What To Know Today

Trading mental health professionals for armed officers finds early success in Denver. Last June, the city launched the Support Team Assisted Response program (STAR), which sends a team of paramedics and mental health clinicians to handle some nonviolent 911 calls in the place of police. This week, the city released an assessment of the first six months of the pilot program. It found that STAR managed nearly 750 calls — and none required police backup or resulted in any arrests. “This is good stuff, it’s a great program, and basically, the report tells us what we believed,” Chief of Police Paul Pazen told Denverite. STAR is one of a growing number of programs developed by cities experimenting with alternatives to traditional policing.

NRA board member asks bankruptcy court to appoint an independent examiner to investigate the gun group’s leadership. Phillip Journey, a Kansas judge who served on the National Rifle Association’s board for a period in the ‘90s and was re-elected in 2020, filed the motion on Monday in federal court in Texas, where the gun group announced its intention to seek Chapter 11 protection. “The best path to ensure that the NRA seizes upon the opportunity before it to recommit to its most historical ideals is to appoint an independent examiner to add transparency and confidence to the bankruptcy process,” the motion reads. Journey is asking that the examiner investigate the gun group’s nonprofit management practices, executive compensation and perks, and arrangements with vendors that have come under scrutiny in numerous legal disputes.

How gun access and victimization for youth increase the chances for perpetrating future violence. People who had been threatened or injured by firearms in their youth were three times more likely to be perpetrators of gun violence as adults, according to researchers at Northwestern University. There was a similar association for people who had access to a gun in their youth. The study was based on a 16-year longitudinal study of hundreds of people involved in juvenile detention programs. 

In 34 out of the largest 37 cities, Black people are arrested and killed by police at a higher rate than white people. That’s according to FiveThirtyEight’s analysis of FBI data and Mapping Police Violence. Washington, D.C., had the highest disparity in arrests, with the Metropolitan Police arresting Black people at a per capita rate seven times higher. Meanwhile, Chicago saw the highest disparity in killings — with the per capita rate 22 times higher for Black people.  

Nearly a year into the pandemic, people are still shooting each other over coronavirus restrictions. In Charleston, South Carolina, last week, a bar patron shot and wounded a 28-year-old employee after getting angry that the establishment was closing early to comply with state rules. The incident is one of at least 18 shootings related to pandemic restrictions since last March. We’re tracking them here.

Utah permitless carry bill advances to the governor’s desk. The legislation, which the Republican governor says he will sign, would eliminate a government permit requirement for carrying a concealed handgun in most public places. Utah is one of at least nine Republican-leaning states considering measures to allow or expand permitless carry this year.

Data Point

104 — the number of police officers that domestic extremists killed between 1971 and 2020, according to an annual report. Below, you can see the shift from a left to a largely right-wing threat over time. [Anti-Defamation League