What To Know Today
Slain NYPD officer joined force to improve police-community tensions. Jason Rivera, 22, was fatally shot when a gunman opened fire on him in a Harlem apartment on Friday evening. Rivera and his partners arrived in response to a domestic violence call. Wilbert Mora, 27, was critically wounded. A third officer critically injured the 47-year-old suspect. Police said the suspect’s gun had been reported stolen in Baltimore in 2017 and that it had a high-capacity magazine attached to it. The officers were the third and fourth shot in the line of duty in the last week, police said. Yesterday, Mayor Eric Adams said that he planned to make good on a campaign pledge and bring back a version of an anti-gun plainclothes police unit that was disbanded in 2020 amid criticism of its treatment of nonwhite residents. “Why I Became A Police Officer”: Rivera, who grew up in an immigrant family in Manhattan, wrote to his commanding officer in late 2020 that he became a cop because, among other things, he wanted to change the relationship between the police and communities like his. “My perspective on police and the way they police really bothered me,” he wrote about his views as a young man, noting that he once saw his brother being stopped and frisked. But Rivera also saw police working to improve community relationships, and he aspired to be that kind of officer. “I realized how impactful my role as a police officer would go in this chaotic city,” he wrote. Related from The Trace: Domestic dispute calls are often the most dangerous for responding officers.
Texas man charged with making death threats against Georgia election officials. Chad Stark, 54, was arrested on Friday for a message he allegedly posted online on January 5, 2021, in which he targeted election officials who didn’t go along with former President Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Federal prosecutors said that Stark wrote in part: “Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors. It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A].” The charges were the first brought by a new DOJ unit to monitor threats of political violence, including against election officials. Stark faces a maximum penalty of five years if convicted. A survey of 233 election officials the left-leaning Brennan Center conducted last year found that one in six had received threats.
Pennsylvania to spend additional $15.7M on community-focused violence intervention. Governor Tom Wolf announced the funding for community-based gun violence intervention and prevention programs, which comes from the state’s federal American Rescue Plan money and will be administered by the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency. The new funding comes in addition to the $8 million the PCCD had remaining for its intervention and prevention grant-making. Last year, Wolf announced an initial $24 million for community-led public safety programs.
“I will bring every single gun loaded and ready”: Virginia mom threatens school board over mask rules. Amelia King’s outburst came on Thursday at the Page County School Board in rural Virginia as she announced her opposition to any potential mask requirements for her children. (Shortly after her comments, the board authorized optional mask wearing, which is in line with the governor’s recent executive order that gave parents the option to choose.) In a statement, the local public school superintendent and school board chair condemned King’s comments as going “against everything we wish to model for our students.”
5 percent — the share of all violent crime arrests made by the Albuquerque Police Department in which the defendant had been previously released pending trial, according to a study from the New Mexico Legislature’s Finance Committee that looked at the effects of bail reform over the last three years. [Albuquerque Journal]