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NEW from THE TRACE: Officials pledge to address increase in Black suicides in Chicago. Cook County is on pace to have more Black residents die of suicide than in any year in a decade. In response, local government and public health leaders said yesterday that they are assembling a plan to improve suicide-prevention training for healthcare providers and expand access to behavioral health services. “This is horrifying,” said the Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “It’s not surprising the communities that suffered the most are the ones who also have the least.” Lakeidra Chavis, who was first to flag the spike in suicides, has the follow-up.
An internal New York City report contradicts City Hall’s narrative on rising gun violence. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD’s top brass have blamed the uptick on lighter punishment for gun crimes brought on by a state bail reform law, a pandemic-related prisoner release, and a court system running below capacity. But a city analysis obtained by The New York Times is full of data that challenges those claims: Just seven of the 1,500 inmates let out of the city’s main jail during the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak were rearrested on a weapons charge by mid-July. Only 40 of the 2,000 people allowed to await trail from home in pending gun cases last month were rearrested on another weapons offense. And city courts are processing gun cases at roughly the same rate as last year. What has changed? The NYPD’s volume of gun arrests, which dropped to a weekly low of 22 in late June before beginning to climb back up last month.
“A no-win situation:” Distrust for both the police and the defund movement on Minneapolis’ North Side. The majority Black neighborhood is facing a rise in shootings and homicides while also contending with a history of racial disparities in policing. Many residents told The New York Times that they are wary of the city council’s move to significantly reduce and reimagine the Minneapolis Police Department after George Floyd’s killing. “It’s good to have good police. It’s bad to have bad police,” said one woman, capturing the awful conundrum her community faces. Poll numbers capture a similar paradox: In a Pew Research Center survey, Black respondents favored cutting police spending at twice the rate of white respondents — but 55 percent said law enforcement funding should increase or remain at current levels.
Two cases of Black families being apprehended by officers at gunpoint. In Aurora, Colorado, police officers detained a family of four — and handcuffed two children — after mistaking their car for a stolen vehicle. The police chief has launched an internal probe and apologized for the incident. In Washington, D.C., two women said Secret Service agents apprehended them and their young children on the National Mall, The Washington Post reports. One officer alleged that their car was reported stolen, though the women were subsequently released without explanation. The women have demanded an investigation.
St. Louis prosecutor who charged gun-brandishing couple wins primary fight. Kim Gardner, part of the wave of progressive prosecutors elected in 2016, held off her more centrist Democratic challenger. Gardner’s reform agenda has been overshadowed in recent weeks by conservative blowback to the felony charges she brought against Mark and Patricia McCloskey for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters filing past their St. Louis mansion. Gardner, the first Black woman to hold her position, has also faced racist threats.
Tossed: An NRA state affiliate’s challenge to a California gun restriction. The California Pistol and Rifle Association argued the state’s pre-emption law should invalidate the city of Morgan Hill’s ordinance mandating the reporting of lost or stolen guns, which are a significant source of crime weapons. A judge disagreed, saying local governments retain significant powers to regulate firearms within their boundaries. The CPRA pledged to appeal.
Reinstated: A gun dealer’s suit against Maryland’s handgun licensing requirement. A federal appeals court decided that a firearms seller who’s challenged the 2013 law does have standing to make a Second Amendment claim based on its purported loss of business and harm to its customers. The case goes back to the lower court for trial.
In suburban Cook County, Illinois — excluding Chicago — there have been at least 135 cases since 2005 in which law enforcement officers shot someone. There was no disciplinary action or criminal charges against officers in any of 124 cases that are now closed. [Better Government Association]