What To Know Today

After 18 months of study, here’s what Philly leaders say about the city’s violence crisis. A commission launched by City Councilperson Curtis Jones Jr. that included collaboration from city officials, public defenders, public health experts, police, and prosecutors released its final 194-page study. Among other things, the group found that half of shootings in recent years started with arguments; most recovered crime guns were purchased in the state; and perpetrators and victims have frequently been involved with the city’s criminal justice system, received mental health support, and witnessed traumatic violence. Moreover, nonwhite communities have borne the brunt of the crisis while gun-related cases go unsolved. Divisions between police and prosecutors: Despite the collaborative process, the report contains ongoing intra-city disagreements, including between police and the office of DA Larry Krasner. The former have complained about a lack of prosecutions for illegal gun possession, while Krasner’s office wrote, “We do not believe that arresting people and convicting them for illegal gun possession is a viable strategy to reduce shootings.” Common ground for solutions: The executive summary alone contains nearly 30 recommendations spanning prevention, intervention, and enforcement. Among other things, leaders agreed on the need to have solutions extend beyond law enforcement; furnish more support for crime victims and others facing trauma; and direct financial resources toward poor areas with a history of disinvestment.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail, while wife tells judge of his alleged abuse. In a written order, Texas federal Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson ruled that Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right militia group who was charged with seditious conspiracy over the Capitol insurrection, was a flight risk. The federal indictment against Rhodes and 10 others says they prepared to ferry arms into Washington, D.C., if needed, and Johnson wrote that some of the weapons came from Rhodes himself, who purchased nearly $40,000 worth of guns, ammunition, and accessories in the days before January 6, 2021. Johnson also wrote about testimony from Rhodes’ ex-wife, who alleged that he regularly “brandished weapons” in the home as a means of control and abused their six children. “Ms. Adams testified that defendant’s violence toward the family became more frequent in 2016” and she feared for her life. 

Biden DOJ: Curbing violence and holding law enforcement accountable not an “either/or.” In an interview with CNN, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said that supporting policing for violence prevention was not mutually exclusive with the administration’s focus on accountability for police misconduct. “This is not an either/or. We have got to do both.” The administration has sought to thread the needle on the two, by ramping up DOJ pattern-or-practice investigations into alleged civil rights abuses and discrimination in several major police departments while also increasing spending on both policing programs and community-focused efforts to curb violence.

Andy Parker, whose journalist daughter was fatally shot on TV, will run for Congress. In 2015, 24-year-old Alison Parker was killed while recording a live news broadcast that the shooter streamed online. Since then, her father has struggled to get companies like YouTube to find permanent solutions for keeping the videos, which get reposted frequently, off their platforms for good. On Thursday, her father, Andy Parker, announced he was running for Congress as a Democrat in Virginia’s Fifth District, running on an anti-Big Tech platform and hoping to challenge the Republican incumbent.

Alleged Oxford High School shooter will claim insanity defense, lawyers say. The 15-year-old suspect was charged with multiple felony charges, including terrorism, for the November shooting that left four people dead. He will next appear in court on February 22. Meanwhile, the family of 16-year-old victim Tate Myre announced a suit against school employees and the suspect’s parents, who were also charged with involuntary manslaughter for failing to prevent the shooting.

Data Point

18 — the number of states that require range training to get a concealed carry permit, according to our updated count. Virginia, which was excluded from the original list we published earlier this week, requires applicants to attend an in-person firearms course and “demonstrate competency with a handgun,” but it does not specifically mandate a shooting exercise. [The Trace]