On Monday, Las Vegas Police carried out a search warrant in connection with the long-unsolved killing of Tupac Shakur. Interest in the case, in which no arrests have been made, has endured since the rap luminary was shot on Sept. 7, 1996, while sitting in a BMW near the Las Vegas Strip. He died six days later at the age of 25. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said it carried out the search in the nearby city of Henderson, but it did not disclose the address, what it was searching for, or if a suspect had been identified.
That Shakur’s high-profile killing has gone unsolved is no exception when it comes to gun homicides in major U.S. cities. A 2019 investigation by The Trace and BuzzFeed News found that when a Black or Hispanic person is fatally shot, the likelihood that a culprit will be caught is 35 percent — 18 percentage points fewer than when the victim is white. The odds are even lower for nonfatal shootings: 21 percent versus 37 percent. This recent movement on the Shakur case nearly three decades later is a testament to his stardom: Our investigation found that in some police departments, hundreds of cases never get looked into at all.
The death of Shakur and scores of other rap artists are emblematic of U.S. gun violence. In 2020, Black men between the ages of 15 to 34 — 2 percent of the U.S. population — accounted for 38 percent of all gun deaths. As hip-hop approaches its 50th birthday next month, the toll that firearm homicides have taken on the genre is getting a fresh look, along with other issues that have caused harm, like healthcare disparities and mental health issues. As A.D. Carson, associate professor of hip-hop at the University of Virginia, writes, rap’s golden anniversary is “an opportunity to consider some of the outcomes of systemic barriers to health and wellness, such as access to affordable health care, varied dietary options, and mental wellness resources.”
What to Know Today
Dozens of employees have left San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’s office in the year since she was appointed to the position, citing a culture of fear and a diminished focus on reform as reasons for their exits. So far in her tenure, Jenkins has dismissed all police shooting cases brought by her predecessor and gutted the division that investigates police criminal misconduct. [Mission Local]
For the third time in four months, a shooting occurred in Philadelphia during an eviction. On Tuesday, a tenant was shot in her right leg by a contractor working for Marisa Shuter, Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officer. Unlike other cities, Philadelphia courts appoint a private attorney to handle many lockouts, who in turn hires security contractors to perform eviction services. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
Anti-Asian hate attacks have significantly decreased in California since their statewide peak in 2021. The downward trend has prompted relief — but also concern. As attention on the topic lessens, some are worried that Asian Americans are not reporting attacks against them. [Los Angeles Times]
In the wake of this month’s deadly mass shooting in Philadelphia, far-right politicians and pundits are once again using a shooting as an opportunity to demonize trans people, Adam M. Rhodes writes. [The Appeal]
A grandmother in Baltimore was found guilty of reckless endangerment and firearm access by a minor, after failing to secure the gun that her 9-year-old grandson accidentally discharged last August, killing a teenage girl. She faces up to six years in prison. [The Baltimore Banner]
As swiftly as it began, the United States’ crime spike that started in 2019 — and worsened with the pandemic — has ended, with homicides on track to fall by double digits in 2023. Despite the current drop, we’re still seeing more homicides than we did in 2019, and more homicides than any other developed economy in the world. [New York Magazine]
Five people were killed in the Kingsessing neighborhood of Philadelphia over the Fourth of July holiday weekend — one of the worst mass shootings in the city’s history. Shortly afterward, Consortium Inc., which operates a mobile crisis unit, was on the scene to check on mental health. [The Philadelphia Tribune]
Six — Of the nine deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. since 2018, six were committed by people under the age of 21. [The New York Times]