Archive for the ‘FBI’ Category

More quick notes from the legal beat.

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

I’ve written previously about the Hillsborough stadium disaster and the 2012 inquest.

Yesterday, six people were indicted on charges related to the incident. Four of them are “former senior police officials”, and one (this is kind of surprising to me) was a lawyer for the police.

David Duckenfield, who is described as “the match commander for the South Yorkshire Police on the day of the tragedy”, is charged with “manslaughter by gross negligence in the deaths of 95 people”. (I quoted the description of his rank because I’m unfamiliar with police ranks in England: i think this means he was in charge of the police presence at the match.) Peter Metcalf, the lawyer for the police, is charged with “two counts of perverting the course of justice”. (Perversion seems to be a theme here today, but I digress.)

Prosecutors say he “made suggestions for alterations, deletions and amendments” that misled the Taylor Inquiry.
Mr. [Norman] Bettison, a former chief constable, was charged with four counts of misconduct in public office. He is accused of lying to the authorities about his role in the aftermath of the disaster and about the culpability of the fans.
Mr. [Donald] Denton, a former chief police superintendent, and Mr. [Alan] Foster, a former detective chief inspector, each face two charges of perverting the course of justice, both in connection with altering witness statements.

The last guy on the list, Graham Henry Mackrell, was a secretary for Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, the people who ran the stadium.

Mr. Mackrell, the former football club official, faces three charges of violating safety laws. Prosecutors say he failed to organize the use of admissions turnstiles; to make and maintain inspection records about spectator numbers; to “take reasonable care,” as the stadium’s safety officer, to prevent the gathering of “unduly large crowds”; and to make plans with the police “for coping with exceptionally large numbers of spectators arriving at the ground.”

Related: “Why Britain Is Consumed With a 28-Year-Old Stadium Disaster”.

Closer to home: a member of the “F.B.I.’s elite Hostage Rescue Team” has been charged with lying and obstruction.

(Have you ever noticed how it’s always the “elite Hostage Rescue Team”? Never just “the Hostage Rescue Team”, at least on first reference. It’s like “Elite Hostage Rescue Team” is the full name of the organization, and they’ve got “Elite Hostage Rescue Team” on their patches and tactical windbreakers.)

Mr. Astarita was accused of lying to supervisors about firing his weapon in the effort to arrest Robert Finicum, known as LaVoy, who was killed during a standoff at a remote federal wildlife refuge in January 2016. Mr. Finicum led a small band of armed militants who said that the federal land had been improperly taken from area ranchers and demanded that it be returned to local or private control.

And three Chicago PD officers indicted:

The three officers, two of whom have since left the force, are accused of covering up for Jason Van Dyke, the police officer who fired the lethal shots that night, in an effort to protect him from being investigated and charged, court documents show.

Hey, you know what else seems to be a theme today? Lies and coverups.