From The Trace

Today, The Trace is publishing an unprecedented story. “The Death of Daniel Prude and the Birth of a Thousand Lies,” by Joe Sexton, is a deeply reported tale of police violence and official misconduct. We decided to run this piece — though it’s not specifically about guns — because it shows how political incentives stymie reform, and allow state-sponsored violence to continue. It also shows, in its gripping reconstruction of the police treatment of Prude, how aggressively police act even when someone poses no real threat. One of the main reasons for their dehumanizing behavior, of course, is that they expect nearly everyone they encounter to be armed — even when the person is, instead, handcuffed, naked, and defenseless.  –Tali Woodward, editor in chief

By the time Mayor Lovely Ann Warren took office in 2014, concerns about police misconduct had marked Rochester, New York’s history for more than a century. Warren was determined to remake the Police Department, an overwhelmingly white force in a city that was almost 40 percent African American by the 21st century. For a while, Joe Sexton writes for The Trace, it looked like the momentum for meaningful reform was growing. But there are numerous obstacles to enacting and sustaining police reforms, and even when progress is made, the very people with the power to effect change can undercut it. In the summer of 2020, Rochester officials proved that point — and as Sexton writes, it all started with the death of Daniel Prude.

What to Know Today

Michigan school district could have prevented 2021 mass shooting, whistleblowers say. Former school board President Tom Donnelly and Treasurer Korey Bailey allege that the district failed to follow its own policies ahead of the shooting at Oxford High School, the Detroit Free Press reports. The whistleblowers — who resigned from the board this year over the shooting investigation — say the district never implemented threat assessment guidelines that had been on the books since 2014. 

“Gun Control Means Using Both Hands”: Gun rights groups’ campus culture war. In 2017, as right-wing gun groups began promoting firearms to young women as a means for personal safety and feminist empowerment, members of Students for Concealed Carry agitated to carry guns on campuses. This mid-2010s messaging, Kyle Spencer writes in an excerpt of her book Raising Them Right, was part of a larger, decadeslong campaign to bring young people to the far right — one that’s amplified in recent years.

Could community-centered gun violence reporting reduce shootings? Preliminary findings from a study by Jessica Beard, a trauma surgeon and the director of research for the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, show that traditional, episodic news coverage of shootings can retraumatize survivors and potentially lead to more violence. The PCGVR, Billy Penn reports, is working to reform gun violence reporting, by pairing community members with working journalists.

Other countries are warning travelers about gun violence in the U.S. CNN reviewed travel advisories by nine neighboring and allied countries, and found that most of the governments warn tourists visiting the U.S. about violent crime. Several travel advisories reminded visitors that it is legal in many places to openly carry guns, and provided warnings about the risk of being caught in a mass shooting.

Data Point

6 million — the number of Americans who carried guns daily in 2019. That’s twice as many as in 2015. [The Guardian]

Correction: In an earlier version of this post, we incorrectly referred to Kyle Spencer as a man. Spencer is a woman. We apologize for the error.