Anthony Lowe, 36, a wheelchair user whose legs had been amputated, was shot and killed by police last week in Huntington Park, California. Cell phone footage shows that Lowe had left his wheelchair and was moving away from at least two officers when he was killed. Lowe was allegedly wielding a butcher knife, and his sister told The Guardian he had been struggling with his mental health since losing his legs recently.
Lowe’s killing comes amid national outrage over the killing of Tyre Nichols, who died just under a month ago after Memphis police officers severely beat him following a traffic stop. Both Lowe and Nichols were Black, and their deaths, particularly Nichols’s, have thrust the disproportionate effects of police brutality on people of color back into the spotlight.
As Jelani Cobb writes for The New Yorker, the circumstances around Nichols’s death contradict several theories about police reform, specifically which demographics among law enforcement are least likely to use violence in their work: It doesn’t matter that the five officers charged in the case were Black; all were aged between 24 and 32; and three were college-educated. The problem, former sheriff Sue Rahr writes in The Atlantic, is a law enforcement culture that prioritizes group loyalty and obscures the history, violent and racist from the start, of American policing.
What to Know Today
Gun rights groups filed legal challenges to new federal regulations on stabilizing braces. Guidance released last month clarified that guns modified with the accessory should be treated like short-barreled rifles. [Associated Press] Context: The rule requires brace owners to register their weapon with an obscure, historically understaffed division of the ATF — and some observers have questioned if the agency will be able to keep up.
A Safe Passage Safe Blocks worker died after a shooting near a D.C. high school on Monday. Safe Passage was launched to keep students in the city safe during their commutes to and from school. [The Washington Post]
The chief of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention is leaving his position after a three-year tenure that coincided with the pandemic and a spike in homicides. The city has not announced who will replace him. [San Francisco Chronicle]
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called gun violence a “public health crisis” in an interview this week, but stopped short of saying he’d greenlight a Surgeon General’s Report on the subject. [Here & Now] Context: In December, four former surgeons general implored President Joe Biden to direct Murthy to prepare a Surgeon General’s Report exploring the causes of and potential solutions to gun violence in America.
At least 11 people were injured in a drive-by shooting on Monday in Lakeland, Florida, moments after a school bus dropped kids off nearby. Police say the gunfire was “targeted.” [The Ledger]
The Maryland General Assembly is fast-tracking a gun safety bill that would ban firearms in a number of “sensitive places” and on properties without the property owner’s consent. The proposal comes after Bruen invalidated the state’s gun permitting rules last year. [Capital News Service]
A police officer in Omaha, Nebraska, shot and killed a man armed with an AR-15-style rifle and 13 ammunition magazines after he opened fire inside a Target. No one else was hurt. [Omaha World-Herald]
Alec Baldwin was formally charged with involuntary manslaughter for shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a film set in October 2021. The set armorer received the same charge. [Variety]
Three queer bars in St. Louis received bomb and shooting threats over the weekend, apparently from the same person. In September — weeks before the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs — the FBI warned law enforcement nationwide about increasing threats to LGBTQ people. [Riverfront Times/Yahoo News]
The Death of Daniel Prude and the Birth of a Thousand Lies: Sustaining police reforms can be a formidable challenge, and even when progress is made, the very people who act to effect change can easily undercut it. All of that happened in Rochester, New York, across the summer of 2020, a secretive and chaotic period during which city officials who had proven themselves as reformers betrayed their principles and one another. It all began with the call for help at 50 Child Street. (November 29, 2022)
Get the Bulletin in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters here.
Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s name. We regret the error.