Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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A police officer investigates the aftermath of the shooting in Minneapolis. [AP Photo/Doug Glass]

Daily Bulletin: Police Spend a Sliver of Their Time Responding to Violent Crimes, Analysis Finds

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Logs indicate that police spend a sliver of their time responding to violent crimes. Crime analysts Jeff Asher and Ben Horwitz crunched the numbers from three jurisdictions — New Orleans, Sacramento, and Montgomery County, Maryland – whose data portals sort police calls for service by type and make it possible to estimate how long officers spend on the scene. In those places, only 4 percent of officers’ time this year has been spent responding to homicides, aggravated assaults, and rapes, they report in a writeup for The Upshot. That does not include time spent on ensuing investigations. Why it matters: “As experts continue to debate how best to improve the performance of law enforcement,” they write, “it’s helpful to first have a clear understanding of how the police spend their time interacting with the public, including how little of it revolves around responding to violent crime.”

For police reform, the devil may be in the (lack of) data. Writing in The Economist, criminologist Phillip Atiba Goff laments the lack of comprehensive and consistent data to guide changes to policing. The more than 18,000 law-enforcement agencies in the country each have different collection methods — and some barely do it at all. “Officials trying to reform law enforcement face a dearth of reliable data, such as on racial bias. Without it, America will end up, at best, where it is now: in a policing debate dominated by ideology not information.”

Shootings rattle Seattle’s “autonomous zone.” Gunfire early Saturday morning left a 19-year-old dead and another person injured in a portion of the city’s downtown occupied by protesters for more than a week. A volunteer medic who helped treat the victims before they were taken to the hospital told The New York Times he thought the shootings may have been separate incidents. Another shooting late Sunday night left a person hospitalized. The Seattle Police Department has boarded up its precinct house in the area, leading some demonstrators to celebrate the blocks as a “no cop” zone.

A mass shooting in Minneapolis left 1 dead, 11 wounded. Early Sunday morning, gunmen started firing into a crowded block in the Uptown neighborhood, home to many popular bars and restaurants. The dead man was identified as Cody C. Pollard, a 27-year-old barber and father of two. Nightlife had just started to return after an easing of lockdown restrictions related to COVID-19. The Star Tribune called it “one of the city’s most violent shootings in recent memory.” Mayor Jacob Frey said the bloodshed “only compounds our grief” in a city still reeling from the killing of George Floyd and the unrest that followed.

Armed protesters in Oklahoma marched against racial injustice. “We aren’t going to allow people to come into our communities and brutalize us,” said Omar Chatman, who led the predominantly Black procession of more than 100 people in Oklahoma City on Saturday. He said they were demonstrating for gun rights and against police brutality. “If you come into our community, know we are armed,” he added. The marchers finished at the governor’s mansion.

Besides Minneapolis, there were at least 14 other mass shootings over the weekend. Per Gun Violence Archive:

  • On Saturday, one person died and four were wounded in Jersey City, New Jersey; two people died and two were injured in a drive-by dispute in Pinetops, North Carolina; nine people were shot during a large gathering in a parking lot in Syracuse, New York; an altercation between groups near a Bronx, New York, park left four people injured; a drive-by shooting in Detroit wounded four; in Saginaw, Michigan, a roadside shooting left one woman dead and three injured; a Wichita, Kansas, motel was the scene of a disturbance that left five people injured; four were shot at an outdoor park party in the Bronx; and four were injured in Rock County, Wisconsin.
  • On Sunday, five people were seriously injured during an early hours shooting in downtown Austin, Texas; a shooting at a residence in Auburn, Alabama, left four people injured, one critically; four people were shot in Buffalo, New York, during an outdoor car gathering; five people were injured during a house party in Milwaukee (one of the victims fleeing the scene subsequently died in a car crash); and one man was killed and three others were wounded in an early morning shooting in Humboldt Park in Chicago.

DATA POINT

67 people were shot in Chicago over a violent weekend that left 10 people dead, including two teenagers, a 13-year-old, and a 3-year-old.  ABC7