Health and Fitness

NYC subway taking pictures: Accused shooter Frank R. James improperly questioned in cell, attorneys allege

CHICAGO — In new court docket filings, attorneys representing New York’s subway assault suspect are leveling allegations of misconduct in opposition to the federal government. They say FBI brokers secretly questioned the suspect and took saliva samples virtually two weeks after his arrest.

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Frank James is being held on the federal lock-up in Brooklyn, New York. While he is been there for nearly two weeks, now his attorneys say FBI brokers took a swab of his DNA with out informing them or inviting them to be current. They additionally declare that brokers improperly questioned James in the course of the jailhouse go to.

According to investigators, James boarded a crowded subway automotive on the finish of rush hour on April 12 and fired a minimum of 33 photographs. Authorities say James detonated a smoke grenade simply earlier than opening fireplace.

Ten commuters have been shot and almost two dozen others damage within the panic.

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When 62-year-old James was arrested the subsequent afternoon, the FBI and New York City police processed him as they do 1000’s of different felony suspects. Facing a single federal terrorism depend, James was ordered held with out bond in Brooklyn Federal Detention Center.

On Tuesday, 13 days after being arrested, FBI brokers got here to James’ cell with out having notified his attorneys, in keeping with a brand new court docket submitting. The suspect’s attorneys say brokers “questioned him, took multiple buccal swabs of his DNA, and directed him to sign certain documents.”

“There may have been a misstep here by the FBI maybe not following local practice that’s alleged in this letter, but I don’t see it as anything more than a hiccup. There’s no constitutional right to have a lawyer present when a DNA swab is taken,” mentioned Gil Soffer, a former federal prosecutor and ABC 7 Legal Analyst.

In the court docket submitting, attorneys mentioned that it’s “standard practice in (the) District that when the government obtains a search warrant for buccal swabs from a represented, post-arraignment defendant, the government informs counsel…before its execution.”

“They do allege that he was questioned without the presence of his attorney. That could be a problem,” Soffer instructed the I-Team. “Of course, it depends on the questioning was it was just logistical.. where are you located? Can you move here? Can you please present your cheek for a swap? That wouldn’t be such an issue. If it was more meaningful, more substantive? It could be a problem.”

Now, a choose has given the federal government a deadline of subsequent Tuesday to reply to these allegations of misconduct. Defense attorneys at the moment are saying they are going to look to suppress statements made in that cell this previous Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney’s workplace is declining to debate the matter publicly.

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