What To Know Today

Homicide is more than twice as likely to kill a pregnant or postpartum person than any other leading cause of maternal death. A team of researchers led by Maeve Wallace, a reproductive epidemiologist and professor at Tulane, used 2018 and 2019 data from the National Center for Health Statistics to investigate how experiencing pregnancy affects a person’s risk of dying by homicide. The team found homicide posed twice the fatal risk to pregnant people even after up to 42 days post-birth as did the next leading cause of pregnancy-related mortality. Meanwhile, the study found that homicide rates among people who were pregnant or within a year postpartum was 16 percent higher than general homicide rates for non-pregnant and non-postpartum women of reproductive age. Black and younger women faced the highest homicide risks among pregnant women. About two-thirds of the homicides in the study occurred in the home, and firearms were used in most cases. The study attributed much of the heightened risk to intimate partner violence. The research was published last month in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. A possible solution: In related research published in September, Wallace found that state laws prohibiting gun possession by people convicted of domestic violence-related misdemeanors and requiring weapon relinquishment were associated with a significant reduction in homicide of pregnant and postpartum women.

Federal prosecutors offer a glimpse into how U.S. guns help arm Mexico’s drug cartels. On Monday, David Acosta-Rosales was sentenced to more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to make false statements about buying guns. Court documents from the Department of Justice allege Acosta-Rosales oversaw a trafficking operation for Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Between September 2019 and October 2020, the cartel paid people to purchase scores of weapons from gun stores in Oregon, strip them of their serial numbers, and smuggle them into Mexico. “His ‘boss’ in Mexico wanted specific types of high-powered and especially deadly firearms, such as AR-15 and AK-47 platform rifles, semi-automatic .50 caliber Barrett rifles, and premium military type assault rifles,” said a sentencing memo from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon. An August lawsuit brought by the Mexican government against gun manufacturers estimates that 70 to 90 percent of crime guns in Mexico come from the U.S. Related from The Trace: How American guns drive cartel violence in Mexico, by the numbers.

Philadelphia pulls 13 officers from street duty over questions about gun arrests. The Police Department said the action was related to “discrepancies” found in an internal affairs audit of more than 300 arrests in gun cases, but didn’t specify further. District Attorney Larry Krasner said he believed some of the cases under review included differences between officer body-cam footage and what they filed in their police reports.

Ex-Ohio officer indicted for fatally shooting Columbus man in the back. A special prosecutor announced the indictment of former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade on two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide. Meade was serving on a U.S. Marshals Service task force when he shot Casey Goodson Jr. on December 4, 2020, during a fugitive operation that was searching for another man. An autopsy found that Goodson was shot six times in the back while he approached the doorway of his grandmother’s home.

Data Point

4.6 million — the share of American children (7 percent in total) who live in homes with at least one loaded and unlocked gun, according to a 2018 study. [Journal of Urban Health]