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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Three people shot, two fatally, during Kenosha protests. The full circumstances of the shootings are unclear as of this morning, but news reports indicate that the violence happened shortly before midnight and followed a confrontation between protesters and a group of armed men who were patrolling outside a gas station in the heart of the Wisconsin city. Sheriff David Beth said police were looking for a man wielding an assault-style rifle who was captured in several videos of the chaotic moments. “I’ve had people saying, ’Why don’t you deputize citizens?’” the sheriff told The New York Times. “This is why you don’t deputize citizens with guns to protect Kenosha.” Turn to The Kenosha News and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for continuing coverage of this evolving story.
Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down, father says. Jacob Blake Sr. said that doctors weren’t sure whether the condition would be permanent. He drove to Kenosha from his North Carolina home to see his son. “I want to put my hand on my son’s cheek and kiss him on his forehead, and then I’ll be OK. I’ll kiss him with my mask,” he said. What we don’t know, and why we don’t know it: The only video documentation of Blake’s shooting was captured by a neighbor. That’s because the city still hasn’t implemented an police officer body cam policy that was agreed to in 2017, the AP reports.
Scoop: Newly released NRA financial statement shows membership dues nosediving. A partial copy of the National Rifle Association’s 2019 audit, made public Tuesday by the North Carolina Secretary of State, provides the latest clues to the budgetary duress the group is confronting as it weathers internal strife and investigations by attorneys general in New York State and Washington, D.C., into extensive self-dealing and tax-exempt violations documented by The Trace and other news outlets. Will Van Sant, our gun lobby reporter, zeroed in on these
- Member dues, the group’s primary revenue source, fell to $113 million, down from $170 million in 2018, a 34 percent drop and the lowest member revenue in the last five years.
- Legal, audit, and tax costs grew from $31 million to $43 million during the same period, an increase of 39 percent.
- The NRA took out a $10 million line of credit against its Virginia headquarters last March. That’s in addition to an existing $28 million line of credit also secured by the building.
- The gun group has debt obligations of $35 million coming due in 2021.
The NRA has shown signs of financial crisis this year, with hundreds of staffers losing their jobs, according to press reports. The Trace has reported that the office responsible for soliciting big dollar donations, a revenue source distinct from member dues, has been particularly hard hit.
Pediatricians group calls for end to “high-intensity” school shooter drills. Active shooter drills are among the many back-to-school rites on hold this year in most of the country. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a plea for administrators when classrooms reopen: Stop preparation exercises that simulate real gun rampages, which can unnecessarily traumatize students and hinder their judgment in an actual crisis. The medical association’s recommendation echoes a similar call from the country’s two largest teachers groups and follows The Trace’s 2019 investigation into the ALICE Institute, a leading active shooter training firm. Our reporting found little evidence that the company’s approach works.
If you’re shot by the police, getting your day in court could depend on where you live. A Reuters investigation looks at significant differences among federal courts in granting qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that often shields law enforcement officers from excessive force lawsuits. The conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Texas, granted police requests for qualified immunity at the highest rate — 62 percent — while the more liberal, California-based 9th Circuit granted just 42 percent of police requests. An eye-opening detail: “A plaintiff’s chances are so much better in California that one who was armed in an encounter with police is more likely to overcome qualified immunity than one who was unarmed in Texas.”
Hundreds march in Louisville, Kentucky, over Breonna Taylor’s death. The event was the culmination of a four-day event organized by activist groups meant to reinvigorate protests over the death of the 26-year-old EMT, who was fatally shot in March during a no-knock police raid. USA Today estimated at least 300 participants, and a reporter on the scene estimated that 40 and 50 people were arrested for trying to march past a police cordon.
In an analysis of 25 cities with data available through July, homicides were up more than 26 percent. Other violent crimes are roughly flat, and property crimes remain significantly lower compared to the same point last year. [Jeff Asher]