Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[GIANRIGO MARLETTA/AFP/Getty Images]

Daily Bulletin: FBI Finds Homicides Up 15% During First Half of 2020

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Preliminary FBI data adds to evidence of sharp rise in homicides during the first half of 2020. The numbers show a 15 percent year-to-date increase, according to the bureau’s Uniform Crime Report. Aggravated assaults were also up, but most categories of crime — including robberies and property crimes — were down. The findings echo The Trace’s reporting earlier in the pandemic, which found that gun violence was a glaring exception to declining crime during stay-at-home orders. Crime analyst Jeff Asher parsed the FBI numbers and concluded that they matched the trend lines that emerged from his own analysis of a sample of big cities. An incomplete picture: The Crime Report notes that more than 6,000 police departments have not yet provided statistics, so the numbers are subject to change.

Louisville, Kentucky, pledges police reforms as part of Breonna Taylor settlement. The city will pay Taylor’s family $12 million while promising to implement several new policies, including a requirement that police commanders approve all search warrant applications and a system to flag officers with disciplinary records — as one of the responding officers in Taylor’s raid reportedly had. An activist who worked with Taylor’s family told The New York Times, “In the past, it was monetary or nothing, and usually the city would fight you for years.” TBD: One of protesters’ key demands — the arrest of the three officers involved in Taylor’s death — is unresolved pending an inquiry by Kentucky’s attorney general. Our friends at The Marshall Project explained how the state’s self-defense law and the wide deference afforded to police gives officers a shield that would make a conviction difficult.

An 11-year-old gun violence activist was fatally shot in upstate New York. At a vigil, residents in Troy remembered Ayshawn Davis for being the youngest person at a recent protest against community violence. “His smile was intoxicating in itself, and you could look in his eyes and see that he had determination,” one mourner said.

A top Trump health spokesperson apologized to staff after warning of armed insurrection. In comments reported yesterday, Michael Caputo baselessly said that left-wing squads were gearing up for violence should President Trump be re-elected. Politico cited sources suggesting that Caputo might soon seek medical leave.

🎉 We won a Deadline Club award.🎉 This year’s Les Payne Award for coverage on communities of color went to “Free to Shoot Again,” our 2019 investigation with BuzzFeed News about the large number of shooting cases that regularly go unsolved.

DATA POINT

The share of Chicago homicide victims who were 18 or younger has fallen more than 30 percent since 1990. [Institute for Policy Research]