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NEW from THE TRACE: People keep shooting each other over coronavirus restrictions. The Trace has spotted at least nine shootings related to face mask requirements, business closures, or other infection abatement measures since the first statewide lockdown went into effect on March 19. According to an analysis of local news coverage and Gun Violence Archive data, at least four people have died and seven people have been wounded in the incidents. Find the full list here.
More states and cities report spikes in gun violence. Shootings have been an exception to the coronavirus crime drop, adding to the trauma confronting communities of color, first responders, and healthcare workers on the outbreak’s front lines. Since we crunched the numbers last month, local news outlets have identified additional places where gun violence has persisted while most Americans have been staying home.
- In New Jersey, gun-related homicides are up 9 percent, according to a State Police colonel.
- In New York City, shootings are 21 percent higher year over year.
- In St. Louis, hospitals have recorded a spike in child gunshot victims. The 11 young shooting victims treated at St. Louis Children’s Hospital so far this month are already the same number as all of May 2019.
- In Lubbock, Texas, there have already been 19 homicides in 2020, surpassing the 16 in all of 2019.
Parents of young black men update “The Talk” to include the lessons of the Ahmaud Arbery shooting. Preparing their children for potentially dangerous encounters with police has been a bitter rite of black parenting. NBC News spoke with families who are now expanding those warnings to include how to try to respond safely when interacting with an armed white civilian. “What pained me the most is here, I am a father basically instilling a level of trepidation in my son,” one man said. “All he hears normally from me is that he can be anything he wants to be if he works for it. I had to add a caveat: even in a world that only sees you as a suspect.”
Armed protesters join sheriff and state lawmaker at the latest anti-quarantine protest in Michigan. The event in Grand Rapids, billed as “American Patriot Rally — Sheriffs Speak Out,” drew hundreds of people Monday night, some of them carrying guns. Among the attendees was the state Senate majority leader, a Republican, and a state county sheriff who called the governor’s stay-at-home order unconstitutional.
Infected demonstrators may be spreading the virus widely, an analysis suggests. Cell phone location data obtained by The Guardian shows that some participants in anti-quarantine protests in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado, and Florida are traveling hundreds of miles to and from the rallies. “The behavior we’re seeing at protests carries a high risk of infection. We can see protesters are going from a highly concentrated event and then dispersing widely,” said the physician who leads the Committee to Protect Medicare, which provided the data.
Oklahoma is getting the nation’s first “anti–red flag” law. The statute pre-empts cities in the state from enacting emergency risk protection order legislation. Anti–red–flag bills have also been introduced in Georgia and Kansas, but have failed to advance so far.
America’s oldest gun shop is no more. John Jovino Gun Shop, which operated for 109 years in Manhattan’s Little Italy, shuttered this week. The store catered mostly to law enforcement officers and has been run for the last 25 years by a Chinese immigrant who served customers with a .380 Beretta on his hip. “I never had any violations,” Charlie Hu, 74, told Vanishing New York. “And now this is the end of the world. My whole life went into this.” Manhattan’s only public gun range is struggling. Westside Rifle and Pistol Range launched a GoFundMe to stay afloat while it remains closed to comply with New York’s stay-at-home order. But another Empire State range is defying shutdown orders. Pioneer Shooting Center, an indoor range in Mount Vernon, made the decision after high demand for gun safety training, the owners said.
Nearly 20 percent of shooting suspects and 15 percent of shooting victims in New York City this year were out on supervised release — a “concerning uptick on the side of the perpetrator and on the side of the victim,” said an NYPD official. — New York Post