Thursday, September 04, 2008

OJP Public Comments

The DOJ Office of Justice Programs published proposals for state and local police in the July 31 Federal Register that would allow the cops to launch their own criminal investigations based on the suspicion that a target in engaged in criminal activity, including terrorism, and solicited public comments. You're looking at the creation of an American Stasi. I commented electronically and received the Comment tracking number 806ece34. However, before anyone can track my timely submitted comment, the DOJ has to post it to So far, they haven't. The text of my still unpublished Comment follows:

Dear Mr. Deaver:

Re: OJP Docket No. 1473

As an American citizen whose 4th Amendment right has been violated with impunity by state and local law enforcement (see, I strongly recommend that the DOJ does not enact the proposed changes to 28 C.F.R. Part 23 for the following reasons: 28 C.F.R. Part 23 already provides for information sharing between state and federal agencies. Furthermore, the DOJ does not have the resources or manpower to adequately train the police in the administration of these proposed changes or investigate the inevitable abuses that will result. The proposed changes, in effect, will give state and local authorities carte blanche to “investigate” any law-abiding citizen, including whistle blowers, protesters, and government policy critics, and expand the scope of any criminal investigation to include the lawyers and witnesses of anyone exposing official misconduct or exercising their First Amendment right. State and local police have an inherent conflict of interest in investigating themselves and these proposed changes eliminate any remaining checks and balances; thereby, providing the “legal” framework to cover-up official misconduct and abuse of authority.

As an American citizen whose life has been affected by such abusive law enforcement investigations based not on any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, but rather self-serving innuendoes and conducted under the color of law, I am specifically concerned with the following proposed changes to Section 23.20(e) and (f) which expands the dissemination of information that may assist in preventing crime or violence or “any conduct dangerous to human life or property.” In effect, these proposed changes would destroy any privacy and civil liberties based on some vague definition of “dangerous.” By deleting the word “imminent,” Section 23.20(f)(2) allows the dissemination of criminal intelligence “to a government official or any other individual, when necessary to avoid danger to life or property” which could easily serve as a pretext to discredit an individual or their charges and intimidate or threaten witnesses under the color of law.

These proposed changes are too open to deliberate misinterpretation and abuse by those with the will to do so. 28 C.F.R. Part 23 already provides all the direction necessary for law enforcement to do their job within the constraints of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights while keeping all of us safe from the real terrorists and criminals.

Respectfully submitted,
Joe Keegan

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