Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Top Chicago Police Department officials and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois stand side-by-side during a press conference about Operation Legend. [Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP]

Daily Bulletin: How ‘Operation Legend’ is Changing Chicago Courts

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

More gun cases and confusion as feds get hands on in Chicago. In late July, as part of Operation Legend, the Trump administration sent 100 federal agents to Chicago to “fight violent crime.” The Chicago Tribune brings us an inside look at how things are playing out. Notably, federal prosecutors are taking on more gun cases — not the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, which brings most firearms-related charges in Chicago. Internal communications show that the shift has sown some confusion. As the State’s Attorney’s Office prepared for the start of Operation Legend, a high-ranking prosecutor announced in an email that federal agents would get the right of first refusal on all new gun cases, sidestepping the office altogether. The plan was later scrapped. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has said of the federal effort, “We will take help, but with skepticism and only where it is appropriate.”

Compton, California, presses for state, federal probe over alleged misconduct by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. A local restaurant owner described being detained at gunpoint last month and released without explanation. Compton Mayor Aja Brown said officers pulled her over in June and searched her car for drugs before letting her off without a ticket. Those were some of the public recollections this week that echo new whistleblower allegations from a sheriff’s deputy. In a legal filing, he claims that a rogue group of LASD deputies based in Compton regularly set illegal arrest quotas and celebrated after officers shot residents. The city plans to request a civil rights investigation by U.S. Attorney General William Barr and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and is reassessing its $22 million-dollar per year contract with the LASD.

Virginia’s new one-handgun-per-month law caused nearly 60 percent of the state’s background check denials last month. The state’s new purchase limit blocked 1,102 sales of handguns in the state in July, according to the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center. (Felony convictions were responsible for the second-highest number of denials — with just 42.) Many gun dealers in the state attributed the high number to confusion about the law — it applied retroactively to the previous 30 days starting before July 1, not after. Overall, the number of background check denials are up in Virginia— and nationally — as a result of a record-breaking demand for guns.

Gun safety drives voter enthusiasm among Latinx Texans. That’s according to a new poll conducted by gun reform advocacy group Giffords Law Center and the progressive Latino Victory Project. Overall, it found that 57 percent of Latinx voters were “much more” motivated to vote this year than in 2016, and a majority of respondents cited gun reform in an important factor in their decision to vote. Among the reasons for the shift? Respondents said they were more worried about their safety following last year’s racially motivated mass shooting in El Paso, in which the perpetrator targeted the city’s Latinx population.

📺Watch📺: Our reporter Lakeidra Chavis joined a “Chicago Tonight” discussion on WTTW to discuss her recent story about the alarming rise in suicides among Black residents in Cook County.

DATA POINT

45 percent — the percentage of Black Americans who reported a disrespectful interaction with law enforcement in the previous year that want a diminished police presence in their area. By contrast, just 13 percent of those who reported a respectful interaction wanted fewer police. [Gallup]