The Chicago Syndicate: Eric Holder

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Showing posts with label Eric Holder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eric Holder. Show all posts

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Formal FBI Statement on the Investigation of Suspicious Packages, Plus Call for Help

Between October 22 and 24, 2018, suspicious packages were received at multiple locations in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas and Florida. The packages are being sent for analysis at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia.

“This investigation is of the highest priority for the FBI. We have committed the full strength of the FBI’s resources and, together with our partners on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, we will continue to work to identify and arrest whoever is responsible for sending these packages,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We ask anyone who may have information to contact the FBI. Do not hesitate to call; no piece of information is too small to help us in this investigation.”

The packages are similar in appearance, as depicted in the below photograph, and contain potentially destructive devices.

The packages were mailed in manila envelopes with bubble wrap interior. The packages were affixed with computer-printed address labels and six Forever stamps. All packages had a return address of “DEBBIE WASSERMAN SHULTZ” [sic] in Florida. Packages identified to date were addressed to:

The package addressed to former Attorney General Holder did not reach its intended destination, but was rerouted to the return address in Florida.

The FBI will continue to work with our federal law enforcement partners at the United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as our state and local law enforcement partners, to identify and arrest the person or people responsible for sending these packages.

It is possible that additional packages were mailed to other locations. The FBI advises the public to remain vigilant and not touch, move or handle any suspicious or unknown packages.

  • Update #1: In addition to the five packages referenced in the above statement, the FBI has now confirmed two additional packages, both addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters, that are similar in appearance.
  • Update #2: The FBI has confirmed three additional packages, similar in appearance to the others—one in New York addressed to Robert DeNiro, and two in Delaware addressed to former Vice President Joseph Biden

If you have information about these packages, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or If you observe any suspicious activity that requires an immediate response, please call 911 or contact your local law enforcement.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Statement on Yearly Law Enforcement Officer Fatality Statistics

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released preliminary fatality statistics for 2014.  The data in the report shows that 126 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty this year.  The report further showed that in 2014, 50 officers were killed by firearms, 49 officers were killed in traffic-related incidents, and 27 officers died due to other causes including 24 who suffered from job-related illnesses—such as heart attacks—while performing their duties.

Attorney General Eric Holder made the following statement:

"Military Uniform Supply - Statement on Yearly Law Enforcement Officer Fatality StatisticsThese troubling statistics underscore the very real dangers that America's brave law enforcement officers face every time they put on their uniforms.  Each loss is both tragic and unacceptable -- a beloved father, mother, son, or daughter who never came home to their loved ones.
"That's why, over the last six years, my colleagues and I have taken action to support these courageous men and women.  As we speak, the Justice Department continues its efforts to empower local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement personnel to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.  In 2011, I created an Officer Safety Working Group in response to concerns about violence directed at law enforcement.   The department is currently funding thorough analysis of 2014 officer fatalities, including ambushes of law enforcement and other incidents, so we can mitigate risks in the future.  And through groundbreaking initiatives like VALOR, we are providing cutting-edge training to help prevent violence against law enforcement, to improve officer resilience, and to increase survivability during violent encounters.
"Through our Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, we're helping to provide lifesaving equipment to those who serve on the front lines.  And through the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program, we're offering our strongest support to our brave officers and their loved ones in the toughest of times.
"Going forward, this unshakeable commitment to those who serve will continue to guide our efforts to improve 21st-century policing and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they protect.
"I have always been proud to support these selfless public servants.  All Americans owe our courageous law enforcement personnel a tremendous debt of gratitude for their patriotic service, for their often-unheralded sacrifices, and for the dangers they routinely face in the name of public safety."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Plans for Federal Law Enforcement Personnel to Begin Carrying Naloxone

In a new memorandum, Attorney General Eric Holder urged federal law enforcement agencies to identify, train and equip personnel who may interact with a victim of a heroin overdose with the drug naloxone. This latest step by the Attorney General will pave the way for certain federal agents -- such as emergency medical personnel -- to begin carrying the potentially life-saving drug known for effectively restoring breathing to a victim in the midst of a heroin or opioid overdose.

According to the most recent study, 110 Americans on average die from drug overdoses every day, outnumbering even deaths from gunshot wounds or motor vehicle crashes. More than half of these drug overdose deaths involve opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers.  Between 2006 and 2010, heroin overdose deaths dramatically increased by 45 percent.

“The shocking increase in overdose deaths illustrates that addiction to heroin and other opioids, including some prescription painkillers, represents nothing less than a public health crisis,” said Attorney General Holder. “I am confident that expanding the availability of naloxone has the potential to save the lives, families and futures of countless people across the nation.”

The Justice Department wants federal law enforcement agencies, as well as their state and local partners, to review their policies and procedures to determine whether personnel in those agencies should be equipped and trained to recognize and respond to opioid overdose by various methods, including the use of naloxone. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have amended their laws to increase access to naloxone, resulting in over 10,000 overdose reversals since 2001.

“ The heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic knows no boundaries--anyone can be affected, and we have already lost far too many lives,” said Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli. “We have moved aggressively against this epidemic and we know that the actions of law enforcement officers at the scene of an overdose can mean the difference between life and death. Attorney General Holder's leadership in this arena will help prevent future overdose deaths and we look forward to working closely with his office and other partners to get naloxone to law enforcement professionals across the nation. ”

As the department continues to address escalating and rapidly-evolving challenges that lead to opioid abuse and drug trafficking, the Attorney General cautioned members of Congress to protect critical enforcement tools like Immediate Suspension Orders (ISOs). A recently passed House bill would “severely undermine” a critical component of our efforts to prevent communities and families from falling prey to dangerous drugs.

The Attorney General announced the new memorandum at a day-long conference on law enforcement and naloxone convened by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The announcement follows up on the Attorney General’s call to action in March, when he urged local law enforcement authorities, who are often the first to respond to possible overdoses, to routinely carry naloxone.

The Attorney General’s full remarks to the law enforcement conference, as prepared for delivery appear below:

“Thank you, Mary Lou Leary, for those kind words – and thank you all for being here today.  I’d particularly like to thank Director Denise O’Donnell, Deputy Director Kristen Mahoney, and their colleagues from the Bureau of Justice Assistance – as well as Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli, Administrator Michele Leonhart, Deputy Assistant Administrator Joe Rannazzisi, and the dedicated men and women of the Drug Enforcement Administration – for bringing us together this morning.  And I want to recognize all of the distinguished panelists – representing fields ranging from law enforcement, to public policy, to public health and drug treatment – who have taken the time to lend their voices to this important discussion.  Every day, you stand on the front lines of our fight to confront an urgent – and growing – threat to our nation and its citizens.  And we’re proud to count you as colleagues and partners.

“As the leaders in this room know all too well, in the five years between 2006 and 2010, this country witnessed a dramatic, 45-percent increase in heroin-related deaths.  And 110 people die every day from overdoses, primarily driven by prescription drugs.  The shocking increase in overdose deaths illustrates that addiction to heroin and other opioids, including some prescription painkillers, represents nothing less than a public health crisis.  It’s also a public safety crisis.  And every day, this crisis touches – and devastates – the lives of Americans from every state, in every region, and from every background and walk of life.

“That’s why this Administration, and this Department of Justice in particular, have taken aggressive steps to fight back at every point of intervention – and with every tool at our disposal.  In recent years, we have worked to prevent opioid diversion and abuse by targeting the illegal supply chain, by disrupting pill mills, and by thwarting doctor-shopping attempts by drug users and distributors.  We have developed innovative public health programs to educate the public, to monitor the problem, and to rigorously enforce applicable federal laws.  And we have stepped up our investigatory efforts – opening more than 4,500 heroin-related investigations since 2011 and increasing the amount of heroin seized along America’s southwest border by 320 percent between 2008 and 2013.

“From our rigorous scrutiny of new pharmacy applications to prevent illicit storefront drug trafficking – to our sponsorship of “Drug Take Back” events that provide opportunities for safe and responsible prescription drug disposal – with your help and expert guidance, the department has pursued a comprehensive strategy to keep pharmaceutical controlled substances from falling into the hands of non-medical users.  We can all be proud of the steps forward we’ve taken, and the considerable results we’ve achieved, over the last few years alone.  But we continue to face escalating and rapidly-evolving challenges in our efforts to prevent opioid abuse and intercept illicit drugs.

“These challenges illustrate the need to preserve important law enforcement tools like Immediate Suspension Orders, which allow DEA to immediately shut down irresponsible distributors, pharmacies, and rogue pain clinics that flood the market with pills prescribed by unethical or irresponsible doctors.  These Immediate Suspension Orders, or ISOs, are used to take action in instances where irresponsible behavior places the public at risk - and do so without interrupting the legitimate flow of prescription drugs or preventing patients from receiving necessary medications.

“Particularly now – at a time when our nation is facing a heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis – law enforcement tools like ISOs could not be more important.  And if Congress were to take them away, or weaken our ability to use them successfully, it would severely undermine a critical component of our efforts to prevent communities and families from falling prey to dangerous drugs.

“Of course, I recognize – as you do – that we cannot prevent every individual instance of heroin or prescription painkiller abuse.  And that is why, beyond these efforts, we must also take additional steps to ensure that we can respond quickly and effectively in the event of acute heroin- or prescription drug-related emergencies that are encountered in the field.

“In March, I urged local law enforcement authorities, who are often the first to respond to possible overdoses, to routinely carry naloxone – a drug that’s extremely effective at restoring breathing to a victim in the midst of a heroin or other opioid overdose.  At that time, seventeen states and the District of Columbia had amended their laws to increase access to naloxone, resulting in over 10,000 overdose reversals since 2001.  During one of my regular meetings with the leaders of national law enforcement organizations – many of whom I see here today – they identified the need for technical assistance so that jurisdictions with an interest in equipping officers and first responders may do so effectively.  Today’s meeting fulfills that request.  The result of this convening will be a set of guidelines to assist law enforcement and public health providers who wish to be equipped and trained in the use of this potentially life-saving remedy.

“In addition, this morning, I can announce that, for the first time ever, I have issued a memorandum urging federal law enforcement agencies – including the DEA, the ATF, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service – to review their policies and procedures to determine whether personnel within their agencies should be equipped and trained to recognize and respond to opioid overdose, including with the use of naloxone.  In the coming days, I expect each of these critical agencies to determine whether and which members of their teams should be trained to use and carry naloxone in the performance of their duties.

“Although, like you, I recognize that there are numerous challenges involved in naloxone implementation – from acquisition and replenishment, to training, medical oversight and liability issues – I am confident that expanding the availability of this tool has the potential to save the lives, families, and futures of countless people across the nation.  I am certain that the leaders in this room – together with our colleagues and counterparts far beyond it – possess the knowledge, the skill, and the determination to forge workable solutions to these pressing concerns.  The ultimate goal of today’s conference is to harness your insights, to channel your expertise, and to mine your collective experience in order to make real and lasting progress on behalf of those who are in desperate need of our assistance.  Through extensive collaboration and shared wisdom, we can overcome persistent challenges and set a new course for the future.

“So long as I have the privilege of serving as Attorney General, I am determined to keep working with you – and with leaders and stakeholders from around the country – to help break new ground, to develop new solutions, and to forge new paths to the safer, brighter, and more just futures that all Americans deserve.  I want to thank each of you, once again, for your commitment to this initiative; for your devotion to this cause; and for your partnership in the considerable work that lies before us.  I look forward to all that we must, and surely will, accomplish together in the months and years to come.  And I wish you all a most productive conference.”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ATF to Increase Total Agents in Chicago to 52 with Focus on Reducing Illegal Gun Trafficking and Gun Crime

Following his recent visit to Chicago where he participated in a roundtable discussion with Mayor Emanuel on recent reductions in youth violence, Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans to send seven additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), agents to the field division office in Chicago.

The new ATF agents will coordinate efforts with U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon, as well as federal, state and local law enforcement and community partnerships to advance proven strategies to reduce illegal gun trafficking and gun crime. There are currently 45 ATF agents assigned to Chicago.

"The Department of Justice will continue to do everything in its power to help the city of Chicago combat gun violence,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. "These new agents are a sign of the federal government's ongoing commitment to helping local leaders ensure Chicago's streets are safe.”

The deployment of new ATF agents represents the latest step in strengthening the partnerships with the Chicago Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies. In early June, ATF opened the Chicago Crime Gun Intelligence Center. The Center combines the gun enforcement efforts of the Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police and ATF to provide additional leads that otherwise might go unnoticed and further addresses the illegal sales and possession of firearms in the State of Illinois.

In addition, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon announced a restructuring of the Criminal Division in his office and in doing so named a team of prosecutors who will work specifically to reduce violent crime in the city. The FBI currently has over 100 agents in Chicago assigned to curb gang and violent crimes. During the summer months, the city temporarily assigned an additional 20 agents to supplement crime reduction efforts. Under the 12 current grants administered by our Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention alone, the City of Chicago and Cook County has access to more than $6.6 million to further these efforts to address youth violence.

Gun crime is the primary driver of homicide in Chicago, and sixty percent of the guns recovered in violent crimes in Chicago were originally sold in other states and trafficked into the city. Given the interstate nature of these crimes, it is critical that federal and local law enforcement work together to identify traffickers and enforce federal gun laws. ATF will continue to concentrate its criminal enforcement on firearms trafficking throughout the region while curbing the supply of illegal guns that end up in the hands of gang members and other violent criminals.
“ATF’s commitment to targeting traffickers and trigger pullers in Chicago is bolstered by these additional resources,” said ATF Director B. Todd Jones.  “These resources, combined with ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center, will strengthen and build on our outstanding partnership with the Chicago Police Department and other local, state and regional law enforcement to bring safety and justice back to the community."

“We have enjoyed an ever-improving and increasingly productive relationship with our federal partners,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “We look forward to continuing that relationship and welcoming additional personnel in our ongoing efforts to ensure everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety.”

The Justice Department will continue to build on this work in the months ahead through initiatives like Project Safe Neighborhoods; the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention; and innovative community oriented policing tools in the neighborhoods across Chicago.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Attorney General Holder Delivers Remarks at the Chicago Youth Violence Prevention Roundtable

Thank you all for being here – and for welcoming me back to Chicago today.  I’d particularly like to thank Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel for convening this important discussion.  I want to recognize Jadine [Chou], of the Chicago Public Schools, who is serving as our moderator.  And I’d like to acknowledge the work of our outstanding U.S. Attorney, Zach Fardon, in helping to lead federal law enforcement efforts – and maintain strong partnerships with city and state officials – across this great city and throughout the area.
Most of all, I want to thank each of you for taking the time to be here; for lending your voices, and your unique perspectives, to this conversation; and for your ongoing commitment to frank dialogue, close collaboration, and cutting-edge innovation in pursuit of the progress we seek.
As law enforcement leaders, educators, administrators, and community advocates – but, most of all, as concerned parents – you’ve already stepped forward to offer your leadership, your support, and your skills and expertise in our efforts to combat and prevent youth violence.
Today, I want you to know that my Justice Department colleagues and I are grateful for your extraordinary work.  And we’re determined to stand with you in taking it to a new level.
Chicago has made tremendous progress in bringing the homicide rate down – largely due to the efforts of many in this room.  Yet, I'm sure we can all agree, there is still work to be done.
Statistics show that more than 60 percent of America’s children are exposed to crime, violence, or abuse – as victims or as witnesses – at some point in their lives.  This is a staggering reality with devastating implications – and direct consequences.
For me – and I know for all of you – fighting back has always been much more than a professional obligation.  As our nation’s Attorney General – and as the father of three wonderful kids – it is also a personal priority.
That’s why the work you’re doing – to rally local stakeholders to make our schools and our city streets safer – is so critical.  And it’s why the Obama Administration – led, in part, by this Justice Department – has stepped to the forefront of these efforts, making an unprecedented commitment to help Chicago and other cities stem the tide of violence and protect our youngest citizens.
At the heart of this commitment is our National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.  Thanks to your tireless work – under the leadership of Mayor Emanuel, the Chicago Police
Department, and the Chicago Public Schools – this city has implemented a comprehensive, broad-based strategy to keep our young people safe, to keep them in the classroom, and to keep them on the path to success.  With the strong support of the Justice Department, you’re applying innovative, data-driven strategies for contending with local challenges.  And as your new report illustrates, these efforts are showing tremendous promise.
As we speak, you’re taking action to disrupt the “school-to-prison pipeline” by reducing out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.  You’ve made significant gains in reducing arrests triggered by student misconduct and student-involved shootings.  You’re ensuring that kids have safe passage to and from school.  You’re supporting mentorship, tutoring, and community engagement efforts. And as a result, as the City announced today, the Chicago Public Schools just marked the safest year on record.  Graduation rates are improving.  And all of this is only the beginning.
In the days ahead, the Justice Department will continue seeking ways to strengthen and institutionalize our support for Chicago’s locally-driven, multi-pronged anti-violence strategy.  Under the 12 current grants administered by our Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention alone, the City of Chicago and Cook County have access to more than $6.6 million to further these efforts.
Moving forward, we’ll keep building on this work – through the support of our Office of Justice Programs; through initiatives like Project Safe Neighborhoods and Defending Childhood; through national efforts such as President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative; and through our continued work to institutionalize the cooperative solutions you’re pioneering – not just here in Chicago, but throughout the country.
These federal resources will be essential in helping to achieve the public safety goals we share.  But I also recognize – as you do – that the challenges we face can only be addressed cooperatively, by entire communities standing together – through the kind of collective action and comprehensive effort that the Mayor, Superintendent [Garry] McCarthy, and other leaders around this table are making possible.
Programs like Chicago’s own CureViolence and the Group Violence Reduction Strategy now being used by the Chicago Police Department have helped to show us what’s possible when the full community becomes involved.
Our nation’s Department of Justice is firmly committed to supporting you in this work.  And we’ll continue to rely on the engagement, the expertise, and the resources that you provide.
I want to thank you, once again, for all that you do to drive our efforts forward.  I am proud to count you as colleagues and partners.  And I look forward to all that we must – and will – accomplish together in the months and years to come.

- Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Following Mass Shooting Incidents, Attorney General Holder Urges Congress to Approve $15 Million to Train Law Enforcement Officers for 'Active Shooter' Situations

Following the recent tragedies at a Jewish Community Center outside of Kansas City and at Ft. Hood, Attorney General Eric Holder urged Congress to approve $15 million in funding for active shooter training for law enforcement officers to ensure they have the tools they need to effectively respond to threats, protect themselves, and save innocent lives.

“In the face of this urgent and growing threat – when the lives of innocent people are at stake – those who stand on the front lines need our full and unwavering support," Holder said in a video message posted on the Justice Department's website. "This critical funding would help the Justice Department ensure that America’s police officers have the tools and guidance they need to effectively respond to active shooter incidents whenever and wherever they arise."

“Over the last decade, the Justice Department and the FBI have helped provide cutting-edge active shooter training to 50,000 front-line officers.  In the video message, Holder said continuing this training is critical since the patrol officers who arrive first on the scene are increasingly being relied on to respond directly to active shooters rather than wait for SWAT teams.”

The complete text of the Attorney General’s video message is below:

“Between 2000 and 2008, the United States experienced an average of approximately five active shooter incidents every year.  Since 2009, this annual average has roughly tripled.  Earlier this month, Fort Hood suffered the second mass shooting that community has experienced in just five years.  And in a separate incident over the weekend, a gunman opened fire at a Jewish Community Center just outside of Kansas City.

“The Justice Department has concluded that federal hate crimes charges are appropriate in this case, and in the months ahead, we will do everything in our power to ensure that justice is served for every victim.

“But each of these tragic events is a heartbreaking reminder that mass shootings are all too common.  And they have become increasingly deadly.

“As a nation, we must confront this alarming rise and all of its underlying causes – honestly, factually, and without regard for political consequence.  We must deal with these incidents whenever they happen – but, just as importantly, we must prevent them whenever we can.
“Today’s Department of Justice committed to doing just that.  We’re more determined than ever to prevent mass shootings.  The FBI’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Center, which supports state, local and campus safety stakeholders, has worked diligently to respond to a nearly 200 percent increase in requests for assistance in the last year, and to help detect and mitigate potential active shooter situations.

“But we must also be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to active shooter incidents if and when they do occur.  And in today’s world, the first response must often be led not by SWAT teams or specialized police units – but by the very first patrol officers to arrive on the scene.

“That’s why all law enforcement officers must have the best equipment and most up-to-date training to confront these situations – to stop active shooters in their tracks, to protect themselves, and to save innocent lives.

“Over the last decade, the Justice Department and the FBI have helped provide cutting-edge active shooter training to 50,000 front-line officers, more than 7,000 on-scene commanders, and over 3,000 local, state, and federal agency heads.  This vital work must continue – but to provide training, we need adequate funding.

“Today, I am urging Congress to approve President Obama’s request for $15 million for active shooter training and other officer safety initiatives.  This critical funding would help the Justice Department ensure that America’s police officers have the tools and guidance they need to effectively respond to active shooter incidents whenever and wherever they arise.

“Every day, America’s federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials perform their duties with integrity, courage, and extraordinary valor.  In the face of this urgent and growing threat – when the lives of innocent people are at stake – those who stand on the front lines need our full and unwavering support.  The safety of the American people demands it.  And the men, women, and children whose lives are impacted by active shooters every year deserve nothing less.”

Friday, March 28, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder Issues Statement on Same-Sex Marriages in Michigan

Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the status of same-sex marriages performed in the state of Michigan:

“I have determined that the same-sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government.  These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. The Governor of Michigan has made clear that the marriages that took place on Saturday were lawful and valid when entered into, although Michigan will not extend state rights and benefits tied to these marriages pending further legal proceedings.  For purposes of federal law, as I announced in January with respect to similarly situated same-sex couples in Utah, these Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled.

“Last June’s decision by the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor was a victory for equal protection under the law and a historic step toward equality for all American families.  The Department of Justice continues to work with its federal partners to implement this decision across the government.  And we will remain steadfast in our commitment to realizing our country’s founding ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice for all.”


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