Last month in San Francisco, a Walgreens security guard shot and killed Banko Brown, a 24-year-old Black, trans man with an insecure housing situation. Video shows that Brown was retreating from the store when he was shot, but the city’s DA declined to press charges. The story of Brown’s killing not only reveals the true nature of San Francisco’s supposed crime crisis, writes Toshio Meronek, but also shows a tragic convergence of the American crises of gun violence, racism, homelessness, and transphobia. Why aren’t more people paying attention? [The Nation]
From Our Team
New Jersey has been waiting for a smart gun for 20 years. In anticipation of the technology, the state enacted the controversial Childproof Handgun Law in 2002, which required all firearm retailers to switch to smart inventories within a few years of a viable option hitting the market. Lawmakers softened the measure in 2019, allowing firearms sellers to carry their regular stock as long as they offered at least one smart gun.
Now, a smart gun is finally hitting the market — but it’s unclear if New Jersey’s law will finally take effect. Part of the reason? The CEO of Biofire, the firearms technology company behind the product, doesn’t want it to. Read more from The Trace →
What to Know Today
Memorial Day historically sees a high number of shootings. This weekend, at least 16 people were killed and more than 80 injured in at least 20 mass shootings; that doesn’t include the dozens of people who died from everyday gun violence over the holiday. [USA TODAY/NBC/Gun Violence Archive]
Ralph Yarl, the Kansas City, Missouri, teenager who was shot in the head after ringing the wrong doorbell in April, participated in a Memorial Day walk and run to raise money for traumatic brain injury victims. Since he was wounded, the 17-year-old has been experiencing migraines, his aunt said, making it difficult for him to play music. [The Guardian]
Texas lawmakers approved a wide-ranging school safety bill that includes a provision requiring an armed security officer at every school campus. [The Texas Tribune] Context: Do armed guards prevent school shootings? Experts say the data isn’t encouraging.
In her first public appearance since winning the Philadelphia Democratic mayoral primary, Cherelle Parker reiterated her support for stop-and-frisk, a controversial policing tactic, and acknowledged its potential for harm. Parker campaigned with a promise to crack down on gun violence. [WHYY]
The last conversation Nicole D’Vignon shared with her son Nicolaus Cooper, a few days before he was found fatally shot in Chicago Heights two months ago, was filled with love, she said. Now, D’Vignon tends to a memorial garden for Cooper, hoping that people will remember him — and maybe help solve his killing. [Chicago Sun-Times]
The gunman who killed eight people at a mall in Allen, Texas, this month appears to have included a Nazi symbol in his signature multiple times in his application to become a “commissioned security officer” in 2015, records show; the state still awarded him a license. It came as a shock to many that the shooter, who was Latino, expressed white supremacist views — but “Latino white supremacy isn’t an oxymoron,” writes Geraldo Cadava. [KERA/The New Yorker]
A fatal shooting at the San Diego Central Library called attention to years of disturbances, drug use, and mental health emergencies on the premises. [The San Diego Union-Tribune] Context: After a devastating shooting in a public place, Baltimore embarked on a plan to train city employees — and residents — in alleviating grief and trauma. It started at the library.
An Indiana gunmaker offered Republicans in the General Assembly customized, steeply discounted AR-15-style rifles during the legislative session, noting in promotional flyers that there would be “no Democrat sales.” The offer doesn’t necessarily violate the Legislature’s lenient ethics rules. [Indianapolis Star]
37 — the number of U.S. states where a mass shooting, defined as at least four people killed or injured, has taken place so far this year; Washington, D.C., has also experienced mass shootings. There have been more than 260 mass shootings in 2023, up by about 40 from this time in 2022. [Gun Violence Archive]