What To Know Today
Lack of appreciation, support, and resources: Survey reveals heavy toll for anti-violence work. University of Illinois Chicago Professor Kathryn Bocanegra, who used to lead a violence prevention organization, surveyed 35 frontline workers in street outreach and violence interruption. Most described having witnessed a traumatic death, experiencing at least one symptom of PTSD, and worrying about the pay they receive. One worker felt that people working in leadership positions at violence prevention groups talked down to him because he had a lack of formal education or traditional training. At what cost? “There’s an expectation that street intervention can deliver the neighborhood safety that we so desperately need,” Bocanegra told WBEZ about her survey results. “But the question that’s haunted me … is at what cost? And by saving one life, are we destroying another person’s life?” Related from The Trace: Jennifer Mascia has written about grassroots campaigns to provide more support and better pay for street outreach workers. Meanwhile, former Trace reporter Ann Givens recently profiled a violence prevention organization in Poughkeepsie, New York, in which the subject of the article ultimately took a new job in part because of low pay and tough working conditions.
A hotline to prevent community violence, led by an ex-cop and a onetime gang member. In St. Louis, Jerome Dyson, a retired police detective, and LaDon “Yoshi’‘ Meriweather run a 24/7 violence interruption hotline. The two say that together, they de-escalated 89 conflicts in 2021. “I learned the streets, but he lived the streets,” Dyson told The Kansas City Star. “So when you put us two together, it’s a nice combat team.” Meriweather added: “We see it from both sides.”
Boulder, Colorado, moves to enact a slew of new gun regulations after repeal of state preemption law. The City Council is considering seven different gun restrictions, including reviving a municipal assault weapons ban that a state judge struck down 10 days before a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle killed 10 people at a grocery store last March. The proposed measures also include banning open carry, instituting a waiting period for gun purchases, and requiring firearm sellers to post warning signs about the risks of gun ownership. The possibilities of no preemption: If the new measures are approved, it will be in part because Colorado repealed its preemption law in June, becoming the first U.S. state to do so. Brian Freskos has reported about how these laws have greatly restricted the degree to which localities and cities can set their own gun policies. What does it mean to heal? The Washington Post polled Boulder residents on the question as the grocery store where the shooting took place reopened. “There are all sorts of tragedies and dark moments in Boulder’s history, and we have healed from those,” said one resident. “But they’re still part of us.”
Domestic violence incident in Phoenix leaves victim dead, nine police officers injured. Police said officers responded Friday to a call about a woman who had been shot. When they arrived, a man barricaded himself into the home and shot at them, injuring five, one critically; four other officers were wounded by shell fragments. A woman believed to be the perpetrator’s ex-girlfriend was found mortally wounded along with the suspect. It was the 126th shooting this year in which someone targeted a current or former partner, according to Gun Violence Archive, which also listed the incident as one of 49 mass shootings so far in 2022. In 68 percent of mass killing incidents, the perpetrator either killed an intimate partner or a family member, or had a history of domestic violence, according to a study released last year.
At least four — the number of school districts in Michigan that have passed resolutions to promote safe gun storage since the shooting at Oxford High School in November. Last week, Southfield became the latest, joining three others nearby. [Southfield Board of Education]