What to Know Today
Retaliation for pandemic shootings in NYC might hamper the city’s post-COVID rebound. As of May 9, New York City had recorded 505 shooting victims this year, the highest year-to-date number in a decade. Ninety-six percent of those shot were Black or Latinx. Experts say that the economic strain of the virus likely drove the spike in incidents, the majority of which took place in historically disinvested neighborhoods where persistent gun violence predated the pandemic. Stores, offices, theaters, and restaurants can operate at full capacity in the city starting on Wednesday, which might alleviate the financial strain. But retaliatory shootings stemming from the pandemic will continue, and the consequences will reverberate for years to come, Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told The New York Times: “This could be a generation that we have screwed up for some time. And I don’t know how long it will take to reverse that.” Don’t miss: Slate has an analysis of how gun violence has come to dominate the final stretch of the city’s mayoral race.
FBI floods Portland, Oregon, hotspots in response to gun violence threat. Federal agents patrolled streets in the Oregon city this past weekend to combat a threat from local groups as well as individuals and groups arriving from California and Washington to foment gun violence, city officials said. The police chief says the threat is “gang-related,” and the City Council cited a retaliatory shooting at a vigil for a murder victim last month that left seven people injured. ICYMI: Portland is on track to see more homicides in 2021 than any year in more than three decades. In our weekly newsletter, Chip Brownlee writes about the activists pushing their own community-based solutions, as Portland officials debate how to reduce shootings alongside their police reform efforts.
Police deploy forces in Miami after two toddlers are shot, one fatally. Newly installed police chief Art Acevedo, who led the force in Houston up until March, announced a 90-day operation in which 130 additional police officers will be deployed to five neighborhoods that account for a combined 80 percent of the city’s shootings. The effort will be supported by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “This is not open season to stop and frisk and harass people of color,” Acevedo said, perhaps anticipating criticism of the operation, which will disproportionately impact people of color. Context: The announcement comes less than a month after the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old woman and the wounding of her 3-year-old daughter at an apartment complex, and the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old boy at his birthday party. “This is a public health epidemic, we all know that it is,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference on Friday, adding, “It’s way beyond anything that we could have imagined.”
Family of Black man shot by white officer to get record settlement. Columbus, Ohio, will pay $10 million following the police killing of Andre Hill, 47, as he held a cell phone last December. The sum is the largest payout for excessive use of force in the city’s history. “No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family, but we believe this is an important and necessary step in the right direction,” the city attorney said. The officer, Adam Coy, has been charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty. In September, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, an EMT fatally shot during a no-knock police raid in March 2020.
Delaware could become the next permit-to-purchase state. Thirteen states currently require residents to obtain a license or permit before obtaining a gun, a requirement associated with lower rates of firearm-related mortality and suicide. A bill advancing along party lines in the Democrat-led Delaware General Assembly would mandate firearms training, fingerprinting, and a license in order to buy a gun. It would also direct state officials to maintain a database of license holders that’s accessible to law enforcement. The measure cleared the state Senate last month and is being considered by the House. The governor, a Democrat, is likely to sign it.
High-profile rampages prompt rise in demand for mass shooting insurance. Leaders at the world’s largest insurance brokers tell Reuters that policy rates for active shooter insurance have increased by as much as 50 percent compared to last year. Clients for such policies typically include hospitals, schools, retail establishments, restaurants, and places of worship. Hospitals in particular are seen as high-risk: “Those are places where you could see people who are disgruntled that members of their family might have died and didn’t get a vaccine or weren’t treated properly,” a Lloyd’s of London manager told the news agency.
211 — the number of mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as four or more people injured or killed. The tally represents a 77 percent increase over the same period in 2020, when there had been 119.