Data Point

Extremist murders dropped in 2020, with perpetrators still overwhelmingly linked to the far right. Domestic extremists killed 17 people last year, according to an annual report from the Anti-Defamation League, down from 45 in 2019 and 54 in 2018. All but one of the incidents was linked to a far-right suspect; the remaining was attributed to a person with far-left beliefs. The report attributed the lower death toll to the absence in 2020 of the hate-fueled mass shootings that have occurred in previous years. ADL extremism expert Mark Pitcavage parses the findings here. Among the takeaways: 

  • Firearms remain a central means of extremist violence: All but two victims were fatally shot, and guns have been used in 74 percent of the more than 400 domestic extremist homicides since 2011.
  • Fewer murders ≠ less extremism: The organization observed a small uptick in extremist attacks and plots, and a larger increase in the distribution of white supremacist propaganda. 

“It is important to remember that extremist murders represent merely the tip of a pyramid of extremist violence in the United States,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt during testimony yesterday at a House hearing on the issue.  

Fatal and nonfatal shootings more than doubled last year in New York City. Sociologist Patrick Sharkey posted the data in teasing the pending relaunch of his database, which will include neighborhood-level gun violence data. “The gun murder rate rose last year in over 80 of the 100 largest cities,” he added, indicating that the historic rise in homicides detailed by other scholars earlier this week was not limited to the smaller set of major metros they studied. NYC mayoral candidates soften their support for police defunding: The New York Times captures the fraught politics of police reform amid rising violence. Among nine Democrats running to lead the city, only two now say they support the defund movement. A prevention push without the hoped-for results: The City takes an exhaustive look at 15 housing developments where gun violence rose above the city average despite bolstered community services and extra policing. Some residents say violence would have been even higher without the intervention. 

Democrats want to extend federal funding for gun violence research. Senator Ed Markey and Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation that would earmark $50 million annually for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the next five years. In 2019, Congress funded gun violence research for the first time in two decades. The annual appropriation was renewed last year, but a multiyear commitment would bring stability and enable deeper study by the gun violence research field. 

Ex-police officer charged with murder for shooting of Black man in Ohio. The state attorney general announced the charges after a grand jury indicted Adam Coy, a white officer fired shortly after killing Andre Hill in December. “Truth is the best friend of justice, and the grand jury here found the truth,” Attorney General David Yost said. “Andre Hill should not be dead.”

For the second time in a week, a federal agent was shot while serving a search warrant. A deputy U.S. marshal’s attempt to arrest a murder suspect in Baltimore led to an exchange of gunfire that left the marshall wounded and the suspect fatally shot. Earlier this week, five FBI agents were shot, two fatally, while serving a search warrant in Florida.

The House stripped Marjorie Taylor Greene of two committee assignments. The Georgia Republican drew the rebuke after journalists and activists surfaced a litany of reprehensible actions from her past, including endorsing conspiracy theories about mass shootings, harassing school shooting survivors, and indicating support for violence against her now colleagues. Just 11 Republicans joined House Democrats in the vote to remove Greene from the Education and Budget Committees.

Data Point

At least 5 — the number of states considering bills this year that would bolster the role of mental health professionals in responding to calls of people in crisis. We reported on the growing reform movement last fall. [The Appeal]