WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
FBI could lose crime data from 25 percent of police agencies come January. The nation’s more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies report crime data to the bureau in one of two ways — the Uniform Crime Report or the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). For years, the FBI has been trying to get all agencies to start submitting to NIBRS, which criminologists say offers a more detailed and transparent picture of criminal incidents. Earlier this year, the bureau announced that, after January 1, 2021, it would stop taking any data from agencies that didn’t upgrade to NIBRS. Officials now estimate that up to one in four police agencies will not have joined the new system in time. “That our movement forward (NIBRS > UCR) is accompanied by such a foreseeable move backward (25 percent fewer departments report) communicates that we are still not taking data on public safety seriously,” wrote criminologist Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff on Twitter. Related: Last week, a panel of experts issued recommendations for revamping the nation’s firearms data, including a call to temporarily pause the transition to NIBRS.
Former Trump DHS official: President’s rhetoric encouraged plots targeting governors. “Regardless of his intent, the president’s effect is to embolden white supremacists, violent militias and anti-government extremists,” Elizabeth Neumann, a former assistant secretary for counter-terrorism and threat prevention at the Department of Homeland Security, writes in a Washington Post op-ed. Neumann left Trump’s administration in April, the same month the president tweeted that Virginia, Michigan, and Minnesota — where Democratic governors were pursuing pandemic restrictions — should be “liberated.” Last week, the FBI charged several militia-linked men with a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. An FBI official later testified that the same men also discussed “taking” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. Fanning the flames: During a rally in Michigan on Saturday, Trump’s criticism of Whitmer prompted supporters in the crowd to chant “lock her up.” In response, Whitmer said Trump had put her in danger.
ICYMI: Election officials are planning for conflict they hope won’t materialize. My colleague, Chip Brownlee, consulted experts and state officials to gauge the threat of Election Day violence or intimidation. Analysts told him that fears were probably overblown. But with the tumult of 2020 and Trump’s call for an “army of poll watchers,” officials are taking extra precautions to make sure laws that protect voters are clear to the public. Officials he spoke with were as worried about voters being afraid to turn out as they were about the actual threat of violence. You can read the full story here.
Can how police hold their guns lead to fewer shootings? Officers using a low-ready position — in which the gun is held at the navel and the index finger is left off the trigger — reduced the likelihood of a “misdiagnosis” shooting error by more than half, according to a study examining hundreds of active law enforcement officers using a police training simulator. “The results demonstrate that officers can significantly improve shoot/no-shoot decision-making without sacrificing a significant amount of time by taking a lower muzzle-position when they are dealing with an ambiguously armed person — a person whose hands are not visible,” writes study author Paul Taylor, a criminologist at the University of Colorado, Denver.
Gun stocks rally as Biden increases his lead in the presidential race. Shares for Smith & Wesson Brands and Sturm, Ruger & Co. have both jumped by about 8 percent since late September, about double the gains of the S&P 500 as a whole, according to a Reuters analysis. Past as prologue: Amid unfounded fears that Democrats would initiate wide-scale gun confiscation, firearms manufacturers saw stocks surge during the Obama administration and ahead of the 2016 election.
16 — how many times since 2005 that a stop for a biking violation in Los Angeles County ended in an officer shooting someone, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation. The 11 people whom police fatally shot were all Black or Latino. [Los Angeles Times]