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DOJ OIG — An Assessment of the 1996 Department of Justice Task Force Review of the FBI Laboratory

July 17, 2014 Comments off

An Assessment of the 1996 Department of Justice Task Force Review of the FBI Laboratory (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General

This is the third review by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) since 1997 related to alleged irregularities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory (Lab). 2 The first two OIG reports focused on alleged FBI Lab deficiencies, the conduct of individuals brought to our attention by a whistleblower, and remedial actions the FBI took in response to our recommendations. This report addresses how the Criminal Division Task Force (Task Force), created by the Department in 1996 and whose mission was redefined in 1997, managed the identification, review, and follow-up of cases involving the use of scientifically unsupportable analysis and overstated testimony by FBI Lab examiners in criminal prosecutions. We analyzed the Task Force’s review of cases involving 13 FBI examiners the Task Force determined had been criticized in the 1997 OIG report. We included in our review a close examination of cases handled by 1 of the 13 examiners, Michael Malone, the Lab’s Hairs and Fibers Unit examiner whose conduct was particularly problematic.

Although the Task Force made a diligent effort to manage a complex review of thousands of cases, we found the following serious deficiencies in the Department’s and the FBI’s design, implementation, and overall management of the case review process…

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FBI Releases 2013 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

May 12, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases 2013 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 27 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2013, a decrease of more than 44 percent when compared to the 49 officers killed in 2012. By region, 15 officers died as a result of criminal acts that occurred in the South, six officers in the West, four officers in the Midwest, and two in the Northeast.

By circumstance, seven officers were killed as a result of ambushes (four during unprovoked attacks and three due to entrapment/premeditated situations). Five officers died from injuries inflicted as a result of answering disturbance calls (three of which were domestic disturbances), and five officers were engaged in tactical situations. Three officers sustained fatal injuries while they were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, three were conducting traffic pursuits or stops, and three officers were responding to robberies in progress or pursuing robbery suspects. One officer was killed as a result of an investigative activity.

Offenders used firearms in 26 of the 27 felonious deaths. These included 19 incidents with handguns, five incidents with rifles, and two incidents with shotguns. One victim officer was killed with a vehicle used as a weapon.

Nineteen of the slain officers were confirmed to be wearing body armor at the times of the incidents. Six of the officers fired their own weapons, and three officers attempted to fire their service weapons. Two victim officers had their weapons stolen; one officer was killed with his own weapon.

CRS — The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations (updated)

May 12, 2014 Comments off

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, the Bureau) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with counterterrorism investigations. Since the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, the FBI has implemented a series of reforms intended to transform itself from a largely reactive law enforcement agency focused on investigations of criminal activity into a more proactive, agile, flexible, and intelligence-driven agency that can prevent acts of terrorism.

This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process based on publicly available information.

CRS — FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure

March 4, 2014 Comments off

FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The statutory basis for the present nomination and confirmation process was developed in 1968 and 1976, and has been used since the death of J. Edgar Hoover in 1972. Over this time, seven nominations have been confirmed and two have been withdrawn by the President before confirmation. The position of FBI Director has a fixed 10-year term, and the officeholder cannot be reappointed, unless Congress acts to allow a second appointment of the incumbent. There are no statutory conditions on the President’s authority to remove the FBI Director. Since 1972, one Director has been removed by the President.

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2013

February 19, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2013
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Statistics released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal declines in both the violent crime and the property crime reported in the first six months of 2013 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2012. The report is based on information from 12,723 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the first six months of 2012 and 2013.

FBI Releases 2012 Hate Crime Statistics

December 11, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases 2012 Hate Crime Statistics
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

According to statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 5,796 criminal incidents involving 6,718 offenses were reported in 2012 as being motivated by a bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. The statistics, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in Hate Crime Statistics, 2012, provide data about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of the bias-motivated incidents reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. Due to the unique nature of hate crime, however, the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports.

FBI Releases Annual Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System

December 11, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases Annual Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its second compilation of annual data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The report, NIBRS 2012, presents core tables about incident and offense data submitted by a third of the nation’s law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, as well as a new series of tables with agency-level data. The report also furnishes a series of tables about sex offenses and another new series of tables with data about arrestees.

Although NIBRS data are not yet nationally representative and the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for agencies that did not submit NIBRS data, NIBRS 2012 shows the rich, diverse scope of incident-based reporting overall. The 32 core tables present data for 22 offense categories, victims, offenders, relationships, locations, time of day, weapon use, drug and alcohol involvement, and gang involvement. They also distinguish attempted versus completed offenses, as well as the number of clearances by incidents. The agency-level tables (presented by state) show the number of offenses reported by each agency that fully participated in the UCR Program via the NIBRS. The 24 tables about sex offenses provide details—e.g., victim, offender, and victim-to-offender relationship data—not collected elsewhere in the UCR Program for sex offenses.

New to the annual compilation, the arrestees table series covers the demographics of arrestees—e.g., age, sex, and race—as well as noteworthy facts such as the arrestees’ use of weapons, the disposition of juvenile arrestees, and the type of arrest (on-view, taken into custody, or summoned/cited) by arrest offense category.

FBI Releases 2012 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

October 28, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases 2012 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 95 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2012. Of these, 48 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 47 officers died in accidents. In addition, 52,901 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults. Comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks are included in the 2012 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, released today.

ACLU Report Documents FBI Abuse Since 9/11

September 18, 2013 Comments off

ACLU Report Documents FBI Abuse Since 9/11
Source: American Civil Liberties Union

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been granted by Congress and assumed for itself the power to investigate and collect data about millions of people.

A report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union provides a comprehensive accounting of the bureau’s expanded post-9/11 investigative and intelligence collection authorities, their impact on civil liberties in the United States, and the FBI’s evasion of oversight that enables abuses to continue. It also includes 15 recommendations for FBI reform.

Entitled, “Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority,” the first half of the report documents how Congress, the attorney general, and the White House provided the FBI with new authorities in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 in an effort to prevent another terrorist attack inside the United States. With the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001 and the FISA Amendments Act in 2008, Congress provided the FBI with increasingly powerful tools that the bureau has used in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, according to the ACLU report.

FBI Releases 2012 Crime Statistics

September 17, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases 2012 Crime Statistics
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI estimated that in 2012, the number of violent crimes increased 0.7 percent, according to the figures released today. However, property crimes decreased 0.9 percent, marking the 10th straight year of declines for these offenses, collectively.

The 2012 statistics show that the estimated rate of violent crime was 386.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,859.2 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. While the violent crime rate remained virtually unchanged when compared to the 2011 rate, the property crime rate declined 1.6 percent.

FBI Releases Inaugural Compilation of Annual Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System

August 20, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases Inaugural Compilation of Annual Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System
Source: FBI

Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its first publication presenting annual data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The statistics, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in the comprehensive volume National Incident-Based Reporting System 2011 (NIBRS 2011), provide data about the offenses, victims, offenders, locations, and other details of crime incidents. Although the data are not yet nationally representative and the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that did not submit their data via the NIBRS, the rich details of the data offer more characteristics and associations in crime than has been previously published. The NIBRS can paint a more complete picture of a crime incident than any other collection of data.

NIBRS 2011 features 32 tables that show the diversity and complexity of incident-based data when compared with other crime data collection methods. The NIBRS provides:

  • Data for 22 offense categories
  • Victim data for all offenses
  • Offender data for all offenses
  • Relationship of victims to offenders for select offenses
  • Location data for all offenses
  • Time of day for all incidents
  • Weapon data for select offenses
  • Drug and alcohol involvement in offenses
  • Gang involvement in offenses
  • Attempted versus completed offenses
  • Clearances by incidents

Flawed FBI Records Threaten Work Opportunities For Hundreds of Thousands of Job Seekers

July 30, 2013 Comments off

Flawed FBI Records Threaten Work Opportunities For Hundreds of Thousands of Job Seekers (PDF)
Source: National Employment Law Project

A record 16.9 million FBI criminal background checks were run for employment or licensing purposes in 2012 , a six-fold increase since 9/11 . But serious flaws in the FBI records are jeopardizing work opportunities for hundreds of thousands of job seekers every year, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project.

The NELP report, entitled, “ Wanted: Accurate FBI Background Checks for Employment ,” estimates that 1.8 million workers a year are subject to FBI background checks that contain faulty or incomplete information, and 600,000 of those workers may be prejudiced in their job search because the positive outcome of their case is not reflected in the FBI record.

The report spotlights the FBI ’s failure to ensure that its records are accurate and complete. Arrests are recorded but the final disposition of cases often is not — a critical defect, given that one-third of felony arrests are ultimately dismissed and charges are frequently reduced. Much of the toll falls on workers of color, who are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice syste m and suffer the consequences of faulty FBI records in terms of job loss, hiring barriers, and financial hardship.

FBI — Preliminary 2012 Crime Statistics; Violent Crime Up, Property Crime Down

June 5, 2013 Comments off

Preliminary 2012 Crime Statistics; Violent Crime Up, Property Crime Down

Source: FBI

The new preliminary Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics for 2012 indicate that when compared to data for 2011, the number of violent crimes reported by law enforcement agencies around the country increased 1.2 percent during 2012, while the number of property crimes decreased 0.8 percent.

The final UCR statistics—submitted by approximately 18,000 local, state, campus, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies from around the nation—will be released later this year in the Crime in the United States, 2012 report.

Today’s FBI — Facts and Figures 2013-2014

March 27, 2013 Comments off

Today’s FBI — Facts and Figures 2013-2014

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The FBI today is considered one of the world’s premier security and crime-fighting forces. Reporting to both the attorney general and director of national intelligence, the Bureau has dual responsibilities as a law enforcement and intelligence agency. It gathers evidence and solves cases using cutting edge and time-tested investigative techniques. At the same time, it collects, analyzes, synthesizes, and shares vital information and intelligence with everyone from national policy makers to local partners in order to counter threats and foil crimes and attacks. With a foot in the realms of both law enforcement and intelligence, the FBI is able to get its arms around emerging threats and neutralize them through arrests and targeted, often multi-agency operations.

The FBI’s investigative responsibilities are both considerable and far-reaching. A key part of our country’s national security team, the Bureau addresses the most significant threats facing the U.S.—terrorism, espionage, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber crime. At the same time, it plays an essential role in protecting local communities, from rescuing kidnapped children to dismantling street gangs, from catching murderers and serial killers to stopping scams that raid the pocketbooks of the American people. On any given day, the FBI is rooting out public corruption, recovering stolen art, protecting corporate trade secrets, taking down organized crime networks, and much more.

Early 2012 Crime Stats; Slight Uptick in Crime

January 15, 2013 Comments off

Early 2012 Crime Stats; Slight Uptick in Crime
Source: FBI

According to statistics from our Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June 2012, the number of violent crimes reported by law enforcement for the first six months of 2012 increased 1.9 percent over figures from the same period in 2011. Property crimes also rose 1.5 percent overall.

FBI Releases 2011 Hate Crime Statistics

January 1, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases 2011 Hate Crime Statistics

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

According to statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 6,222 criminal incidents involving 7,254 offenses were reported in 2011 as a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. The statistics, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program in Hate Crime Statistics, 2011, provide data about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of the bias-motivated incidents reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. Due to the unique nature of hate crime, however, the UCR program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports.

Latest Crime Stats: Annual Crime in the U.S. Report Released

October 30, 2012 Comments off

Latest Crime Stats: Annual Crime in the U.S. Report Released
Source: FBI

According to our just-released Crime in the United States, 2011 report, the estimated number of violent crimes reported to law enforcement (1,203,564) decreased for the fifth year in a row, while the estimated number of property crimes reported to law enforcement (9,063,173) decreased for the ninth year in a row.

FBI Releases Preliminary Annual Crime Statistics for 2011

June 15, 2012 Comments off

FBI Releases Preliminary Annual Crime Statistics for 2011
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

According to the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report released today, the nation experienced a 4.0 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes and a 0.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes in 2011 when compared with data from 2010. The report is based on information the FBI gathered from 14,009 law enforcement agencies that submitted six to 12 comparable months of data for both 2010 and 2011.

+ Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December, 2011

FBI Records — The Vault: Watergate

June 15, 2012 Comments off

The Vault: Watergate
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

On June 17, 1972, several people broke into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters; they were discovered by an on-site guard and were arrested by local police. Subsequent investigations by the FBI, Congress, and the media showed that these intruders were connected to the campaign staff of President Richard Nixon. The White House under Nixon worked to cover-up this connection, and subsequent revelations of the cover-up led to Nixon’s impeachment and resignation in 1974. These files, released many years ago, document the FBI’s investigation into the break-in and related issues between 1972 and 1979.

FBI Releases Bank Crime Statistics for Third Quarter of 2011

March 31, 2012 Comments off

FBI Releases Bank Crime Statistics for Third Quarter of 2011
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

During the third quarter of 2011, there were 1,094 reported violations of the Federal Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes Statue, a decrease from the 1,325 reported violations in the same quarter of 2010.1 According to statistics released today by the FBI, there were 1,081 robberies, 11 burglaries, two larcenies, and one extortion of a financial institution2 reported between July 1, 2011 and September 30, 2011.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Loot was taken in 89 percent of the incidents, totaling more than $9.3 million.
  • Of the loot taken, 25 percent of it, or more than $1.9 million, was recovered and returned to financial institutions.
  • Bank crimes most frequently occurred on Friday. Regardless of the day, the time frame when bank crimes occurred most frequently was between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Acts of violence were committed in 5 percent of the incidents, resulting in 18 injuries, three deaths, and four persons taken hostage.3
  • Demand notes4 were the most common modus operandi used.
  • Most violations occurred in the Western region of the U.S., with 375 reported incidents.

+ Full Report

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