What To Know Today
NYC rolls out new version of its controversial anti-gun police unit. In January, Mayor Eric Adams unveiled his Blueprint to End Gun Violence, a strategy ramping up both the city’s community-focused investment in violence prevention and its commitment to aggressive policing to curb the pandemic violence surge. The plan included resuscitating an anti-crime plainclothes police unit that was disbanded in 2020 amid criticism of its treatment of nonwhite residents and its involvement in a disproportionate number of fatal shootings. That new outfit, now branded as an anti-gun unit, started operating on Monday. Acknowledging past failures, Adams said officers in the unit will wear uniforms identifying them as police officers, and that they will be expected to have body cameras turned on when they interact with residents. The teams will patrol 25 areas with elevated violence across the city, and eventually, more than 400 officers will be assigned to the so-called neighborhood safety teams.
DHS report reveals it may struggle to identify violent extremism among its own staff. The report, which Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called for last year, identifies four incidents of employees participating or supporting such activity since 2019. One of those people was former Coast Guard lieutenant Christopher Hasson, a self-described white nationalist who was alleged to have targeted prominent Democratic politicians and was sentenced for crimes that included possessing prohibited firearms and accessories. Meanwhile, the report warns of large protocol gaps preventing the massive agency from identifying potential internal threats, including a lack of guidance for what constitutes violent domestic extremism and a process for reporting concerning behavior. “I was troubled by the findings,” Mayorkas told CBS News. “At the same time, I greatly appreciated the value of the investigative process for bringing … that troubling news to the surface.”
Large share of LA County sheriff’s deputies and supervisors failed to meet training requirements. The Los Angeles Times obtained an audit from the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, a state oversight body, that reviewed records from 2019 and 2020. It found that of 7,729 sheriff’s employees whose roles require specific training, 2,462 hadn’t completed firearms courses, 2,350 had not done required driver awareness training, and more than 1,650 had missed mandatory courses on arresting and controlling suspects. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Times his office has made progress training compliance for staff since 2018, noting that compliance has risen from 22 percent to 37 percent during his tenure. He also attributed a lack of compliance to insufficient funding to conduct training, and said that officers missing small portions of their training made delinquency appear worse than it was.
Ohio becomes the 23rd state to enact permitless carry. On Monday, Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, signed the bill that eliminates training and permitting requirements for people 21 and older to carry a concealed firearm in public. The win for gun rights activists comes days after Alabama passed a similar law and as Indiana’s Republican governor weighs signing a permitless carry measure passed by the state Legislature.
At least 350 — the number of people implicated in the U.S. Capitol attack who the Justice Department and other law enforcement agencies are still trying to identify. [Los Angeles Times]