What To Know Today

Youth arrests for violent crimes declined again in 2020. That’s according to a new report from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs that looked at the data for people under 18. It found that arrests for violent crimes — including homicides, aggravated assaults, and robberies — fell 78 percent from a peak in 1994 and 67 percent from 2006. Overall last year, fewer than 8 percent of youth arrests involved a violent crime, including less than 1 percent for homicides. “The continuing decline in youth arrests overall, and for violent offenses in particular, gives us important information about the volume and nature of arrests that should be considered when developing strategies to support youth and reduce their justice involvement,” noted National Institute of Justice Director Nancy La Vigne.” Added criminologist Thomas Abt on Twitter: “An enduring myth about community gun violence is that it is primarily driven by youths under 18. Again and again, when we carefully analyze who the shooters are in a given city, we find that most are in their 20s, or even 30s.”

Five Florida men affiliated with a militia group arrested over the January 6 insurrection. The men are reportedly part of the “B SQUAD” subgroup of the Guardians of Freedom, which has a similar ideology to the far-right Three Percenters militia. The men, who traveled to Washington, D.C. the day before the January 6 insurrection, were arrested and charged with several felony and misdemeanor offenses. One of the men charged told an acquaintance in July 2021 that he was working at a “gunshop” and “continuing to build my 3 percent army so I can overthrow the federal government,” according to an FBI affidavit. The charging documents allege that the same militia group brought 40 other people to D.C. for January 6.

Feds warn of copycat acts of racially-motivated gun violence or domestic terrorism. A bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center called for law enforcement to be vigilant about people who might take cues from the perpetrator of the racist massacre at a Buffalo grocery store in May. “We remain alert to the potential use of these [tactics, techniques and procedures] in copycat attacks due to the history of some violent extremists finding ideological inspiration and leveraging tactical guidance from perpetrators of high-profile attacks,” the bulletin reads.

A mass shooting in Baltimore left six injured, one dead. The incident happened Wednesday afternoon as two men got out of a car and opened fire on a group of people gathered at an intersection, police said. The shooting occurred just as federal, state, and city officials were gathered several miles away to announce an initiative meant to curb shootings and other violent crime in the city. Elsewhere yesterday: A mass shooting in Chicago across the street from a high school left four teenagers injured, at least three of them students. In Washington, D.C. a shooting in an area long struggling with elevated rates of violence left two dead and three others injured.

Uvalde school district board fires police chief. Three months after the horrific shooting at an elementary school, the board voted unanimously to fire Pete Arredondo, whose response to the shooting has been widely criticized. The vote came after Arredondo asked to be taken off suspension. “Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the Board immediately reinstate him, with all backpay and benefits and close the complaint as unfounded,” his lawyer said in a statement before the board’s decision.

Data Point

30 percent — the rise in youth homicide victims from 2019 to 2020, according to the aforementioned DOJ report, with Black youth more likely to be affected than white youth. Meanwhile, a gun was used in two-thirds of youth homicides in 2020. [U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs]