What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: Hospital-based intervention can save lives. A growing movement is betting on Medicaid to fund it. The violence prevention model connects community outreach workers with violent crime victims while they’re still in the hospital and mentors them post-discharge in an effort to prevent retaliatory shootings and repeat victimization. So far, the intervention has relied on private funding, meaning its long-term viability is often in question. But that’s changing, with Connecticut and Illinois directing Medicaid funds to cover the costs for hospital-based intervention services. And advocates pushing other states to follow suit were buoyed by the Biden administration’s recent support of the more secure funding model. “Medicaid and public health dollars being deployed in this way is remarkable in helping us move towards this larger paradigm shift of violence as a public health issue,” the executive director of an association of HVIP organizations told Chip Brownlee in his latest piece.

A new resource illustrates the demographics of criminal prosecution in Chicago. To overcome a lack of public and uniform data in Cook County, the Better Government Association, DataMade, and Injustice Watch partnered to create a data visualization tool called The Circuit, which organizes three million criminal cases filed in Cook County between 2000 and 2018. The researchers note that the data show disproportionate prosecution of Black people, who were subject to 61 percent of criminal charges despite making up only 23 percent of the county’s population. For offenses with a deadly weapon, including illegal possession, sale, or use of a gun, the percentage rose to 74 percent. More gun-related data points: The breakout page on deadly weapons cases notes that while most types of cases had declined over the 18-year period, felony gun cases actually rose slightly. The researchers note that a 2005 law criminalized people for possessing guns who have previously been convicted twice for certain felonies, and that related cases had tripled between 2006 and 2018. Their data shows that 90 percent of those charged under that armed habitual criminal statute were Black.

It’s been a busy week for legal developments on guns and gun violence. Among the most notable: 

  • In Missouri, the Justice Department said in a court filing that a pending state law restricting police enforcement of federal gun laws had already adversely affected cooperation between local and federal authorities, in addition to being “plainly unconstitutional.” Jennifer Mascia has more on the law here.
  • In San Francisco, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced a civil lawsuit against three manufacturers of ghost gun kits, alleging in part that they were targeting customers who wanted to evade federal background checks.
  • In Pennsylvania, a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit — previously thrown out by a federal judge — in which plaintiffs argue zoning rules improperly restricted operations at a gun range and their “sportsmen’s clubs.” 

The family of a man fatally shot by Kyle Rittenhouse sues Kenosha Police Department. The family of Anthony Huber launched the federal suit against the department for allowing Rittenhouse and other white people bearing firearms to patrol the streets while people protested the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The police “would have acted much differently” if the armed civilians were Black, the complaint says, alleging that coordination between the armed civilians and police amounted to conspiracy. 

Florida officer shot in June dies of wounds. Othal Wallace faces first-degree murder charges for the fatal shooting of Daytona Beach Police Officer Jason Raynor. The alleged assailant reportedly had extremist ties and had marched with the Black-led NFAC militia. A NFAC spokesperson previously disavowed Wallace and said the man had left the group earlier in the year. Domestic extremism expert JJ MacNab has a useful timeline of the events.

Data Point

At least 10 days — how long, as of Monday, that a Houston man waited to get surgery after being shot six times on August 6. Officials blamed hospital crowding stemming from the state’s ongoing covid-19 crisis. The strained health care system in Texas also meant that there were 26 minutes last week in which no ambulances were available for the 1.5 million residents of San Antonio. [The Washington Post]