WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: How do you do base violence interruption at hospitals when the hospital is off limits? Pioneered by a gunshot survivor 30 years ago, the approach is based on the insight that violent crime victims may be most receptive to guidance while recovering from their traumatic experience. Research has indicated that outreach programs set in hospitals can reduce retaliatory violence and repeat victimization, and a growing list of states and cities are adopting the strategy. But with healthcare facilities curtailing visitors due to COVID-19, one police official has lamented the disruptions to bedside intervention as shootings have spiked this year. Jennifer Mascia has the story on how hospital-based gun violence prevention programs are adapting.
Bipartisan panel recommends investments in community-led solutions to violent crime. It was among the recommendations laid out by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice’s in an in-depth report on curbing rising violence amid ongoing turmoil in the criminal justice system. The commission, chaired by former U.S. attorneys general Alberto Gonzales and Loretta Lynch, singled out the role of street outreach workers and similar community groups and urged law enforcement officials across the country to prioritize the most violent crime while handing off other tasks where possible.
- The experts’ advice on police restructuring: “Consider fuller use of referrals to non-police service providers, such as street outreach workers, mental health professionals, or social workers… Also consider deploying non-sworn, unarmed community service officers for nonviolent, non-serious incidents.”
- An admonishment on budget priorities: “Discretionary community-based programming is frequently the first to be cut, but evidence-based community programming often has a large return on investment and is inexpensive in comparison to traditional crime responses.”
A New York court stayed the NRA’s case against its estranged former president. Although National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre removed Oliver North from the president’s post last year, he remains an organization member and continues to sit on the board. The NRA sought to have a court rule that North had forfeited his board seat through his conduct and was not entitled to whistleblower protection, as my colleague Will Van Sant reported. North’s lawyers have countered that he deserves protection because he was seeking to expose “potential financial misconduct and inadequate governance” at the gun group. Now a state judge in Albany has put the NRA’s case against North on hold until the resolution of the New York attorney general’s case against NRA.
Accidental shots fired as Black militia marches in Louisiana against racial injustice. More than 400 members of the NFAC militia were estimated to have demonstrated in the town of Lafayette on Saturday to protest against the August police killing of Trayford Pellerin there. NFAC leaders say a sitting Republican congressman threatened the group with violence if they assembled. An otherwise peaceful demonstration was interrupted when shots rang out; the police later arrested someone for unlawful discharge of a firearm. NFAC said the person wasn’t a member.
ICYMI: Online gun marketplace named in another wrongful-death lawsuit. The family of a woman killed with a gun sold on Armslist sued the company in a Wisconsin court late last week, seeking to force it to change the way it does business. (H/T to Trace reader Jon Hutson for flagging the news.) Related: Earlier this year, the family of a Chicago police officer killed in 2018 with a gun purchased on the website sued Armslist for allegedly abetting illegal gun trafficking. That suit cited an investigation by The Trace and The Verge, which found private gun sellers on the site skirting federal law through high-volume sales.
Prepare to Take America Back, a pro-Trump Facebook group that regularly promotes far-right groups like the Three Percenters militia and has been warning of election-related violence, has nearly 800,000 followers. [The Guardian]