Archive for January 4th, 2014

January 4, 2014


Abscam by Aggie Kenny

Abscam was an FBI sting operation run from the Bureau’s Long Island office in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property but was converted to a public corruption investigation. The investigation ultimately led to the conviction of a U.S. senator, six members of the House of Representatives, one member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, and an inspector for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

In 1978, the FBI hired Melvin Weinberg, a convicted con artist, to help plan and conduct the operation, forming Abdul Enterprises, Ltd., as its front company for the investigation. FBI employees posed as Karim Abdul Rahman, a fictional Middle Eastern sheikh, in videotaped meetings with targeted government officials. The agents posing as Rahman offered the officials money in return for political favors such as political asylum in the U.S., involvement in an investment scheme for a high-class hotel, and help in transferring money out of his country.

January 4, 2014

Perp Walk


A perp walk, or walking the perp, is a common custom of American law enforcement (particularly NYC) where an arrested suspect is escorted through a public place, creating an opportunity for the media to take photographs and video of the event. The defendant is typically handcuffed or otherwise restrained, and is sometimes dressed in prison garb. Originally only those accused of violent street crimes were subjected to it, but since Rudolph Giuliani had accused white-collar criminals perp-walked in the 1980s, it has been extended to almost every defendant.

The perp walk arose incidentally from the need to transport a defendant from a police station to court after arrest, and the general prohibition of prior restraint (censorship) under the First Amendment. Law enforcement agencies often coordinate with the media in scheduling and arranging them. It has been criticized as a form of public humiliation that violates a defendant’s right to privacy and is prejudicial to the presumption of innocence. Courts have permitted it on the grounds that it arises from the limitations and necessity of police procedure, but have also limited it only to those times when it is actually necessary.