Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Musician Shamarr Allen plays his trumpet on the porch of his home. [AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber]

Daily Bulletin: A New Orleans Musician Trades Trumpets for Guns

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Federal anti-crime crackdown takes shape. After hinting at it for days, President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced an expansion of Operation LeGend, which sent nearly 200 federal agents earlier this month to Kansas City, Missouri, with the goal of quelling rising violence. Barr said 100 agents from the FBI, DEA, and ATF will now be sent to Chicago to help local law enforcement “fight violent crime”; 25 more will go to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Trump also said $61 million dollars in federal grants would be awarded to additional cities to hire more police. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, who supports federal assistance to help solve crimes but worries the initiative might be used as political theater, said he first learned about Operation LeGend on Twitter.

Chicago Police were monitoring the funeral where 15 were shot. Police Superintendent David Brown said two squad cars and a tactical team were guarding the ceremony because the deceased was killed in a “gang rivalry.” Brown didn’t deny that police were tipped off, but said the department regularly monitors funerals related to gang conflicts. “Please tell me how this happened AFTER the police had been notified that it would?” said the founder of the anti-violence group Mothers Against Senseless Killings.

Oliver North’s lawyers: The NRA asked a New York court for “permission to retaliate” against its estranged former president. That’s from a July 22 filing, in which North’s legal team is invoking whistleblower protections for their client. Although National Rifle Association boss Wayne LaPierre booted North from the president’s post last year, the conservative darling is still a member and sits on the gun group’s board. In June, the NRA asked the court to find that it could press ahead with an internal ethics complaint that a LaPierre ally brought against North, without risking violation of whistleblower protections in New York law. That complaint links North’s 2019 attempts to draw the attention of NRA leaders to legal fees paid to outside counsel Bill Brewer to a supposed conspiracy to oust LaPierre. In their filing, North’s lawyers describe those attempts as the actions of a “whistleblower” seeking to expose “potential financial misconduct and inadequate governance” at the gun group. Under NRA bylaws, if the ethics complaint against North is substantiated, he could be expelled from the organization.— Will Van Sant, staff writer.

New Orleans bandleader launches trumpets-for-guns exchange. After the shooting death of a 9-year-old boy in the city last week, Shamarr Allen posted on Instagram, “To all the youth in New Orleans, bring me a gun and I’ll give you a trumpet no questions asked.” After giving away all of his old trumpets, he launched a GoFundMe to replenish his stock. So far he’s raised more than $10,000. Allen, who has a 9-year-old son, started playing the trumpet at 12 and said it allowed him to see the world: “If it can do that for me, it can do that for someone else.”

Protest against youth shootings in D.C. cut short when child shot. Demonstrators gathered on Tuesday evening in front of a Southwest police station to urge the department to commit more resources to unsolved murders of children. Then gunfire rang out across the street. Officers found a boy shot and wounded in a nearby park. “This is ridiculous!” the organizer shouted in the direction of the police station. “How can we be out here protesting, and somebody just got shot?”

NEW from THE TRACE: How often are police shot in the line of duty? The increase in violent crime this year has created a particularly tense moment: Black and Brown communities say they’re under attack by the police, and form the backbone of protests against police brutality, while the police say their job is exceptionally dangerous, especially amid calls to defund law enforcement. There’s no disputing that police work remains risky, but the “war on cops” that some news reports and police advocates describe isn’t backed up by evidence. Read on for the latest research about officer-targeted violence.

Oregon city to pay record state settlement for fatal officer-involved shooting. The $4.6 million agreement between the town of Springfield and Stacy William Kenny’s family also requires a wholesale review of the department’s use-of-force policy. In March 2019, officers pulled over Kenny, broke her car window, dragged her out of the car, tased her, and shot her five times. Her family contends that she suffered from schizophrenia and that officers did not give her a chance to respond to their commands before resorting to force.

DATA POINT

Since protests began after George Floyd’s death, there have been on average about four fewer officer-involved fatal shootings per week, according to an analysis of Washington Post data. [Professor Justin Nix]