1/ The powerful #GeorgeFloydProtests are *already changing* how cities are thinking about policing all across the country. This thread lists what #BlackLivesMatter and the protests have already achieved since late May. Please let me know if I've missed anything.
2/ Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday vowed to cut an unspecified amount from the New York Police Department’s $6 billion budget and redirect it toward youth and other social programs. nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/…
3/ In Albany, NY State lawmakers on Monday began passing a wide-ranging package of bills targeting police misconduct, including a ban on the use of chokeholds, repeal of a statute that has hid the disciplinary records of police officers from public view. nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/…
"If even the earliest attempts at centralized police forces would have alarmed the Founders, today’s policing would have terrified them." -- @radleybalko
writes in Rise of the Warrior Cop
@radleybalko "Aggressive, SWAT-style tactics are now used to raid neighborhood poker games, doctor’s offices, bars and restaurants... This sort of force was once reserved as the last option ...[now it's] increasingly used as the first option to apprehend people who aren’t dangerous at all"
@radleybalko "In the 1990s and 2000s, the company Heckler and Koch marketed its MP5 semi-automatic weapon with the slogan “From the Gulf War to the Drug War—Battle Proven.”
1/ It's important to note that as Americans are protesting police brutality, Trump is encouraging more violence, both from the "very well armed military" he's threatening to deploy AND from his base with his reference to "Second Amendment rights" during yesterday's remarks
2/ In fact, Trump's own DHS warned states in late May that extremists, including white supremacist, are inciting followers to engage in violence and start a second Civil War by shooting in a crowd. Many of these folks are attending #GeorgeFloydProtests fully armed
3/ All of this is happening against the backdrop of SURGING GUN SALES.
As you guys know, I've been tracking this pretty closely and yesterday, @FBI released new numbers for May
In May of 2020, we experienced a 79% ⬆️ in firearm-related background checks as compared to May 2019
1/ Anarchist & militia extremists could try to exploit the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, the Department of Homeland Security warned in an intelligence note sent to law enforcement officials around the country.
2/ The DHS memo also says that 2days after Floyd’s death, “a white supremacist extremist Telegram channel incited followers to engage in violence and start the ‘boogaloo’—a term used by some violent extremists to refer to the start of a second Civil War—by shooting in a crowd.”
3/ One Telegram message encouraged potential shooters to “frame the crowd around you” for the violence, the document said. politico.com/news/2020/06/0…
1/ This line in Trump’s tweet: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”... is a quote from Miami Police Chief Walter Headley
In Dec 1967, months before riots at GOP Convention in Miami, Headley used that quote to announce “get tough” policy for policing black neighborhoods
2/ Headley promised to use shotguns, dogs, & “stop and frisk” tactics.
“We don’t mind being accused of police brutality,” the New York Times reported him saying at the time. “They haven’t seen anything yet” Headley said.
3/ Headley’s stop & frisk policy was a disaster.
2 months after he announced the policy, 2 patrolmen strip-searched Robert Owens, a teenager suspected of carrying a concealed knife into a pool hall. The cops then dangled Owens by his feet over a bridge above the Miami River.
@SUBWAY 2/ The term emerged in the summer of 2019 on social media platforms shared by gun activists & white supremacists. It is derived from the 1984 movie "Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo" and serves as code for a potential second civil war vice.com/en_us/article/…
@SUBWAY 3/ The "Blue Igloo" group that showed up at @Subway appeared at General Assembly in Raleigh, NC on Friday carrying firearms. To organize the event group's administrator tagged more than a dozen other boogaloo-themed Facebook accounts triad-city-beat.com/armed-boogaloo…
THREAD: Literally everything Trump just said about Virginia's new gun reform laws at #PressConference is a complete lie.
I did a comprehensive fact check and will use this thread to break down his false claims. 1/
Trump claimed Virginia exploited #COVID to pass gun reform.
FALSE. Dems ran on gun reform in Nov. 2019 & began passing these measures in Feb. BEFORE the pandemic 2/
Trump claimed VA's gun laws would "take away your guns
FALSE. The new laws expand background checks, re-impose a one-handgun-a month rule, establish a Emergency Risk Protection Order, require owners to report stolen weapons, ⬆️fines for guns left out in front of children 3/
As Trump is tweeting about the need to liberate Virginia with guns - and @NRA is very giddily RTing - I want you to meet Ross Alameddine, who was murdered in the Virginia Tech shooting 13 years ago.
Alameddine, 20, was a sophomore English major from Saugus, Mass.
@NRA As Trump is tweeting about the need to liberate Virginia with guns - and @NRA is very giddily RTing - I want you to meet Christopher James Bishop, who was murdered in the Virginia Tech Shooting 13 years ago.
Bishop was a German instructor.
@NRA Since Trump is now urging Virginians to use guns in order to "liberate" the state, please meet Brian Bluhm, a graduate student who was working toward a master's degree in water resources before he was killed with guns in Virginia Tech 13yrs ago almost to the day.
1/ According to @FBI the National Instant Criminal Background Check System conducted 3.7 million screenings in March, the highest number recorded since its inception in 1998 as Americans panic-bought firearms in response to #CoronavirusPandemic
THREAD on why this is alarming
@FBI 2/ @NRA has spent weeks urging the public to panic-buy guns in response to the coronavirus pandemic as it works to rehabilitate its image and pump even more guns into our neighborhoods.
@FBI@NRA 3/ Panic-buying a gun can infect your home w/ something even more dangerous than coronavirus
While individuals defend themselves w/ a gun in less than 1% of crimes in which there is contact btwn assailant & victim, access to a gun 3x the risk of suicide & 2x the risk of homicide
2/ Firearm industry realizes that to survive into the future it must "broaden its reach beyond the aging white men who have been its core customers" -- and so they're now trying to sell their products to other demographics.
This is incredibly dangerous.
3/ We are already a country awash in firearms (there are more firearms than people in the United States) & the industry is *actively circumventing existing laws* to bring banned dangerous weapons to market & make firearms of ever increasing lethality
1. On Tuesday 2 men, possibly motivated by anti-Semitism, opened fire in Jersey City, killing 4.
The incident is part of a growing tide of hate crimes against Jews
(NYPD received 200 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints in 2019, up almost 1/3 from the same period in 2018)
2. We don't know if there's a direct connection here, but what's troubling is that this shooting happened just two days after Trump peddled anti-Semitic stereotypes during a speech, portraying Jews as money-grubbing types who care only about their wealth nytimes.com/2019/12/09/opi…
3. The U.S. Jewish community experienced near-historic levels of anti-Semitism in 2018, including a doubling of anti-Semitic assaults and the single deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history: adl.org/news/press-rel…
.@mikebloomberg just announced a new plan for reducing gun violence -- his vision is far bolder than anything the mayor has previously supported and, as I'll argue in this thread, emblematic of how the center has shifted in the gun debate. nytimes.com/2019/12/05/us/…
This April, when @thenewpress published my book Guns Down & @gunsdownamerica embarked on a multi-city town hall tour to talk about raising the standard for gun ownership in America, our public conversation was dominated by smaller incremental solutions to address the gun problem
As we traveled the country, Americans told us they support bolder solutions like firearm licensing, cracking down on the gun industry & investing in violence intervention programs. America was ready to think bigger in order to build safer communities with *fewer guns*
@ChelseaCParsons@RukmaniBhatia 2. Under current law, EVERY ammunition sale in US can proceed w/o a background check and w/o any records kept, regardless of type or quantity of ammunition purchased.
Individuals can stockpile large quantities of ammunition -- as many mass shooters have -- no questions asked.
@ChelseaCParsons@RukmaniBhatia 3. Individuals who sell ammunition are not required to obtain a federal firearms license and can operate a substantial business selling ammunition with exactly zero government oversight.
They're also required to keep exactly zero records on these sales.
1. A bombshell Senate investigation has uncovered that @NRA acted as a "foreign asset" for Russia in 2016 by underwriting the efforts of known Kremlin assets in forming relationships with powerful American politicians. npr.org/2019/09/27/764…
@NRA 2. Top @NRA officials were fully aware that Maria Butina & Aleksander Torshin were Kremlin assets yet continued to *pay for* and *facilitate* their introductions into American political organizations, including a 2015 trip to Russia.
@NRA 3. @NRA even tried to hide payments related to the 2015 trip NRA officials took to Russia and found ways of "getting the trip off the NRA's books."