ATF Undercover Operations Under Fire

Court Decision Could Force Changes to ATF’s Undercover Operations: (“On Friday, nine federal judges in Chicago will continue a rare joint hearing to decide whether discrimination is the reason why U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents stage phony drug stash house stings in mostly black neighborhoods in Chicago. The judges decided to get together instead of hearing 12 cases they were overseeing separately. One attorney says while he’s never seen anything like the judges’ panel before, the phony drug stash house sting operation aimed at suspects is not new.”)

Thoughts on Mandatory Minimums, Violent Gangs, and Rehabilitation by a Federal Judge

This Judge Defends “Unredeemables” Even as He Sends Them to Prison: (“It seemed routine when Judge Jack B. Weinstein issued stiff prison sentences to three young men who had robbed a family at gunpoint in the Cypress Hills Houses in East New York last year. After all, when the men broke into the family’s apartment, there were, in addition to adults, five children inside — all of them 10 years old or younger. The robbers, moreover, had been accused of working with two violent street gangs, which New York law-enforcement officers have been cracking down on — especially in the city’s public housing projects.”)

Police Officer Who Killed Walter Scott Gets 20 Years in Federal Prison

Michael Slager, Officer in Walter Scott Shooting, Gets 20-Year Sentence: (“Michael T. Slager, the white police officer whose video-recorded killing of an unarmed black motorist in North Charleston, S.C., starkly illustrated the turmoil over racial bias in American policing, was sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison, after the judge in the case said he viewed the shooting as a murder.”)

Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to the FBI

Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to the FBI and Will Cooperate in Russia Inquiry: (“President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations with the Russian ambassador last December, becoming the first senior White House official to pledge cooperation in the special counsel’s wide-ranging inquiry of election meddling.”)

ICE’s “Visa Lifestyle Vetting:” Extreme Vetting in Sheep’s Clothing

US Will Track Visa Holders Via Social Media: (“The Department of Immigration & Customs Enforcement is taking new steps in its plans for monitoring the social media accounts of applicants and holders of U.S. visas. At a tech industry conference last Thursday in Arlington, Virginia, ICE officials explained to software providers what they are seeking: algorithms that would assess potential threats posed by visa holders in the United States and conduct ongoing social media surveillance of those deemed high risk.”)