NEW from THE TRACE: Ex-NRA execs fear attorney is shielding Wayne LaPierre at the group’s expense. In early 2018, the National Rifle Association hired attorney William A. Brewer III and his firm to fend off growing legal threats. After tens of millions in fees, some former NRA officials and current members fear the legal work has come at the organization’s expense. “The reality is that he has been representing Wayne LaPierre, not the NRA,” Joshua Powell, the former second-in-command to the gun group CEO, told my colleague Will Van Sant. You can read Will’s feature into Brewer’s short tenure here.
Gunfire erupts at Brooklyn ‘Sweet 16’ party, marking yet another mass shooting. One person was killed and six others were wounded outside the gathering on Sunday night in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, police said. A 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy, and a 16-year-old boy were among the wounded. As shootings have nearly doubled this year in the nation’s largest city, mass shootings are also up. New York has recorded at least 22 shootings with four or more victims in 2020, up from six last year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. Context: Nationally, mass shootings have reached their highest level since GVA started tracking them seven years ago. Our reporting shows the incidents disproportionately occur in predominantly Black neighborhoods, like Bedford-Stuyvesant. Separately: A 15-year-old boy was arrested for a mass shooting at a Wisconsin mall that left eight people injured on Friday. — Chip Brownlee, investigative fellow.
Remembering Philadelphia’s overlooked victims of gun violence. The Philadelphia Inquirer has partnered with the Philadelphia Obituary Project — a local nonprofit that memorializes homicide victims who don’t receive humanizing coverage. The collaboration’s first obituary belongs to Keshone Young, a 24-year-old who loved cats and wanted to be an electrician. “These are not deaths any of us should overlook,” tweeted Inquirer columnist Helen Ubiñas, who pushed for the partnership.
Some Republican voters scoff at election results, say they’re willing to take up arms for Trump. Reuters spoke with some of the president’s biggest fans in small-town Texas and two themes emerged: They are adamant that Trump won the election — and some would be willing to fight on his behalf. “If President Trump comes out and says: ‘Guys, I have irrefutable proof of fraud, the courts won’t listen, and I’m now calling on Americans to take up arms,’ we would go,” said a small-business owner in Sundown, Texas. His mayor echoed the sentiment, telling reporters that civil war was “not off the table.”
New expert task force seeks to reduce police violence and improve accountability. The Council on Criminal Justice, a research organization, convened the group of 11 experts drawn from law enforcement, activism, civil rights, academia, and politics. The blue ribbon panel will partner with the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago and is tasked with evaluating more than two dozen existing police reforms and offering a final report assessing the pros and cons of each.
40 percentage points — the decline in Houston’s clearance rate for homicide cases between 2011 (89 percent) and 2020 (49 percent). Last year, the average clearance rate for cities with more than 1 million people was 67 percent. [The Houston Chronicle]