What To Know Today
Minnesota police air body cam footage of an officer shooting Daunte Wright. At a news conference, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon played a video that showed the 20-year-old Black man slipping away from police as he was being handcuffed during the traffic stop on Sunday, and an unidentified police officer opening fire after Wright got back into his car. Gannon said the officer meant to fire with her stun gun but reached for her handgun instead, and said he believes the shooting was unintentional. The officer, whom Gannon refused to identify, has been put on administrative leave. Wright’s death has sparked protests in a region already on edge because of the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin. President Joe Biden called the shooting “tragic,” and added, “but I think we’ve got to wait and see what the investigation shows.” More details emerge: Gannon said officers discovered Wright had an outstanding warrant when they stopped him for an expired registration. Wright’s brother, Damik Bryant, told CNN he doesn’t think Wright was aware of the warrant. Wright was reportedly on the phone with his mother asking about the car’s insurance information when officers ordered him out of the vehicle. After the shooting, his mother insisted on seeing him over FaceTime, “and he was slumped over,” Bryant told the outlet through tears.
Far-right domestic terrorism is at an all-time high. Anti-government extremists were behind 73 incidents in the United States in 2020, while people aligned with the far left were responsible for 25 incidents during the year, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The data looked at domestic terrorism incidents in the U.S. since 1994. Some takeaways: The most common targets of far-right violence were demonstrators; government officials, members of the military and law enforcement officers; and private individuals. An increasing number of far-right extremists are using social media, one counterterrorism specialist told the Post. And while militia group members have been involved in 67 attacks since 2015, the majority of the perpetrators have been solitary actors. One particularly sobering stat from the report: “The percentage of all domestic terrorist incidents linked to active-duty and reserve personnel rose in 2020 to 6.4 percent, up from 1.5 percent in 2019 and none in 2018.” What now? We need more data on domestic terrorism, researchers say. “Any expert is going to tell you that this is the most serious security threat to the American people today,” Representative Jamie Raskin told the Post. “And yet we don’t have any good description of the magnitude and the dimensions of the problem.”
Shooting at Knoxville high school that has lost four students to gun violence this academic year. A teenager was killed and a school resource officer was wounded in a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School in the eastern Tennessee city Monday afternoon. Though officials said today’s incident was not clearly connected to any previous shootings, it’s worth noting that four of the school’s students have been fatally shot in the last three months. All four were Black.
Maryland becomes first state to repeal powerful Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. The Democratic-led Legislature on Saturday voted to override Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s vetos of landmark criminal justice and police reforms. The measures raise the bar for police officers to use force, require them to wear cameras, create civilian oversight of law enforcement, restrict no-knock warrants, and allow for public review of some police wrongdoing. In his veto letter, Hogan said the bills would “erode police morale, community relationships and public confidence.” Senate President Bill Ferguson countered that the measures are a step toward “creating greater public safety where every single member of our community feels safe.”
Advocates and law enforcement worry Tennessee’s new permitless carry law could exacerbate domestic violence. Last week, Governor Bill Lee signed a bill allowing people to carry a handgun without a permit, joining 18 other states. Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk tells Nashville Public Radio that the law could make it even harder to disarm abusers in the state, which has one of the country’s highest rates of women killed by men, according to one estimate. Tennessee does not require convicted abusers to surrender firearms to law enforcement — they can turn them over to friends or relatives, without documentation or confirmation that the people receiving the weapons don’t also have convictions, according to one Nashville official. Permitless carry widens that enforcement gap even further, critics say, because it prevents police from demanding proof that someone is a legal gun owner. This, combined with surging gun sales and increasing domestic violence amid the pandemic, could have “disastrous consequences,” Funk said.
ICYMI: Online sellers remove listings for pistol stabilizing braces after a Trace report on users skirting ban. After Daniel Nass discovered that online marketplaces with policies forbidding the sale of gun parts and accessories were still hosting listings for stabilizing braces, Etsy, Google, and Facebook removed those listings. Last week, President Biden announced an executive action directing the Department of Justice to regulate the items under the National Firearms Act, which would require owners to register them with the federal government.
18 — the percentage of New York City homicide victims who died in domestic violence incidents between 2010 and 2019. Last week, a Brooklyn man killed his girlfriend and two of her daughters before killing himself. [Gothamist]