What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Eric Adams’s new public safety plan relies on both policing and community programs. “We won’t go back to the bad old days,” Adams said at a Monday news conference announcing his new violence prevention strategy. “We must address the root causes of these challenges and help our young people on a better path long before they pick up a gun.” As Chip Brownlee shows in a new story about that Blueprint to End Gun Violence, the plan includes elements from the public safety debate’s competing camps, including increasing police patrols and coordinating with federal and state law enforcement on gun trafficking, as well as investing more in summer youth jobs programs. Perhaps most importantly on the non-policing side, the plan would expand the network of gun violence prevention programs that operate under the city’s Crisis Management System, the nation’s largest city-coordinated gun violence prevention framework. You can read more about the new strategy here.
With public safety front and center, Biden will visit the Big Apple. The White House said yesterday that the president will travel to New York City to meet with Adams next Thursday, February 3. According to a White House statement, Biden will “discuss the Administration’s comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime, which includes historic levels of funding for cities and states to put more cops on the beat and invest in community violence prevention and intervention programs, as well as stepped up federal law enforcement efforts against illegal gun traffickers.”
Kansas City, Missouri, data shows what has been true elsewhere: A majority of police use of force encounters have Black victims. After 11 months of reporting, The Kansas City Star obtained more than 600 records of previously unpublished police data showing that more than 57 percent of the incidents in which police used force from 2019 to July 2021 — including “bullets, bean bag rounds, police dogs, Tasers, pepper spray and their bodies,” per the reporter — targeted Black people. The city is about 28 percent Black. The records also show that in a span of four days during 2020 racial justice protests, the police used force 132 times. Related: Slightly more officers were charged for fatally shooting someone in 2021. NBC News cites academic Philip Stinson, who tracked 21 officers across the nation who were charged with murder or manslaughter for shooting someone on duty, the highest total since at least 2005. That compares with 16 officers in 2020; 12 in 2019; 10 in 2018; and seven in 2017. The share of those charged is a fraction of the close to 1,000 people police fatally shoot each year on average.
Man who sold gun to Texas synagogue attacker charged with violating federal gun laws. The Department of Justice announced the criminal complaint against a 32-year-old Texas man who allegedly sold the pistol that the British national used to take four people hostage earlier this month. The seller was barred from possessing or selling guns on account of a prior felony conviction. “Whether or not he knew of his buyer’s nefarious intent is largely irrelevant,” U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said.
Dan Bongino permanently banned from YouTube. The right-wing provocateur and conspiracy theory peddler, who said he planned to leave the site anyway, was banned for allegedly trying to evade a previous suspension. From The Trace archives: The now-defunct NRATV lost money and never gained significant viewership, but it helped groom talking heads and current right-wing stars like Bongino whose election conspiracies and other falsehoods now reach millions online.
Listen: Mike Spies joined The Megyn Kelly Show. He chatted about guns and gun violence in America with The Reload’s Stephen Gutowski, and they laid out the reality of the problem and the ideologically polarized debate about what the policy response might look like. You can listen to their conversation here.
3 — the number of children under 6 who have been shot in Atlanta so far this year. The latest, on Monday, was a 6-month-old who was fatally shot in the crossfire of a gun battle. [CNN]