What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Federal supervision and decades of activism changed policing in Newark. Can the changes last? In 2020, Newark’s Police Department went a full calendar year without shooting a civilian. Mayor Ras Baraka had spent much of his time in office trying to get two crucial groups — Newark’s police and its Black community — to trust each other and work together, so the milestone was notable. But with police still using force disproportionately against Black residents, activists are split on the future of public safety there and the role of the consent decree between the city and the federal government that prescribed a set of reforms and placed the Police Department under a court-appointed monitor. J. Brian Charles has that story.
Biden’s budget calls for big funding increases to fight gun violence. The 2022 discretionary request follows the president’s move to earmark $5 billion in funding for community-focused solutions and a series of executive orders unveiled Thursday. The fiscal year 2022 plan would set aside $2.1 billion for the Department of Justice to treat gun violence as a public health crisis, an increase of $232 million for the agency over last year. Other highlights:
- $200 million for a community violence intervention initiative to implement local solutions to gun violence. The DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services would jointly administer the program.
- $50 million for gun violence research by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, twice the level from the last two years.
- $1.6 billion for the ATF, a 5 percent increase over last year.
ICYMI: What is Biden ATF nominee David Chipman’s position on guns? The 22-year veteran of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has spent years advocating for gun reform, most recently as a senior adviser at Giffords. Chipman has spoken to The Trace several times, and Jennifer Mascia put together this compendium of his positions on firearms policy from The Trace’s archives. Among other things, Chipman wants to regulate semiautomatic rifles — not ban them; supports regulating more gun accessories under the National Firearms Act; opposes increased federal prosecutions for gun crime; has spoken out about National Rifle Association-backed limitations on crime gun tracing; and described an underfunded and undermined ATF.
Minnesota police fatally shoot a 20-year-old Black man, leading to widespread protests and overnight clashes. The incident happened during a traffic stop Sunday afternoon in the town of Brooklyn Center, less than 10 miles from the Minneapolis courtroom where the murder trial for Derek Chauvin continues later today. Relatives of Daunte Wright confirmed he was the victim. “All he did was have air fresheners in the car and they [the police] told him to get out of the car,” Wright’s mother told reporters, saying that her son had called her as he was being pulled over. Exactly what transpired is unclear, but Wright was pronounced dead at the scene after he reportedly drove his car for several blocks after police shot him. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting, which precipitated widespread unrest, the arrival of National Guard troops, and a mandatory curfew.
Virginia governor calls for a probe of pepper spraying of a Black and Latino U.S. Army officer. Over the weekend, video emerged of a December traffic stop in which two police officers in Windsor, Virginia, threatened 2nd Lieutenant Caron Nazario at gunpoint during a traffic stop at a gas station, pepper sprayed him, and threatened him with execution. Nazario has sued the officers — Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker — for excessive force and racial profiling. One of the officers was reportedly fired, officials said Sunday.
11 people shot in 24 hours underscores the brutal toll of gun violence in Philadelphia. The incidents between Friday and Saturday left at least three people dead. The city is currently on pace to surpass 600 homicides this year, which would be a record. On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced a partnership with the city to fight the surging violence, and Mayor Jim Kenney is set to announce this month an updated violence prevention plan based on his 2019 Roadmap to Safer Communities.
65 percent — the share of likely voters who support shifting some funding from police budgets to non-law enforcement response to people in crisis, according to a new poll. The total includes 80 percent support from Democrats and 52 percent from Republicans. [Data for Progress/The Appeal’s The Lab]