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Local anti-violence groups seek slice of federal coronavirus emergency funding. Banding together as the “Coalition for Shared Safety,” 20 violence prevention and street outreach organizations in Chicago are lobbying for a share of the $20 million designated for criminal justice work in Illinois as part of federal pandemic relief. Their pitch: Reducing community violence isn’t the work of only the police, but also includes the grassroots teams who’ve been diffusing conflicts and providing vital social services during the crisis. “What we’re saying is just, you know, we’re already helping … let us help more,” one member of the coalition told WBEZ.
More rallies against stay-at-home orders, more gun-toting protesters. For the third time in 10 days, hundreds gathered outside the residence of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, some wielding assault-style rifles. A Friday protest at the Wisconsin capitol was promoted by a gun rights advocate who previously staged several pro-gun rallies, including one organized as a rejoinder to the March For Our Lives. Some attendees there also openly carried assault-style rifles.
Citing coronavirus crisis, Mississippi city temporarily bans openly carried guns. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson signed the order on Friday prohibiting visibly bared firearms within city limits “during the COVID-19 civil emergency,” saying that open carry impedes law enforcement’s ability to police illegal firearms. Gun rights advocates argue that the mayor lacks the authority to suspend state law, but the city asserts that the move is permitted under its emergency powers. Jackson has struggled with a high rate of gun violence. A 5-year-old and an 11-year-old were among those fatally shot in the city this month.
Annual vigil for St. Louis murder victims goes virtual. In accordance with social distancing, the 10th annual commemoration by the Crime Victim Center had to be held online. The program included speeches from law enforcement officials and remembrances of the city’s recent homicide victims. One grieving mother told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch she appreciated the service, but missed the human contact of past years’ gatherings.
Tribute planned for Illinois man behind iconic tributes to gunshot victims. Over two-plus decades, Greg Zanis made more than 27,000 white wooden crosses to memorialize Americans felled by bullets. Zanis, 69, is now in hospice care and nearing the end of a battle with terminal cancer, his family revealed last week. Because of the pandemic, he isn’t allowed visitors. So his neighbors are staging a drive-by parade next month.
El Paso Walmart shooting claims 23rd victim. Guillermo “Memo” Garcia had been in the ICU since the August 3, 2019 gun rampage. Del Sol Medical Center announced his death on Sunday. Garcia was a girls’ soccer coach. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
There were at least seven multiple-victim shootings this weekend, according to Gun Violence Archive. The incidents are a reminder that in many parts of the country, shootings have continued, even as other types of crime have decreased while people shelter in place.
- On Friday, three people were killed and one person was wounded in a Houston apartment, and four family members were injured in a shooting in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- On Saturday, a college-bound football player was killed and four others were injured in front of a house in Orlando; seven people were wounded on their way to a house party in Memphis; and one person was killed and three others were wounded in Joliet, Illinois.
- On Sunday, four people were wounded in Troy, New York; and one person was killed and three others were wounded after a fight escalated to gunfire in Salisbury, North Carolina.
The city of Miami went 55 days without a homicide during a stretch that ran from mid-February to mid-April, but homicides in the surrounding county have been up since its coronavirus shutdown. — Miami Herald