selma, Alabama, and the famous Selma to Montgomery marches. Demonstrations also brought out white violence, and Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Reeb, and Viola Liuzzo were murdered. President Lyndon B. Johnson, in a dramatic joint-session address, called upon Congress to enact a strong voting rights bill. Johnson’s administration drafted a bill intended to enforce the 14th and 15th Amendments, aiming to eliminate various previously legal strategies to prevent blacks and other minorities from voting.
The Act was sent to Congress by President Johnson on March 17, 1965. The bill passed the Senate on May 26, 1965 (after a successful cloture vote on March 23), by a vote of seventy-seven to nineteen. The House was slower to give its approval. After five weeks of debate, it was finally passed on July 9. After differences between the two bills were resolved in conference, the House passed the Conference Report on August 3, the Senate on August 4. On August 6, President Johnson signed the Act into law with Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and other civil rights leaders in attendance.
President Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks at the signing of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965.
The two numbers in each line of this list refer to the number of representatives voting in favor and against the act, respectively.
- Democrats: 47–17 (73%-27%)
- Republicans: 30–2 (94%-6%)
- Democrats: 221–61 (78%-22%)
- Republicans: 112–24 (82%-18%)
- Democrats: 49–17 (four Southern Democrats voted in favor: Albert Gore, Sr., Ross Bass, George Smathers and Ralph Yarborough).
- Republicans: 30–1 (the lone nay was Strom Thurmond; John Tower who did not vote was paired as a nay vote with Eugene McCarthy who would have voted in favor.)
- Democrats: 217–54
- Republicans: 111–20
Final page of the Voting Rights Act, signed by President Johnson, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House
Section 2 contains a general prohibition on voting discrimination, enforced through federal district court litigation. Congress amended this section in 1982, prohibiting any voting practice or procedure that has a discriminatory result. The 1982 amendment provided that proof of intentional discrimination is not required. The provision focused instead on whether the electoral processes are equally accessible to minority voters. This section is permanent and does not require renewal.
On March 9, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bartlett v. Strickland that the Voting Rights Act does not require governments to draw district lines favorable to minority candidates when the district has minorities as less than half of the population.
The central component to Section 4 of the Act is a formula for determining which jurisdictions will be subject to the preclearance conditions of Section 5. As originally enacted, the first portion of the formula was whether, as of November 1, 1964, the jurisdiction used some form of “test or device” to restrict the opportunity to register and vote (such as a literacy test or a character reference). The second portion was a check of whether less than half of all eligible citizens were registered to vote on November 1, 1964, or that half of all eligible citizens voted in the presidential election of November 1964.
Subsequent revisions of the law moved the date where both portions of the formula were gauged ahead to be as of November 1, 1968 and, later, as of November 1, 1972. Revisions in 1982 and 2006 extended the protections of the law but did not change the nature of the formula itself.
Smaller components of Section 4 include protections for voters with limited English skills to ensure they are able to register and vote as well as receive materials on the electoral process in a language which they will understand.
In a decision on the Shelby County v. Holder case released on June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Section 4(b) unconstitutional.
Section 5 of the Act requires that the United States Department of Justice, through an administrative procedure, or a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, through a declaratory judgment action “preclear” any attempt to change “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting…” in any “covered jurisdiction.” The Supreme Court gave a broad interpretation to the words “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting” in Allen v. State Board of Election, 393 U.S. 544 (1969). A covered jurisdiction that seeks to obtain Section 5 Preclearance, either from the United States Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, must demonstrate that a proposed voting change does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of discriminating based on race or color. In some cases, they must also show that the proposed change does not have the purpose or effect of discriminating against a “language minority group.” Membership in a language minority group includes “persons who are American Indian, Asian American, Alaskan Natives or of Spanish heritage.” The burden of proof under current Section 5 jurisprudence is on the covered jurisdiction to establish that the proposed change does not have a retrogressive purpose.
Covered jurisdictions may not implement voting changes without federal preclearance. The Justice Department has 60 days to respond to a request for a voting change. If the Justice Department or federal court rejects a request for Preclearance, the jurisdiction may continue the prior voting practice or may adopt a substitute and seek Preclearance for it. If the jurisdiction implements a voting change before the Justice Department denies Preclearance in contravention of the Act, the jurisdiction must return to the pre-existing practice or enact a different change.
Those states that had less than 50 percent of the voting age population registered to vote in 1960 and/or 1964 were covered in the original act. In addition, some counties and towns that have been found in violation of section 2 have been added. Some cities and counties in Virginia and New Hampshire (see below) have since been found no longer to need Preclearance.
In 2006, the United States Commission on Civil Rights reviewed the Justice Department Preclearance record and found that the percentage of DOJ objections to submitted changes has declined markedly throughout the 40-year period of the Act: from 5.5 percent in the first period to 1.2 percent in the second, and to 0.6 percent in the third. Over the 10 years prior to the review, the overall objection rate was so low as to be practically negligible, at less than 0.1 percent. The Commission’s two Democratic members dissented from the report, charging that the Commission had “abandon[ed] the field of battle.”
In the case Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder (2009), the Supreme Court ruled that the district should have greater capability of applying for exemption from this section.
On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court case of Shelby County v. Holder held that the preclearance coverage formula in Section 4(b) was unconstitutional. Without a valid coverage formula, no jurisdiction is currently required to have any of their voting changes precleared under Section 5.
The term “bail out” refers to the process by which covered jurisdictions may seek exemption from Section 5 coverage. In order to bail out, a covered jurisdiction needs to obtain a declaratory judgment from the District Court for the District of Columbia. Eighteen Virginia jurisdictions not covered by Section 5 Preclearance requirements have successfully “bailed out.”
Before August 1984, this process required covered jurisdictions to demonstrate that the voting test that they used immediately before coverage was not used in a discriminatory fashion. The 1982 amendment included two significant changes. First, Congress provided that where a state is covered in its entirety, individual counties in that state may separately bail out. Second, Congress completely redesigned the bailout standard. The post-1984 bailout standard requires that a covered jurisdiction demonstrate nondiscriminatory behavior during the 10 years prior to filing and while the action is pending and that it has taken affirmative steps to improve minority voting opportunities.
On September 22, 2010, the first two jurisdictions outside the state of Virginia—Kings Mountain, North Carolina, and Sandy Springs, Georgia—successfully “bailed out” from Section 5 Preclearance requirements. On November 15, 2012, New Hampshire sued to “bail out” from the requirements, which were originally imposed on ten towns that used a literacy test and had voting disparities when the Act was passed, and prevailed on March 1, 2013.
Similar to the bail out procedure, under Section 3 of the VRA there is a “bail in” or ‘pocket trigger’ process by which uncovered jurisdictions found to be a ‘pocket’ of discrimination may be required to seek preclearance under 42 USC 1973a(c). The statutory language is similar to Section 5 oversight but the period of coverage is based on a ruling or consent decree issued by a federal judge. Not used prior to 1975, Section 3 has bailed in the following: 
- California: Los Angeles
- Florida: Escambia
- Nebraska: Thurston
- New Mexico: Bernalillo
- South Dakota: Buffalo
- South Dakota: Charles Mix
These covered districts are not counted in the Section 5 covered areas below and are not affected by the 2013 Supreme Court decision invalidating the formula in Section 4 for jurisdictions requiring Section 5 preclearance.
Jurisdictions formerly covered
States and counties requiring preclearance under Section 5 of the VRA as of January, 2008. Several small jurisdictions have since bailed out, but the majority of the map remains accurate
The jurisdictions listed below had to have their voting changes precleared before the June 25, 2013, Supreme Court decision Shelby County v. Holder that struck down the formula used to determine who was covered under Section 5 (see 28 C.F.R. part 51 appendix):
- Alabama, except for the city of Pinson
- Georgia, except for the city of Sandy Springs
- South Carolina
- Texas, except for Jefferson County Drainage District Number Seven and Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One
- Virginia, except for 24 counties (Amherst, Augusta, Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Culpeper, Essex, Frederick, Grayson, Greene, James City, King George, Middlesex, Page, Prince William, Pulaski, Rappahanock, Roanoke, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Washington, Warren, and Wythe) and seven independent cities (Fairfax, Falls Church, Harrisonburg, Manassas Park, Salem, Williamsburg, and Winchester)
- California: Kings (except for Alta Irrigation District), Monterey, Yuba (except for Browns Valley Irrigation District and the city of Wheatland)
- Florida: Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, Monroe
- New York: Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan)
- North Carolina: Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Camden, Caswell, Chowan, Cleveland (except for the city of Kings Mountain), Craven, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gaston, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Jackson, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Rockingham, Scotland, Union, Vance, Washington, Wayne, Wilson
- South Dakota: Shannon, Todd
- Michigan: Clyde Township (Allegan County), Buena Vista Township
President George W. Bush signs the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in July 2006.
Some temporary sections of the Voting Rights Act (none involving the outlawing of literacy tests, which are permanently banned) have been renewed four times and remain in force. These provisions were renewed in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006. In the 1982 action, Congress amended the Act to make some sections (including section 2) permanent while renewing the remainder (including section 5) for 25 years (until July 1, 2007).
In July 2006, 41 years after the Voting Rights Act passed, renewal of the temporary provisions enjoyed bi-partisan support. However, a number of Republican lawmakers acted to amend, delay or defeat renewal of the Act for various reasons. One group of lawmakers led by Georgia congressman Lynn Westmoreland came from some preclearance states, and claimed that it was no longer fair to target their states, given the passage of time since 1965 and the changes their states had made to provide fair elections and voting. Another group of 80 legislators supported an amendment offered by Steve King of Iowa, seeking to strip provisions from the Act that required that translators or multilingual ballots be provided for U.S. citizens who do not speak English. The “King letter” said that providing ballots or interpreters in multiple languages is a costly, unfunded mandate.
The bill to renew the Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 13 by a vote of 390-33, with support from Republican House leadership, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. The U.S. Senate passed the bill 98–0 on July 20. President George W. Bush signed the bill in a morning ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House on July 27, 2006, one year in advance of the 2007 expiration date. This extension renewed the Act for another 25 years. The audience included members of the families of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Also in attendance were the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and other prominent African Americans.
Some jurisdictions singled out in the Act for their practices in the 1960s are still required by law to receive federal permission for certain changes to election law or changes in venue. These nine Southern states and mostly Southern counties have complained that the practices banned by the Act disappeared long ago and that further compliance with the mandates of the Act are a costly nuisance and an “unfair stigma” to their towns. As an example of the federal bureaucracy involved, Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston said, “If you move a polling place from the Baptist church to the Methodist church, you’ve got to go through the Justice Department.”
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., said:
Congress is declaring from on high that states with voting problems 40 years ago can simply never be forgiven, that Georgians must eternally wear the scarlet letter because of the actions of their grandparents and great-grandparents. We have repented and we have reformed.
— Lynn Westmoreland
Some who think that this federal oversight is discriminatory to these particular states have proposed that the oversight be extended to all 50 states or eliminated entirely.
The 2006 extension of the preclearance procedure was challenged in a lawsuit, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, which was argued before the Supreme Court on April 30, 2009. The lawsuit was brought by a municipal water district in Texas, which elects members to a water board. The district does not register voters, nor has it been accused of discrimination. However, it wished to move the voting location from a private home to a public school; the preclearance procedure required it to seek approval from the Justice Department, because Texas is a covered jurisdiction under Section 5. While the Court did not declare preclearance unconstitutional, the decision redefined the law to allow any political subdivision covered by Section 5 to request exemption from federal review.
During the 2010 election cycle, the state of Florida passed two redistricting amendments to their state constitution that were aimed at preventing future attempts at gerrymandering. Then-governor Charlie Crist, a supporter of both amendments, submitted a request to the DOJ for preclearance, as required by the VRA. In early 2011, Florida’s newly-elected governor Rick Scott, a vocal opponent of these amendments, withdrew the request for preclearance, placing the legal status of the amendments in limbo. In particular, only five of Florida’s counties are required to obtain preclearance under the Act, making it unclear what the status of these amendments is in the remaining counties. Proponents of these amendments, both of which passed with greater than 60% voter approval, are accusing Scott’s administration of attempting to “thwart the will of the voters”, by “abusing their power”, and the VRA’s preclearance clause, as a means to defeat these amendments despite overwhelming voter support.
Some judges and proponents of racially drawn congressional districts have interpreted Section 5 of the Act as requiring racial gerrymandering in order to ensure minority representation. The United States Supreme Court in Miller v. Johnson, 515 U.S. 900 (1995), overturned a 1992 Congressional redistricting plan that had created minority majority districts in Georgia as unconstitutional gerrymander. In Bush v. Vera, the Supreme Court, in a plurality opinion, rejected Texas’s contention that Section 5 required racially-gerrymandered districts.
On November 9, 2012, the Supreme Court granted certiorari for the case of Shelby County v. Holder originating from Shelby County, Alabama, limited to the question of whether Congress’ decision in 2006 to reauthorize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act under the pre-existing coverage formula of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act exceeded its authority under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and thus violated the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the United States Constitution.
Oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder were on February 27, 2013. On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down, with a 5 to 4 vote, Section 4(b) of Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional while ruling that Section 5 is still permissible.
Background Articles and Videos
Constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act
Why Today Is Better Than Yesterday
By John Yoo
Do conservatives have a lot more to be happy about today than yesterday? Yes. Today, the Supreme Court struck down the most onerous element of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County v. Holder. The Act had required several states and localities, almost all in the southern states of the confederacy, to seek permission from the Justice Department or a federal court before changing any electoral procedure. This included the drawing of electoral districts. A separate provision, still in force after Shelby, prohibits individual measures to block access to the ballot on the grounds of race.
The Act made sense in 1965, when Jim Crow still prevented blacks from registering and voting in the South. But it doesn’t anymore. One chart of voting registration by race, found on page 15 of Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion, says it all:
I became a lawyer so I wouldn’t have to work with numbers. But even I get it. After 40 years of the Voting Rights Act, in the original Jim Crow southern states African-American voting registration is actually the same or higher than that of whites. In the last election, African-American turnout was higher than white turnout in five of these six states, and in the sixth state the gap was less than 0.5 percent.
Shelby shows that the Court — albeit by a 5-4 majority — finally came to grips with reality. The Voting Rights Act worked. But it was an extraordinary remedy that intruded on state sovereignty over elections. And like all extraordinary remedies, it was only for unusual times. Those times have come to an end.
But there is one remaining and open question: Will this be bad for Republicans in the South? The Voting Rights Act resulted in an alliance between the NAACP and the Republican party of the 1980s and 1990s to pack minorities into voting districts. This had the effect of ensuring that minorities would be elected to Congress (which the NAACP liked), but diluted minority influence in regular politics by reducing their numbers in all other voting districts (which the Republican party liked). The end of the Voting Rights Act might have the long-term effect of making more congressional seats in the South more competitive and reducing the number of safe seats for members of the congressional black caucus. I would say that that is another victory for the nation wrought by Shelby.
June 26, 2013
Voting Rights Act: Winning the Case While Losing the Principle
Yesterday morning, by a vote of five to four, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress could no longer rely on data of state racial discrimination affecting voting rights which had been assembled in the 1960’s and 1970’s to justify the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act. Under the preclearance provision (section 4) struck down by the Court, some States and their political subdivisions had been required since 1965 to obtain approval by specified federal authorities in Washington, D.C. before any change in their voting laws can take effect.
Roberts. Justice Thomas wrote aconcurring opinion. A dissent was filed by Justice Ginsburg, with Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.
While the Court ruled that section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional, this decision was anything but a principled victory, and, indeed, has opened the door to further legislation that could be every bit as bad, if not worse, than the section 4 which it struck down.
In the very first paragraph of the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged the extraordinary nature of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 of the Act requiring “States to obtain federal permission before enacting any law related to voting [is] a drastic departure from basic principles of federalism….” And, Section 4 of the Act “appl[ying] that requirement only to some States – [is] an equally dramatic departure from the principle that all States enjoy equal sovereignty.”
However extraordinary and unprecedented these two sections were viewed, the Court refused to rule that either section was unconstitutional for that reason.
Rather, the Court decided that the Section 4 formula governing whether a particular State or political subdivision was required to get Section 5 permission was unconstitutional solely because it was based upon outdated voting discrimination data.
On two occasions Justice Roberts cited with apparent approval some of the most lawless words ever written by the Supreme Court — words contained in Justice Warren’s opinion approving the original Voting Rights Act of 1965: “exceptional conditions can justify legislative measures not otherwise appropriate.” South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 393 U.S. 301, 309 (1966).
In so ruling, the Court left the door open for Congress to assemble new data to enact into law a new formula whereby some States and their political subdivisions would be singled out for federal preclearance before they would be permitted to make any election law change. And what might that new formula be?
According to Section 5, left intact by the Court, the 1965 Act, as amended, prohibits: (i) any voting procedure that has “any discriminatory purpose” — not just one that worsens one’s exercise of the voting privilege, or (ii) any voting change that diminishes the ability of citizens on account of race, or language minority status “to elect their preferred candidates of choice.” Neither outcome based test was ever envisioned by the Fifteenth Amendment.
The Court invited Congress to replace section 4 with a new and improved version. Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts wrote:
“Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions. Such a formula is an initial prerequisite to a determination that exceptional conditions still exist justifying such an ‘extraordinary departure from the traditional course of relations between the States and the Federal Government.'”
How refreshing to know that a State’s sovereignty cannot be overridden by the federal government — unless Congress and the President have an important reason to do so.
According to the Court’s decision, then, neither the principle of state sovereignty, nor the principle of state equality, preserved not only by the Tenth Amendment and by the nation’s federal structure dating back to the Declaration of Independence, stands in the way of an affirmative action by Congress that would single out those states that fail to elect to office minority group candidates sufficiently proportionate to their numbers in the population.
Thus, the Shelby County Court opinion frees Congress to amend the 1965 Act to impose new burdens on a new group of States and their political subdivisions — or on all states — just so long as Congress justifies the imposition of new burdens to meet current needs.
In our Shelby County amicus brief, we advocated a legal system that treats each man as man, no more and no less. We urged the Court to strike down not only Section 4 of the 1965 Act, but Section 5 — to close the door to special privileges based upon race — minority, majority, or otherwise. The Court rejected that invitation.
In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas claimed that the same reasons that justified the Court to strike down the outmoded formula of Section 4, would justify striking down Section 5 as well. However, until the Court returns to the rule of law — fixed as to time, uniform as to person, and universal as to place — we will continue to be ruled by judges whose opinions change with changing times.
Postscript: To put this case into the context of how the current Court views constitutional principles, just the day before the Court handed down Shelby County, the Court decided Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. In Fisher the Court refused to adopt the principle of racial equality in the admission of students to the University, permitting race to be used as a factor in the admitting process if it did so in pursuance of a compelling interest to carry out a policy of educational diversity. Thus, once again the Court sidestepped our constitutional commitment in the nation’s charter and in the Fourteenth Amendment to the principle of human equality regardless of race or color, and preserved the right of every justice to decide each case as he pleases, without meaningful constitutional constraint, doing what each believes to be right in his own eyes.
Herb Titus taught constitutional law for 26 years, concluding his academic career as founding dean of Regent Law School. Bill Olson served in three positions in the Reagan administration. They now practice constitutional law together, defending against government excess, at William J. Olson, P.C. They filed an amicus curiae brief in the Shelby County case. They can be reached at email@example.com or twitter.com/OlsonLaw
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Hit the road Jack!
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Valerie Jarrett: Eric Holder ‘Will Be in His Position for Quite a While’
Valerie Jarrett, a close adviser to President Obama, said that Eric Holder is “definitely” not stepping down and that he’ll be attorney general “for quite a while.”
“One of the things that you learn in this business is, don’t listen to rumors. You can take it from me. Obviously, I know the president pretty well. And I know the attorney general very well. and he will be in his position for quite a while.”
Jarrett called Holder “resilient,” and said he “continues to have the president’s full confidence and respect.”
“Eric never loses sight of what he’s there for,” said Jarrett. “He’s there to be the chief lawyer for the United States of America and to make sure that all of our rights are protected, and to defend our country, to make sure that he is an advocate for those whose civil rights have been infringed upon–anyone whose rights have been infringed upon. And there are people all around the country who are counting on him to be the attorney general. And so yes he is resistant, and he is tough, and he is strong, and he is perfectly capable of defending himself, and he is an outstanding attorney general, who enjoys the full confidence of the president of the United States.”
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“Fast And Furious” Just Might Be President Obama’s Watergate
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What’s more, CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson — who’s been covering the scandal from the beginning — says in an interview on the Laura Ingraham Show today that the White House and Justice Department have taken to screaming at her for reporting on the story. You can listen to the full interview below,
Bombshell: DOJ Considering Elimination of ATF
News Editor, Townhall
Sep 30, 2011
Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer. ATF agents wouldn’t be reassigned to other positions, just simply let go. Current duties of ATF, including the enforcement of explosives and gun laws, would be transferred to other agencies, possibly the FBI and the DEA.
According to a congressional source, there have been rumblings about the elimination of ATF for quite sometime, but the move would require major political capital to actually happen.
“It’s a serious white paper being circulated, how far they’d get with it I don’t know,” a confidential source said.
After a town hall meeting about Operation Fast and Furious in Tucson, Ariz. on Monday, ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu, who has been key in exposing details about Operation Fast and Furious, confirmed the elimination of ATF has been circulating as a serious idea for sometime now and that a white paper outlining the plan does exist.
Sounds great right? Eliminating ATF? But there is more to this story. Remember, low level ATF field agents, like ATF histleblower John Dodson, were uncomfortable conducting Operation Fast and Furious from the beginning, but were told by high level officials within ATF that if they had a problem with the operation, they could find a job elsewhere.
“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated,” ATF Whistleblower John Dodson said in testimony on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2011.
In fact, not only were the ATF agents forced to carry out the operation, they were told to go against what they had been taught in training.
“This operation, which in my opinion endangered the American public, was orchestrated in conjunction with Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley. [Emory Hurley is the same Assistant U.S. Attorney who previously prevented agents from using some of the common and accepted law enforcement techniques that are employed elsewhere in the United States to investigate and prosecute gun crimes.] I have read documents that indicate that his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, also agreed with the
direction of the case,” Special Agent Peter Forcelli said in testimony on Capitol hill on June 15, 2011.
“I recall my first days at the ATF academy, where it was drilled into us as new agents that under no circumstances would any firearms, in any investigation, leave the control of ATF. Instructors stressed that even if a weapon was lost “by accident,” the agent was still subject to termination,” former ATF Attaché to Mexico Darren D. Gil said in testimony on June 15, 2011.
ATF field agents weren’t the problem with Operation Fast and Furious, high ranking officials within ATF and the Department of Justice were and still are. DOJ would eliminate ATF only to take the heat off of the Obama Administration. By eliminating the bureau, it makes it seem like DOJ is taking Operation Fast and Furious so seriously, they decided to “clear out the corruption, clean house,” however, it would only be a distraction away from the people at the top of the investigation. In fact, evidence shows the DOJ has been stonewalling the Oversight Committee investigation into the operation to protect Obama political appointees.
“It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears thoroughly to us that the Department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the Department,” former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, who has since been moved to a position within DOJ, said of his frustration with the Justice Department’s response to the investigation in transcribed closed door testimony with the Oversight Committee in July 2011.
When I called the Department of Justice last week (five times) to request the white paper and receive a comment surrounding the idea of eliminating ATF, I received the following response: “Everyone is away from their desk right now.”
Up to this point, the Department of Justice has denied all allegations or involvement in Operation Fast and Furious, yet journalists and the House Oversight Committee have proved allegation after allegation to be true. For example, during a Congressional hearing in July, former ATF Special Agent in Charge William Newell, who has since been promoted to a
position within the Justice Department, denied that his agency was trafficking guns to Mexico, despite overwhelming evidence and testimony from other ATF agents proving otherwise.
“At no time in our strategy was it to allow guns to be taken to Mexico,” Newell said on July 26, 2011, adding that at no time did his agency allow guns to walk.
We’ve heard this was a low level, “rogue” operation, turns out high level officials in the Justice Department, DEA, FBI, DHS, and even members of the White House national security team knew about Operation Fast and Furious.
Last week, ATF offered 400 agents buy outs to avoid budget cuts and is expecting 250-275 agents to take the offer through Voluntary Early Retirement. These buyouts come at a convenient time for the Justice Department, which can eliminate ATF, then say it’s because of budget cuts, when really, it’s to cover their tracks. …”
Time for a special prosecutor to be named.
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Analysis of Exchange Between Representative Issa and Attorney General Holder
Analysis of Exchange Between Representative Issa and Attorney General Holder
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“…ATF Senior Special Agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief. An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen. Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States. Dodson’s bosses say that never happened. Now, he’s risking his job to go public. Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico. …”
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Note: “Stimulus money” was apparently used to fund Project Gunrunner which includes Operation Fast and Furious! Apparently some of the $10 million was used to fund gun purchases by straw buyers that were purchasing guns for the Mexican drug cartels that lead to the murder of over 140 Mexican citizens including soldiers, government officials and ordinary citizens. This gives new meaning to the term “shovel ready projects”!
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“…One of the kingpins of the infamous Los Zetas drug running gang has told Mexican federal police that the group purchased its weapons directly from U.S. government officials inside America, a revelation that will only serve to heighten suspicions that the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious program was a deliberate attempt to undermine the Second Amendment by stealth.
Under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives “Sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.” Some of the weapons were later used to kill US Border Patrol agents like Brian Terry.
However, according to the testimony of Rejón Aguilar, one of the original seven members of Los Zetas who was recently captured by police, in some cases Mexican drug gangs did not have to wait until the firearms reached the border — they purchased guns directly from the US government itself inside America.
In an interview with Mexican federal police that was later uploaded to You Tube and translated, Aguilar sensationally blows the whistle on how the Zetas’ weapons were obtained straight from U.S. federal authorities.
“They are bought in the U.S. The buyers (on the U.S. side of the border) have said in the past that sometimes they would acquire them from the U.S. Government itself,” Aguilar told police.
“There were buyers for a time — because they weren’t our people, they were buyers on the other side — telling us that even the American government itself were selling them,” added Aguilar. …”
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Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 4/7)
Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 5/7)
Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 6/7)
Stossel Show – More Guns Less Crime! (Part 7/7)
Ron Paul 2nd amendment
Ron Paul militia guns Switzerland
Why Switzerland Has The Lowest Crime Rate In The World
Sexy Girl Against Gun Control
Background Articles and Videos
Cass Sunstein On The Right To Bear Arms
Larry Grathwohl on Ayers’ plan for American re-education camps and the need to kill millions
Gulf of Tonkin: McNamara admits It didn’t happen
What Really Happened at Tonkin Gulf? 60 Minutes opening
Gulf of Tonkin – “War Made Easy”
History Of AK-47
AK-47 Rifle History
The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 1)
The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 2)
The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 3)
The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 4)
The M16 Assault Rifle (Part 5)
Barrett .50 cal M82 Sniper Kill Shot (A MUST WATCH)
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON – MEXICO – DRUG CARTELS & GUNS
Which Was Worse: Watergate or Operation ‘Fast and Furious’?
by AWR Hawkins
“…So for covering up something up, Nixon was crucified by Left: to the point that by the summer of 1974 it became evident the House of Representatives was going to bring up impeachment charges against him. But he nipped those plans in the bud by resigning office on August 9, 1974, and flipping the “V” for victory to the hippies and the war protestors as he boarded the chopper that carried him away from the White House.
No one died during the Watergate break-ins or as a result of Nixon’s cover-up.
Switch gears and jump to 2009, and the ATF’s special operation “Fast and Furious.” An operation with which you’re all familiar by now, where upwards of 2500 guns in Arizona were sold to “straw purchasers” under the assumption that those guns were going to end up in the hands of Mexican cartel members who could then be arrested.
Talk about an embarrassingly ignorant plan.
Jump now to 2011 – of the approximately 2500 guns sold only a few hundred have been recovered and at least one federal agent, Brian Terry, lost his life due to this ludicrous operation.
Talk about a cover-up: this operation was somehow planned and conducted without the full knowledge of the Acting ATF Director, the Justice Department, or President Obama having any knowledge of it. (By “full knowledge” I mean that Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson says knew about it, but was kept “in the dark” regarding the extent of the operation, and the involvement of other agencies like the FBI and DEA.)
In other news, on July 5th Jack Tapper (ABC News) peppered Obama’s White House Press Secretary with questions about “Fast and Furious” in front of the rest of the press reporters, but the most substantive answer that Jay Carney gave was: “The president takes this very seriously.” (In all fairness to Carney, he’s clueless because Obama keeps him clueless.)
Look folks, this is ridiculous. Where is Chris Matthews? Where is that Keith guy who used to work for MSNBC? Where are all the freaks who wanted to hang George W. Bush in effigy for supposedly-lying about Iraq?
Why are they silent in the face of so great a cover-up? …”
Congress looks into Operation Fast and Furious
“…The only ones seriously looking into Operation Fast and Furious are the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Republican delegation of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Three days ago Darrell Issa at House Oversight, and Charles Grassley, Ranking Member at Senate Judiciary, published this open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. David Codrea, Mike Vanderboegh, Kurt Hofmann, William Lajeunesse (Fox News), and others have all mentioned the most sensational thing that the letter reveals. Namely, that US taxpayers bought many of the guns that the government effectively “threw down” in Mexico. Some of the buyers and “end users” of these weapons were paid DEA and FBI informants. Stimulus money went to buy other weapons.
Kenneth Melson, acting ATF director and intended sacrificial lamb for Operation Fast and Furious, and now a confirmed whistleblower. Photo: BATFE.
But the letter also speaks of cover-up. First, no one told ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson that he could talk directly to Members of Congress with his own private lawyer present, on his own time. No one, that is, until some House Oversight employees told him that he had that right. Melson accepted the obvious offer at once. He even came on July 4, a legal holiday. A furious Issa reminded Holder of the law that protects Executive Branch employees who want to talk to Congress.
Second, Melson told Issa and Grassley that he reassigned every ATF manager that had any part of Operation Fast and Furious. But the Justice Department forbade him to tell Congress why he had to reassign those people. Here Issa went beyond a mere suggestion and accused Holder flatly of obstruction of Congress.
If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand.
Third, Melson confirmed to Issa and Grassley that the DEA and the FBI also had roles in Operation Fast and Furious. Melson also said that he told two senior DOJ officials about this in April, and then in the middle of June. Why didn’t the DOJ stop this? …”
Editorial: Was Fast And Furious A Gun-Control Plot?
“…Scandal: Rather than a botched attempt to catch criminals, was the ATF program actually an attempt to advance gun-control efforts by an administration that has blamed Mexican violence on easy access to U.S. weapons?
If “Operation Fast and Furious” was merely a botched attempt at law enforcement, why was a supervisor of the operation, David Voth, “jovial, if not, not giddy but just delighted about” marked guns showing up at crime scenes in Mexico, as career Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson told Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee?
Perhaps because all was going as planned until it was learned that two of the AK-47s recovered at the scene of the fatal shooting of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December were bought in ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious. That wasn’t supposed to happen.
“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals — this was the plan,” Dodson testified to the panel. “It was so mandated.”
ATF agent Olindo James Casa said that “on several occasions I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms, but I was always ordered to stand down and not to seize the firearms.”
Yet, as we’ve noted, gun-tracking operations stopped at the border. That seems odd if the purpose was to catch gun traffickers and their drug-lord bosses. It makes sense, however, if the real purpose was to perpetuate, in the interests of pursuing the administration’s gun-control agenda, what Bob Owens of Pajamas Media calls the “90% lie.”
Unwilling to guarantee a secure southern border, and as part of a campaign to reinstate an expired assault weapons ban, the administration has charged that much of Mexico’s gun violence is our fault. Both governments have pushed the myth that 90% of weapons confiscated by Mexican authorities originate in the U.S. …”
“…Weapons that originated in foreign countries are not sent to the U.S. for tracing. Neither are weapons of Mexican army deserters or those stolen from armories.
Bill McMahon, ATF deputy assistant director, testified that of 100,000 weapons recovered by Mexican authorities, only 18,000 were made, sold or imported from the U.S. And of those 18,000, just 7,900 came from sales by licensed gun dealers. That’s 8%, not 90%. …”
Operation Fast and Furious should end Holder tenure
“…Watergate cliches though they are, two questions beg to be asked about the exploding Fast and Furious scandal at the U.S. Department of Justice: What did Attorney General Eric Holder know and when did he know it concerning the underlying concept, operational protocols and legal status of the Operation Fast and Furious program in the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau?
Those questions gained special relevance Wednesday when four ATF agents testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and squarely contradicted a Feb. 4, 2011, claim by a department spokesman that DOJ did not approve of the program that sanctioned the illegal sale here in America by legitimate gun dealers of assault weapons to representatives of Mexican drug cartels. The idea behind the program was that the hundreds of firearms thus sold would then be traced from specific crimes, thus enabling prosecutions of the individuals involved.
The agents testified that Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, a Phoenix-based appointee of President Obama, “orchestrated” Operation Fast and Furious. ATF Phoenix field office supervisor Peter Forcelli, for example, told the committee: “I have read documents that indicate that his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, also agreed with the direction of the case.” That direction was established sometime after Obama was inaugurated in 2009 when Phoenix ATF agents, breaking with long-established agency practice, were ordered to monitor, but not stop, gun sales to suspected gun traffickers. The agents testified that Phoenix ATF supervisor David Voth “was jovial, if not, not giddy, but just delighted” when Fast and Furious guns were subsequently recovered at multiple Mexican drug busts. And emails released Thursday by Rep. Darrell Issa,R-Calif., revealed that acting director Kenneth Melson even arranged to watch live feeds from ATF cameras in gun stores being used by the program while sitting at his desk.
But delight turned to devastation on Dec. 14, 2010 when two Fast and Furious rifles were found at the scene of Border Agent Brian Terry’s murder approximately 18 miles inside the U.S. border with Mexico in the Arizona desert. The program ended the next day. Special Agent Larry Alt told the committee that Terry’s death was the entirely foreseeable result of Operation Fast and Furious: “You can’t allow thousands of guns to go south of the border without an expectation that they are going to be recovered eventually in crimes and people are going to die.” …”
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2011/06/operation-fast-and-furious-should-end-holder-tenure#ixzz1RXnLHb70
Obama Takes ATF Gun-Running Operation ‘Very Seriously,’ Spokesman Says
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
By Fred Lucas
“…As part of “Operation Fast and Furious,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives knowingly allowed some 2,000 guns purchased in the U.S. to flow to Mexican criminals – to see where they would end up. But ATF lost track of many of the weapons. Two of the “straw-purchased” guns were later found in Arizona, at the scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s murder in December.
On Tuesday, Carney declined to answer whether ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson would testify about Operation Fast and Furious to Congress. A congressional oversight report indicated that people at the “highest levels” of the Justice Department knew about it.
Jake Tapper of ABC News asked Carney about the Fast and Furious program: “I know that there’s this investigation going on internally — weapons from the Fast and Furious program are now showing up in the United States attached to criminal transactions. The ABC station in Phoenix last week reported on several of these weapons from Fast and Furious turning up. How come we know so little — the public knows so little about this program? And what is the administration doing to get to the bottom of these weapons, which are now showing up in crimes in the United States?” …”
Scandal Grows: FBI, DEA Involved With Operation Fast and Furious
“…Yesterday, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson answered questions from Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley surrounding Operation Fast and Furious. Melson voluntarily participated in the interview and appeared with personal counsel, meaning although the Justice Department has prohibited Melson to testify before Congress on behalf of the DOJ about the scandal, he can in fact come forward with information as an individual informant outside of the DOJ and separate from DOJ interests.
In a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa and Grassley expressed disappointment in the DOJ limiting and controlling Melson’s communication and interaction with Congress surrounding the scandal but called the information Melson presented yesterday “extremely helpful,” to the investigation.
Melson revealed the scope of Operation Fast and Furious reaches far beyond ATF and the Justice Department. He said the FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and other agencies were heavily involved.
We have very real indications from several sources that some of the gun trafficking “higher-ups” that the ATF sought to identify were already known to other agencies and may even have been paid as informants. The Acting Director said that ATF was kept in the dark about certain activities of other agencies, including DEA and FBI. Mr.Melson said that he learned from ATF agents in the field that information obtained by these agencies could have had a material impact on the Fast and Furious investigation as far back as late 2009 or early 2010. After learning about the possible role of DEA and FBI, he testified that he reported this information in April 2011 to the Acting Inspector General and directly to then-Acting Deputy Attorney General James Cole on June 16, 2011.
According to the letter, the Justice Department continues to obstruct the independent House Oversight Committee Investigation:
The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities. While this is preliminary information, we must find out if there is any truth to it. According to Acting Director Melson, he became aware of this startling possibility only after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the indictments of the straw purchasers, which we now know were substantially delayed by the u.s. Attorney’s Office and Main Justice.
It is one thing to argue that the ends justify the means in an attempt to defend a policy that puts building a big case ahead of stopping known criminals from getting guns. Yet it is a much more serious matter to conceal from Congress the possible involvement of other agencies in identifying and maybe even working with the same criminals that Operation Fast and Furious was trying to identify. If this information is accurate, then the whole misguided operation might have been cut short if not for catastrophic failures to share key information. If agencies within the same Department, co-located at the same facilities, had simply communicated with one another, then ATF might have known that gun trafficking “higher-ups” had been already identified. This raises new and serious questions about the role of DEA, FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office in Arizona, and Main Justice in coordinating this effort.
We hope that the Department will take a much more candid and forthcoming approach in addressing these very serious matters with the Committees. If other important fact witnesses like Mr. Melson have a desire to communicate directly with the Committees they should be informed that they are free to do so. They should also be notified that if they are represented by personal counsel, they may appear with personal counsel rather than with Department lawyers …”
Federal ATF chief said to resist pressure to step down
Kenneth Melson of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms faces controversy over the agency’s surveillance program that allowed U.S. guns into Mexico. He is said to be eager to testify to Congress.
By Richard A. Serrano
“…Kenneth E. Melson, who has run the bureau for two years, is reportedly eager to testify to Congress about the extent of his and other officials’ involvement in the operation, code-named Fast and Furious.
Melson does not want to be “the fall guy” for the program, under which ATF agents allowed straw purchasers to acquire more than 1,700 AK-47s and other high-powered rifles from Arizona gun dealers, the sources said. The idea was to track the guns to drug cartel leaders. But that goal proved elusive, and the guns turned up at shootings in Mexico, as well as at the slaying in Arizona of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in December.
“He is saying he won’t go,” said one source close to the situation, who asked for anonymity because high-level discussions with Melson remained fluid. “He has told them, ‘I’m not going to be the fall guy on this.’ ”
Added a second source, who also requested anonymity: “He’s resisting. He does not want to go.”
Melson has an open invitation to appear on Capitol Hill. So far, he has not been given Justice Department approval to appear before Congress.
This week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he hoped that Melson would give a full accounting of how the gun operation was conceived and carried out. He also said Melson should resign, and that other senior leaders at ATF and the Justice Department should be held accountable as well.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also is awaiting answers from Melson, and cautioned this week that even if the acting director stepped down, it “would be, by no means, the end of our inquiry.” …”
GOA’s Larry Pratt: ATF Allows Flow of Guns Into Mexico! – Alex Jones Tv 1/2
GOA’s Larry Pratt: ATF Allows Flow of Guns Into Mexico! – Alex Jones Tv 2/2
“…– Arizona Firearms found at murder scene of American Border Patrol agent
March 2, 2011
Scandal along the U.S. — Mexico border continues to plague the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and is raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill.
When Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and mortally wounded in a gun battle about 10 miles from the Mexico border in Arizona in December, 2010, it appeared to be yet another example of Mexico drug gang violence spilling over the border. But as more and more information from the crime scene leaked out, disturbing evidence also pointed to serious wrongdoing at the ATF.
Since 2005, the ATF has been involved in an initiative called “Project Gunrunner.”
Under this plan, ATF was to trace the flow of guns supposedly trafficked by straw purchasers in the U.S. to across the border into Mexico. When concerned firearms dealers, fearing the guns were being sent into Mexico, contacted ATF, they were instructed to proceed with the questionable and illegal sales to suspected straw buyers.
The mismanagement and botched oversight of “Gunrunner” has led to what has become known as the “Gunwalker” scandal.
According to current and former agents, perhaps as many as 3,000 firearms were allowed by ATF to “walk” across the border into Mexico. But the firearms—along with any hope of tracking them to higher level criminals—disappeared once the guns crossed the border. The ATF literally lost track of the weapons.
Two of these guns, however, turned up at the scene of Brian Terry’s murder. They were traced to an American gun store that had been cooperating with the Phoenix ATF office as part of Project Gunrunner.
The information about Agent Terry’s murder and the potential role played by Gunrunner came to the attention of Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, who sent a letter of inquiry to Acting ATF Director Ken Melson. In the letter, Sen. Grassley wrote that the Judiciary Committee, of which he is the ranking member, “received numerous allegations” that the ATF authorized the sale of hundreds of firearms to suspected illegal buyers, “who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the southwestern border area and into Mexico….Two of the weapons were then allegedly used in a firefight…killing CPB Agent Brian Terry.”
Senator Grassley went on to quote from a scathing Department of Justice review of Project Gunrunner, which found that ATF focused on low level, individual straw buyers “instead of targeting higher-level traffickers and smugglers.”
Sen. Grassley clearly ruffled some feathers in the agency. When an agent in the ATF’s Phoenix office spoke to someone on Grassley’s staff, that agent was accused by a superior of “misconduct related to his contacts with the Senate Judiciary Committee.” The Senator had to remind the agency of federal whistleblower protections and that agents “have the rights to be free from fear of retaliation or reprisal” for speaking with members of Congress. “Rather than focusing on retaliating against whistleblowers, the ATF’s sole focus should be on finding and disclosing the truth as soon as possible.” …”
“…Project Gunrunner is an operation of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico, in an attempt to deprive the Mexican drug cartels of weapons. However, multiple agents within the ATF have publicly stated that they were ordered to allow weapons to flow south of the border in order to “get evidence to take down a drug cartel”.
ATF began Project Gunrunner as a pilot project in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 and expanded it as a national initiative in 2006. Project Gunrunner is also part of the Department’s broader Southwest Border Initiative, which seeks to reduce cross-border drug and firearms trafficking and the high level of violence associated with these activities on both sides of the border.
ATF has determined that the Mexican cartels have become the leading gun trafficking organizations operating in the southwest U.S. and is working in collaboration with other agencies and the Government of Mexico to expand the eTrace firearm tracing software system. eTrace provides web based access to ATF’s Firearms Tracing System to allow law enforcement both domestically and internationally the ability to trace firearms encountered in connection with a criminal investigation to the first recorded purchaser – who may have innocently sold the gun years ago. eTrace allows law enforcement to access their trace results directly (name and address of first purchaser) and offers the ability to generate statistical reports to analyze their trace data to estimate firearms trafficking trends or patterns.
ATF announced a goal to deploy eTrace software to all thirty-one states within the Republic of Mexico. As part of eTrace expansion, ATF continues to provide training to Mexican and Central American countries to ensure that the technology is utilized to a greater extent. Colombia and Mexico were provided with their own in-country tracing centers with full access to ATF firearm registration records. In Colombia, a joint ATF-CNP Center for Anti-Explosives Information and Firearms Tracing (CIARA) opened on December 6, 2006. In Mexico, The National Center for Information, Analysis and Planning in order to Fight Crime (CENAPI) was established in 2003. ATF states these are models for planned future tracing centers throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin. In December, 2009, ATF announced deployment of a Spanish version of eTrace to Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica. A planned second phase will release the software to all Spanish-speaking countries with agreements with ATF. In June 2011 congress opened an investigation into project gunrunner against the ATF, as some ATF agents have come forward stating that top heads in ATFE and the Department of Justice instructed the agents to encourage gun stores in the U.S. to sell assault-style weapons to Mexican firearm traffickers. …”
By early 2009, Project Gunrunner had resulted in approximately 650 cases by ATF, in which more than 1,400 defendants were referred for prosecution in federal and state courts and more than 12,000 firearms were involved.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), during FY 2007 and 2008, ATF conducted twelve eTrace training sessions for Mexican police (over 961 Mexican police officers) in several Mexican cities, including the same cities where corrupt police were disarmed and arrested: Mexico City, Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros. Despite the GAO report, ATF now claims (October 2010) only about 20 people have been trained to use eTrace in Mexico. This discrepancy has not been explained. With the assistance of ATF’s Mexico City office and the Narcotics Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State, ATF anticipates conducting numerous additional courses in these subject areas in 2009. According to Mexican government officials, corruption pervades all levels of Mexican law enforcement—federal, state, and local.
ATF reported they analyzed firearms seizures in Mexico from FY 2005-07 and identified the following weapons most commonly used by drug traffickers.  However this conclusion is seriously flawed and not supported by ATF statistics, which only includes guns successfully traced and these are not necessarily connected to drug traffickers. The number of trace requests from Mexico has increased since FY 2006, but most seized guns in Mexico have not been traced.
- 9mm pistols
- .38 Super pistols
- 5.7mm pistols
- .45-caliber pistols
- AR-15 type rifles
- AK-47 type rifles
ATF Project Gunrunner has a stated official objective to stop the sale and export of guns from the United States into Mexico in order to deny Mexican drug cartels the firearms considered “tools of the trade”. However, since February 2008 under Project Gunrunner, Operations “Fast and Furious”, “Too Hot to Handle”, “Wide Receiver” and others (all together satirically dubbed “Project Gunwalker”), have done the opposite by ATF permitting, encouraging and facilitating ‘straw purchase’ firearm sales to traffickers, and allowing the guns to ‘walk’ and be transported to Mexico. This has resulted in considerable controversy.
Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) initiated an investigation with a letter to ATF on 27 January 2011, and again on 31 January 2011. ATF responded through the Department of Justice by denying all allegations. Senator Grassley responded with specific documentation supporting the allegations in letters to U.S. Attorney General Holder on 9 Feb 2011 and 16 Feb 2011. ATF refused to answer specific questions in a formal briefing to Senator Grassley on 10 Feb 2011.
Indictments filed in federal court, documentation obtained by Senator Grassley, and statements of ATF agents obtained by Senator Grassley and CBS News, show that the ATF Phoenix Field Division allowed and facilitated the sale of over 2,500 firearms (AK-47 rifles, FN 5.7mm pistols, AK-47 pistols, and .50 caliber rifles) in ‘straw man purchases’ destined for Mexico. According to ATF agents, Mexican officials were not notified, and ATF agents operating in Mexico were instructed not to alert Mexican authorities about the operation. Some ATF agents and supervisors strongly objected, and gun dealers (who were cooperating with ATF) protested the sales, but were asked by ATF to complete the transactions to elucidate the supply chain and gather intelligence. However, there are accusations that the ATF was attempting to boost statistics to ‘prove’ that American guns are arming the Mexican drug cartels and to further budget and political objectives.
Many of these same guns are being recovered from crime scenes in Arizona and throughout Mexico, which is artificially inflating ATF’s eTrace statistics of U.S. origin guns seized in Mexico. One specific gun, recovered at the scene, is alleged to be the weapon used to murder Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010. …”
Operation Fast & Furious
“…Operation Fast & Furious is the name of an illegal gun trafficking sting run by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It started in 2009 and ended in late 2010 shortly after the death of Brian Terry, a US Border Patrol Agent and has since become the subject of controversy and a U.S. congressional investigation. During the operation, at least 2,000 guns were released and tracked by ATF agents into Mexico, many of which have been linked to at least 150 shootings. Of the 2,000 guns knowingly released by ATF agents, only 600 have been recovered by officials. The remaining 1,400 guns have not been recovered and possibly remain in the hands of drug gangs.
On December 14, 2010, while trying to apprehend a group of armed suspects, United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in Rio Rico, Arizona. Upon investigation, it was discovered that many ATF agents monitoring the U.S.-Mexico border had apprehended gun smugglers attempting to cross over into Mexico with untold numbers of guns, but would be told by their superiors to stand down and let the smugglers pass.
Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, held hearings on this in June 2011. One ATF agent testified that “I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.”
A gun used by drug cartel criminals to shoot at a Mexican military helicopter, forcing it to land, was found to have been one allowed into Mexico by the ATF.
Two AK-47s sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious and recovered by Mexican police were determined to have been used by members of the Sinaloa cartel in the high-profile kidnapping of attorney Mario González Rodríguez.
ATF whistleblower Agent Vince Cefalu has been served with termination papers, in a move by the agency he described as politically motivated.
This program is being investigated jointly by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. So far they have found that:
- BATFE knowingly allowed as many as 2,500 firearms to be sold illegally to known or suspected straw purchasers. One of those purchasers accounted for over 700 illegal guns.
- BATFE ordered its agents working the program not to arrest illegal gun buyers or to interdict thousands of guns that were allowed to “walk” into criminal hands.
- Senior BATFE officials in Washington were regularly briefed on the operation and approved of the tactics employed.
- BATFE agents who opposed the operation and who raised objections were told to “get with the program” and threatened with job retaliation if they continued their opposition.
The initial findings have been detailed in a joint staff report prepared by the staffs of Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee and Ranking Member Charles Grassley of the Senate Committee. The report details the testimony of whistleblower agents who provided information about the operation to the Committees.
The day after the report was released, the House Committee held a hearing at which Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Grassley testified, along with a second panel of witnesses, including the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and three of the whistleblowers from BATFE. Senator Grassley’s written testimony included a set of supporting documents and a slide presentation outlining what is known about the operation so far. The hearing also included a third session with the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs about its failure to provide complete and truthful answers to Congressional inquires about the operation. …”
On the Second Amendment, Don’t Believe Obama
“…The presidential primary season is finally over, and it is now time for gun owners to take a careful look at just where nominee Barack Obama stands on issues related to the Second Amendment. During the primaries, Obama tried to hide behind vague statements of support for “sportsmen” or unfounded claims of general support for the right to keep and bear arms.
But his real record, based on votes taken, political associations, and long standing positions, shows that Barack Obama is a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties.Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric!Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career.
FACT:Barack Obama opposes four of the five Supreme Court justices who affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms. He voted against the confirmation of Alito and Roberts and he has stated he would not have appointed Thomas or Scalia.17
FACT: Barack Obama voted for an Illinois State Senate bill to ban and confiscate “assault weapons,” but the bill was so poorly crafted, it would have also banned most semi-auto and single and double barrel shotguns commonly used by sportsmen.18
FACT:Barack Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.1
FACT:Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.15
FACT:Barack Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.3
FACT:Barack Obama has endorsed a 500% increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.9
FACT:Barack Obama has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.2
FACT:Barack Obama supports local gun bans in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.4
FACT:Barack Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people who use firearms in self-defense.5
FACT:Barack Obama supports gun owner licensing and gun registration.6
FACT:Barack Obama refused to sign a friend-of-the-court Brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case.
FACT:Barack Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.7
FACT:Barack Obama was a member of the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.”8
FACT:Barack Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.9
FACT:Barack Obama voted not to notify gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them.10 …”
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Former DOJ Attorney Makes Explosive Accusations
“Security” patrols stationed at polling places in Philly
Obama ENDORSES Black Panthers intimidate voters in Pennsylvania
Eric Holder Drops Charges on Black Panthers for Voter Intimidation – Bill O’Reilly Reports
Look at the first video below at about the thiry second point– the man holding the sign of Obama 2008 just so happens to be the same man in the next video that was holding the night stick or club at the voter polling place that Attorney General Holder elected not to prosecute, King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson for voter intimidation.
Economic Justice, Income Redistribution, Reparations!
“Security” patrols stationed at polling places in Philly
Obama Team Dismisses Black Panther Voter Intimidation Suit
Hannity And Malkin Play The Race Card Against DOJ
Eric Holder Drops Charges on Black Panthers for Voter Intimidation – Bill O’Reilly Reports
The United States Department of Justice refuses to go after Obama supporters–The New Black Panther Party!
Barack Obama and The New Black Panther Party
New Black Panthers
Background Articles and Videos
The New Black Panther Party PT.1
The New Black Panther Party PT.2
The New Black Panther Party PT.3
The New Black Panther Party PT.4
The New Black Panther Party PT.5
Former DOJ Attorney Makes Explosive Accusations
“…In May, Adams resigned from the DOJ and since has gone public with the story of the “hows and whys” the Black Panther case was dropped. It shows a DOJ making decisions based on race and a top-level official not being truthful during testimony before Congress.
Based on my firsthand experiences, I believe the dismissal of the Black Panther case was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers. The dismissal raises serious questions about the department’s enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election,
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the dismissal and the DOJ’s skewed enforcement priorities. Attorneys who brought the case are under subpoena to testify, but the department ordered us to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptable legal limbo.
Adams says that this is the most open an shut case of voter intimidation that he had seen during his years of service at the DOJ Voting Rights Division. They had sworn testimony that the members of the Black Panther party blocked white voters from entering the polling place. But that wasn’t the testimony the DOJ gave before Congress:
The assistant attorney general for civil rights, Tom Perez, has testified repeatedly that the “facts and law” did not support this case. That claim is false. If the actions in Philadelphia do not constitute voter intimidation, it is hard to imagine what would, short of an actual outbreak of violence at the polls….
Most corrupt of all, the lawyers who ordered the dismissal – Loretta King, the Obama-appointed acting head of the Civil Rights Division, and Steve Rosenbaum – did not even read the internal Justice Department memorandums supporting the case and investigation. Just as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. admitted that he did not read the Arizona immigration law before he condemned it, Mr. Rosenbaum admitted that he had not bothered to read the most important department documents detailing the investigative facts and applicable law in the New Black Panther case…”
Ex-Official Accuses Justice Department of Racial Bias in Black Panther Case
“…In emotional and personal testimony, an ex-Justice official who quit over the handling of a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party accused his former employer of instructing attorneys in the civil rights division to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims.
J. Christian Adams, testifying Tuesday before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said that “over and over and over again,” the department showed “hostility” toward those cases. He described the Black Panther case as one example of that — he defended the legitimacy of the suit and said his “blood boiled” when he heard a Justice official claim the case wasn’t solid.
“It is false,” Adams said of the claim.
“We abetted wrongdoing and abandoned law-abiding citizens,” he later testified.
The department abandoned the New Black Panther case last year. It stemmed from an incident on Election Day in 2008 in Philadelphia, where members of the party were videotaped in front of a polling place, dressed in military-style uniforms and allegedly hurling racial slurs while one brandished a night stick. …”
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