What To Know Today
David Chipman, appearing in the Senate today, would be ATF’s first confirmed head since 2015. The longtime bureau agent-turned-gun reform advocate will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning alongside five other Biden nominees. The proceedings will stream here. Where Chipman stands on the issues: He’s drawn support from state Democratic attorneys general alongside the ire of gun rights groups and Republicans. As we reported last month, the 22-year veteran of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives supports a stronger regulatory role for the agency that has for years been plagued by underfunding, questionable priorities, and successful National Rifle Association-backed efforts to stymie its power. 🚨Watch this space:🚨 Tomorrow, we’re publishing a major investigation about the agency Chipman is hoping to lead — a crucial part of the Biden administration plans to enact its gun violence prevention agenda.
A year after George Floyd’s death, rates of police killings remain roughly the same. Between January and the end of April, there were just six days in which officers did not fatally shoot someone in the United States, Politico reports. “There’s an effort, at least by some political actors, to give folks false hope that we’re turning the corner around police violence,” one activist told the outlet. A symbolic deadline comes and goes: Biden said last month that he wanted Congress to pass a police reform bill by the anniversary of Floyd’s death. But while the Justice in Policing Act narrowly passed the House in March, it has stalled in the Senate. A stark reminder of violence: In Minneapolis, AP reporter Philip Crowther was on camera covering the anniversary and the crowd that had gathered at the site of Floyd’s murder when gunfire erupted a block away, injuring one person.
🗣️️More resources for Black and brown communities.🗣️ In an op-ed in USA TODAY, Tinisch Hollins and T-Pain — both members of the Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice — offered a powerful vision for public safety: “Unaddressed trauma devastates communities, costing people their jobs, housing and safety. If spending prioritized our recovery and safety, communities would have a chance to heal from what they’ve experienced and cycles of violence would be stopped. This would require support for community-based violence prevention programs, trauma recovery services, and key community investments, as opposed to the current excessive spending on the criminal justice system.”
A glimmer of hope following New York City’s pandemic gun violence spike. As we covered yesterday, national rates of gun violence remain stubbornly high compared to the past several years. That’s true in New York, where shooting tallies are high, if lower than last summer’s peak. But since gun violence is usually highest in the spring and summer, researchers at John Jay Research and Evaluation Center used an adjusted comparison of shootings in specific quarters of the year to try to gauge where we’re at in 2021. Their results leave room for optimism: “Shootings in New York City grew sharply in 2020 and remained elevated in 2021, but the degree of increase may be in decline. The number of shootings in the third quarter of 2020 was 158 percent higher than the same quarter in 2019. By the first quarter of 2021, shooting incidents were just 50 percent higher than the first quarter one year before.” You can see the full analysis here.
Man arrested for bringing guns and Molotov cocktails to the Capitol allegedly has militia ties. That’s according to new court filings in the case of 71-year-old Lonnie Leroy Coffman, who was arrested on January 6 after prosecutors say police found loaded firearms in his truck. A judge this week denied Coffman’s bond request, saying his weapons, political associations, and a list found at his home with the names of Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about his intent to commit political violence. “An absolute sea change” for domestic counter-terrorism: Extremism expert Seamus Hughes has a thread recapping the ways the government’s national security approach has changed since the insurrection.
40 percent — the share of law enforcement agencies currently providing use-of-force data to the FBI under a voluntary system set up after a spate of protests against police violence in 2014. The bureau says it won’t make the data available for public review until 80 percent of agencies nationwide participate. [The Guardian]