In early March, police in Paterson, New Jersey, shot and killed a 31-year-old anti-violence counselor named Najee Seabrooks. The man had called the police during a hallucinatory episode and locked himself in a bathroom for several hours; when he exited holding a knife, officers fired at him. Seabrooks was the eighth person killed by Paterson police since 2019, more than any other municipality in the state.
This Monday — coming on the heels of protests demanding reform and accountability — New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said the state would immediately assume control of the Paterson Police Department, and retain oversight for as long as it takes to restore trust. Some of Platkin’s initiatives include pairing police officers with mental health specialists and changing use-of-force protocols regarding barricaded people.
But Seabrooks’ family says that it’s not enough. They want the officers involved in his death fired, among other demands. Read more →
What to Know Today
ICYMI: The city of Chicago will hold a runoff election for its next mayor on April 4. For some Latino voters, one issue rises above all others: gun violence prevention. [The Trace/En Español]
A survivor of the Highland Park mass shooting said she was visiting family in Nashville and advocating for gun safety measures when she learned about the attack at The Covenant School. [People]
Since the Columbine massacre in 1999, there have been 376 other school shootings. Forty-six of those shootings occurred in 2022, more than in any other year post-Columbine. [Washington Post]
Gun violence has touched innumerable lives in America. Last month, The New York Times asked its readers to write in saying how they had been affected by it, whether directly or indirectly. Respondents spoke of school shootings, losing sleep, praying for the safety of loved ones, and restricting travel. Some decided to leave the country entirely. [New York Times]
A Chicago police officer who shot and wounded an unarmed man during a chase in 2018 said at the time that he believed the man was reaching for a weapon. The officer now faces dismissal, as investigators say they found little reason for him to draw that conclusion. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Philadelphia’s District Attorney urges parents to lock up their firearms as the city surpasses 100 murders this year. [WHYY]
The Nashville shooting suspect doesn’t align with the public’s perception of the typical mass shooter. But some experts say it’s a mistake to rely on “profiles” to identify perpetrators and prevent attacks. Instead, they urge people to focus on a person’s behavior prior to committing violence. [Newsweek]
199 — the number of students, teachers, and others who’ve died in school shootings since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Another 424 have been injured. [Washington Post]
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