WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: In a virtual classroom, how do you care for kids threatened by gun violence? In Philadelphia, educators are trying to address a specific challenge of shifting schooling online: When students aren’t spending time in classrooms, it’s harder to keep them safe. “When a kid comes through the door, you know something’s off,” said Edwin Desamour, the dean of a North Philadelphia middle school. “We can do preventive things before this kid explodes. A lot of times, the kids won’t initiate the contact, you have to recognize it and reach out. But online, it’s hard to capture those things.” With absenteeism having spiked in many urban districts after schools went remote, experts worry about what will happen in a city that’s already seen more shootings than all of 2019. Read the rest of J.Brian Charles’s story here.
A Kentucky grand jury indicted one officer involved in the Breonna Taylor case — but none over her death. Six months after the fatal shooting in Louisville, former officer Brett Hankinson is the only one of three officers who fired shots during the no-knock raid who will face criminal charges. He was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing his gun into neighboring apartments. The Louisville Police Department fired Hankinson this summer. The state’s attorney general said the other officers were legally justified in Taylor’s shooting because her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had first opened fire. (Walker said he thought they were intruders and prosecutors dropped charges against him.) Last week, Louisville agreed to pay Taylor’s family $12 million and institute a series of police reforms. Protests erupt after the decision: Thousands of demonstrators gathered in cities across the country to voice their anger at the charges and call for officers to be held to account for Taylor’s death. “I’m heartbroken,” one Louisville man told the Courier-Journal. “This is not a justice system if it’s not for everybody.” Officers shot: Amid the demonstrations in Louisville, two officers were wounded Wednesday night; they were expected to recover, officials said. Police said they had a suspect in custody, but offered few other details.
When officers use fatal force, GPAs go down. New research from Harvard adds evidence to the knock-on effects of social trauma in communities experiencing persistent violence — in this case from the police. Researcher Desmond Ang looked at more than 500 police killings in Los Angeles County between 2002 and 2015, and examined whether those incidents influenced the academic performance of students who lived nearby. His takeaway? “I find that exposure to police violence leads to persistent decreases in GPA, increased incidence of emotional disturbance and lower rates of high school completion and college enrollment.” Ang observed that the effects were entirely driven by Hispanic and Black students in response to police killings of other minorities. The study also found that fatal use of force by police against unarmed individuals had roughly two times the negative effect than those where a victim had a firearm or other weapon.
New York’s largest health system to start asking ER patients about gun access. Hospitals operated by Northwell Health will add a question to their intake questionnaires that asks whether patients have a gun in the home. The addition, made possible by a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, is meant to identify those at a heightened risk of firearm injury and connect them with intervention specialists. “We’ve seen a significantly higher number of firearm injuries compared to last year,” said Dr. Chethan Sathya, who is leading the study. “This is a chance to understand the underlying issues, and counsel on gun safety.”
A white supremacist was sentenced to 25 years for an infamous hate crime shooting. In 2018, Brandon Higgs shot and wounded Elvis Smith near Baltimore after an altercation in which Higgs told Smith to “go back to Africa.” As Higgs was awaiting trial, it came to light that he had also been involved in a private neo-Nazi chat group and another one for people who planned to attend a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. “He’s got a long time to think about the shit he did,” Smith told HuffPost reporter Christopher Mathias after Wednesday’s sentencing. “So I’m happy.”
~60,000 — the number of annual no-knock and quick-knock raids in the United States, according to one estimate. [Mother Jones]