Detroit Chief Blasts DEA…….

D.E.A. RELEASED EX-CON WHO

THEN KILLED 6 PEOPLE

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has ended a 20-year relationship with the Drug Enforcement Administration, saying the federal agency has “continuously refused” to admit that the ex-con who allegedly killed six people after being released from custody was a DEA informant.

“Clearly, Kenyel Brown was a federal informant … a DEA informant,” Craig said of the suspect at a Tuesday news conference, telling the DEA: “Stand up. Own it. Initiate an investigation and hold people accountable.”

But the DEA hasn’t done that, Craig said, and so he has decided to pull his officers from the DEA/Detroit police task force, which has investigated drug crimes in Detroit for more than two decades. But from now on, Craig said, the Detroit Police and DEA will work side by side — not together.

“There’s been a breach of trust. And If I can’t trust you, we can’t work together,” Craig said.

Detroit’s DEA chief Keith Martin was unavailable for comment Tuesday, though he has previously stated: “We are committed to working with the Detroit Police Department.”

At issue for Craig is how Brown wound up on the streets, given his extensive criminal background and multiple probation violations.

Brown was released from custody on Oct. 29, despite at least eight probation violations for drug use, drunken driving, removing his tether and missing mandatory meetings.

On the same day that Brown was released from federal custody, he was hired to be an informant for the Detroit-DEA task force. Nine weeks later, police said, he went on a six-week killing spree that left six dead and ended with him shooting himself in the head on Feb. 24 while running from police. Brown died four days later.

According to Craig, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) also had used Brown as an informant in the past, and assisted in handing him off to the task force.

The decision to release Brown was made by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, who according to a court spokesperson, did so at the request of a federal law enforcement agency. Brown was supposed to be sentenced that day for probation violations stemming from his 2014 gun arrest when the judge told him he would let him go, rather than give him more time.

Craig called this “a bad decision.”

“The judge recognized he was a danger. Why was he removed from supervised release?” said Craig. “Ultimately, the decision rests with the judge. … (Brown) was becoming increasingly dangerous. This is not the person you would want to work as an informant.”

Craig said Brown should have been vetted more carefully, a job that he believes was the responsibility of the DEA. That was the agency that signed him on, said Craig, who acknowledged that it was the Detroit Police who paid Brown $150 for his assistance on a drug case.

“Had I known that Brown committed seven or eight violations, he would have not been considered,” Craig said.

Craig said neither he nor the Detroit officer assigned to the DEA task force knew of Brown’s background, which is publicly available on the government’s so-called Pacer court system.

Craig said that before this case, he had not heard of Pacer, and acknowledged that Brown’s background should have been easy to spot. Going forward, he said: “I guarantee, we will have access to Pacer.”

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said he is looking into the matter as well.

“My office is actively conducting an investigation into federal law enforcement contacts and interactions with Kenyel Brown. A full and comprehensive investigation is essential to provide the public with an accurate accounting of what occurred. The relevant federal law enforcement agencies, including ATF and DEA, have been fully cooperative and transparent with my office during this inquiry. I have asked ATF and DEA to refrain from making public statements while the investigation is pending. My office is working very hard to complete this investigation promptly. I intend to inform the public of my findings in the near future. I appreciate the public’s patience while my office gets to the bottom of this matter.”

Meanwhile, Craig said he still wants to know what federal agency requested that Brown be released, despite his criminal history and probation violations.

According to court records, on the day Brown was freed, Judge Friedman did not mention anything about him working as an informant, or any law enforcement request. Rather, he told Brown that he was releasing him because he thought he was “doing some of the right things” and that he was “entitled to a break for that.”

A U.S. District Court spokesperson declined to offer specifics on Friedman’s decision, stating only that the judge had received a request from federal law enforcement to release Brown.

For Craig, that’s a tough pill to swallow.

“This suspect went on to take the lives of six people,” Craig said, adding: “We can never forget the families of the victims. Six lives were tragically lost.”

DAWG SAYS: TO PROTECT AND SERVE IS A LOST ART THESE DAYS, IT IS ALL ABOUT PERSONAL AGENDAS. SADLY SOME COURT RULINGS HAVE AFFIRMED THAT NOTION.


A BIT OF FANTASY IN AN EDITORIAL…….

FROM THE A.P. WIRE:

“Proposition 13 would spend $15 billion on California schools”

The only statewide measure on Tuesday’s California primary ballot is a $15 billion bond to repair and modernize aging schools, many of which are more than a half-century old and have issues ranging from leaky roofs and old wiring to toxic mold.

Some $9 billion from Proposition 13 would go to K-12 schools, with priority given to addressing health and safety concerns such as removing asbestos and eliminating lead from drinking water.

Of that, $5.8 billion would go to updating school facilities, followed by $2.8 billion for new construction and $500 million each for charter schools and facilities for technical education.

The borrowed money does come with a price tag: taxpayers would owe an estimated $11 billion in interest over the next 35 years, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Opponents say California has a large budget surplus and shouldn’t borrow more money. Supporters, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, argue the need is crucial.

“What is it saying to our students that our classrooms still have asbestos in them? Kids pick up on whether or not people care about the place they walk into every day,” said Democratic Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell of Long Beach, who co-authored the bill that put the bond on the ballot.

O’Donnell, a former teacher, said the measure aims to bridge the disparity in California schools. For example, there’s asbestos in the scuffed flooring at Lake Elementary in San Pablo, as well as in the insulation around the school’s hulking old steel furnace, said Tony Wold, associate superintendent for the West Contra Costa Unified School District. The school was built in 1957.

“The heating system is literally held together by duct tape. Exposed wires are taped together across the hallway ceilings,” Wold told The Associated Press during a January tour of the school a half-hour drive northeast of San Francisco. “The roofs are dropping and need repairs. Is this the safest environment for students?”

Many school districts, like West Contra Costa, say they do not receive adequate state funding to make repairs and fully modernize their buildings, leading to a Band-Aid approach of periodic repairs and deferred maintenance.

The measure also would put an end to the first-come, first-served process of allocating funds that critics say has favored richer districts, which often have special staff or can hire consultants to focus on funding applications. The new system would set aside 10% of state money for districts with fewer than 2,500 students and give up to 5% more state matching money to low-income districts.

The new rules would create criteria that ensure more disadvantaged school districts get priority, said Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda, one of the architects of the plan.

The proposition would also allocate $6 billion for higher education, which last benefited from a statewide bond measure in 2006. The funding would be split evenly, with $2 billion each for community colleges, the California State University system and the University of California system.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 70% of California’s 10,000 public schools are 25 years or older, with 10% of them at least 70 years old.

The bond revenue would provide matching funds to school districts that are willing to cover at least 60% of modernization projects and 50% of new construction.

The bond proposal is backed by teachers and firefighters unions, school boards and Democratic state lawmakers.

The main opposition comes from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a group named for the man behind the historic Proposition 13 of 1978, which capped annual increases in property tax until a property changes ownership. It was a boon to homeowners but meant billions less for California schools.

Its president, Jon Coupal, said that the main reason the group opposes Prop. 13 is a provision that nearly doubles the limit on what a local school district can borrow, from 1.25% to 2% of assessed property value. He fears that could lead to future tax increases.

“Local school bonds come with a tax increase, unlike statewide bonds,” he said. “Why are we talking about going further into debt?”

Since California currently has a budget surplus, the state should fund school facilities itself rather than adding to school districts’ debt, Coupal said.

O’Donnell dismissed those concerns, arguing that now is the time to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

“Bonds are a generally accepted way to finance public facilities that are going to last over the long term,” O’Donnell said. “It’s a cheap loan.”

DAWG SAYS: IF YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THAT BIT OF RUBBISH THAN I HAVE A HIGH-SPEED RAIL FOR SALE CHEAP. LIKE THE NOW DIVERTED GAS TAX AND A LONG HISTORY OF DIVERTING MANY OTHER TAXES AND FEES, I SIMPLY HAVE NO FAITH WHATSOEVER THEY WILL DO AS THEY ARE SAYING TRYING TO SELL THIS REVENUE GENERATOR TO FEED THE 5TH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD.

THERE IS AN OLD LINE THAT THEY ALWAYS USE AND SEEMS TO WORK QUITE OFTEN, “IT IS FOR THE KIDS.”