portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

government | media criticism

CNN: 15 cities to get special teams of agents & prosecutors until after elections

DOJ is sending teams of federal agents and special prosecutors into 15 cities for the rash of violence that hits every summer. But if they were worried about summer crimes, they would have already been there, and would leave far before the elections. Also, these cities are mostly (not all) the liberal areas of conservative swing states, areas that if removed from relevance automatically make the state vote GOP. Take LA out of CA, and you get a republican state. . .

above link is original story location

U.S. tackling violent crime in 15 cities
Justice Department dispatching 'Impact Teams'

Thursday, June 24, 2004 Posted: 1:20 PM EDT (1720 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department is dispatching teams of federal agents to 15 cities struggling with violent crime problems despite a dropping U.S. crime rate, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday.

Ashcroft told reporters that the effort would be targeted at "the hottest zones of criminal activity" in cities where high murder and violence rates persist despite a violent crime rate that is at a 30-year low nationwide, based on federal victimization statistics.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, which had a record 69 homicides committed in 2003, is one of the 15 cities receiving assistance.

The initiative also is aimed at reducing the traditional summer increase in murder and violent crime, he said. Firearms offenses are the main focus because they are often more readily proven in court than other crimes.

"We hope this will be successful early -- that this summer will be a different kind of summer," Ashcroft said.

Teams of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Marshals Service; FBI; and Drug Enforcement Administration will be assigned to each of the 15 cities for six months. A Justice Department prosecutor will handle cases of those charged.

Investigators will focus on prosecuting people for firearms violations, which often accompany gang activity, illegal drug organizations and organized crime groups. The 15 Violent Crime Impact Teams will use high-tech surveillance and other techniques to identify the worst offenders.

The ATF is leading the effort because of its expertise in gun crime investigations and ballistics, said ATF Director Carl Truscott.

Concentrating on gun crimes allows prosecutors to "focus on the thugs who are plaguing these neighborhoods" and are likely responsible for a long list of other offenses, said Deputy Attorney General James Comey.

Ashcroft said the initiative also will bring other federal charges where evidence warrants and assist state and local authorities in their criminal cases against the same offenders.

Other cities getting teams are Albuquerque, New Mexico; Baltimore; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Tampa, Florida; Miami; Richmond, Virginia; Greensboro, North Carolina; Pittsburgh; Las Vegas; Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Tucson, Arizona; and the Washington, D.C.-Northern Virginia region.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
-------- (CNN post ends) -------

My two bits:
Fact: six month assignments, starting now, mean federal teams in these cities until just after the elections.
Fact: the "summer increase" in violence typically begins when weather warms up, a couple months ago.
Fact: the "summer increase" ends far before November.
Fact: Republicans sent police to the polls in black districts in Florida to intimidate black (liberal) voters away from the polls.
My opinion: 12 of these 15 cities are located in states close to being swing states.
Fact: these states are not all the most violent cities in America (notice NYC, Detroit and others are not on this list).
My opinion: These cities have much the same function, electorially, as black distrcits in florida: ie they are the liberal counterweights to otherwise conservative states.
My opinion: Special teams of FBI, ATF and others, inserted in these areas, may drastically reduce poll turnout through intimidation and distraction, thus makeing the state more conservative in the polls.

My conclusion: This is not about violent crime because they are avoiding Detroit and NYC, it is not about summer increase because they avoided May and June, and are staying through fall and part of winter, it is not about "organized crime" (OC) because they are avoiding Chicago (mob land) and Frisco (Yakuza land), OC task forces already exist and OC investigations take years, not months.

This is about the elections.
Bingo 11.Jul.2004 21:23


I think you're right. The war on the American people goes on.

HMMMMMM? 12.Jul.2004 11:35


HMMMM, Newsweek just put out an article reporting how Homeland Security is developing a was to suspend the elections in case of a "terrorist attack". Perhaps the Feds are being put into the areas most likely to rise up when the coup takes place.