What To Know Today

What Philly’s gun violence crisis looks like to those experiencing it. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s narrative deep-dive, Lives Under Fire, focuses on the city’s brutal, post-pandemic surge from the perspectives of victims and their communities, as well as the leaders struggling to tip the balance. One voice that stood out is that of Erica Harris, an emergency physician who regularly treats gun trauma: “We’re seeing younger victims, and we’re seeing more female victims, and it feels kind of like we can’t get a break,” she said. “And I don’t just mean the health-care workers here. I mean this community.”

Have you been affected by gun violence in Philadelphia? Check out our Up The Block resource hub.

DOJ joins Sandy Hook families in questioning bankruptcy of Alex Jones’s businesses. Earlier this week, three companies linked to the conspiracy theorist, including InfoWars, filed for Chapter 11 protections. The bankruptcy move temporarily halted one of the looming cases brought by Sandy Hook families, where juries will determine how much Jones is liable for after losing several defamation cases. Ahead of a scheduled bankruptcy hearing today, the DOJ’s Office of the U.S. Trustee told the Texas judge that Jones’s move “may demonstrate these cases are an abuse of the bankruptcy system.” A lawyer for Jones previously suggested that justification for moving to bankruptcy was not due to financial hardship.

Washington Supreme Court unanimously knocks down city’s safe storage law, citing preemption. In 2018, Edmonds, a city north of Seattle, adopted the requirement to lock up guns when they’re not in use. The NRA and Second Amendment Foundation sued, saying the resolution violated the state’s preemption law, which largely puts gun regulation in the hands of the state. The state’s high court agreed in a new ruling that could be a bad omen for a similar law in Seattle that is also subject to a lawsuit. Related: We’ve reported on preemption laws that greatly restrict the degree to which localities can set their own gun policies.

California bill would require parents of middle, high school students to be warned about gun dangers, but they would not be required to tell school officials if they keep guns in the house. A Senate committee advanced a bill that would make schools include information about safe storage of guns in annual notifications to parents. A similar measure has already passed California’s lower chamber.

Connecticut state trooper charged with manslaughter over 2020 shooting. Brian North fatally shot 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane after a high-speed chase in West Haven. Soulemane was sitting in his car and holding a knife, and officers had boxed him in when North fired seven rounds into his car, killing him. An inspector general’s report released this week said “neither he [North] nor any other person was in imminent danger of serious injury or death.”

Data Point

21 — the number of officers across the nation who were charged with murder or manslaughter for fatally shooting someone in 2021, the highest total since at least 2005. That compares with 16 officers in 2020; 12 in 2019; 10 in 2018; and seven in 2017. Police fatally shoot some 1,000 people each year on average. [Bowling Green University professor Philip Stinson]