Memphis Mayor Defends Sports Stadium Spend

As Memphis crime skyrockets, the city’s mayor Friday took to his weekly email update to justify spending nearly $700 million to upgrade its sports stadiums and build a new professional soccer stadium. 

“I would like to clarify a few things on that potential financial support,” said Mayor Jim Strickland (D), noting that residents of the city had asked about the planned spend. 

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Commentary: Violent Crime Is Driving a Red Wave

Two weeks before the 2022 midterms, fear of crime is second only to worries over inflation and recession. Both issues – personal security and economic security – affect voters directly. They arise every time voters ride the subway, walk down a dark street, pay the cashier at the grocery, or fill up their truck. That’s why survey after survey says they are the top issues motivating voters this November. That’s bad news for Democrats. Pollsters say Republicans hold huge advantages on the economy, inflation, and crime, the issues that matter most to voters.

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Shelby County Mayor Calls for $15 Minimum Wage

Amid historic inflation that has eaten away at Americans’ paychecks, the mayor of Shelby County is calling for Tennessee’s General Assembly to pass a law increasing the minimum wage. 

“Today, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris released his administration’s recommendations for the upcoming session of the Tennessee General Assembly,” said a release from Harris’s office. “Mayor Harris’ priorities center around legislative actions that support youth and families, increase public safety, improve access to healthcare, and strengthen our democracy. One of Mayor Harris’ top legislative priorities is the adoption of a state-wide minimum wage of at least $15.”

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Gov. Lee Allocates $54 Million to Police Recruiting

In what has been a banner week for funding of local law enforcement in Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s governor pledged $54 million to assist law enforcement agencies in their recruiting efforts. 

“To stay ahead of the nationwide spike in crime, Tennessee is taking every step to recruit, train and retain highly-qualified law enforcement officers to keep our communities safe,” said Gov. Bill Lee (R) in a Friday press release. “I commend police departments and sheriff’s offices for their continued partnership, and I’m confident these additional measures will strengthen public safety and relieve financial burdens for local law enforcement agencies.”

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Gov. Lee Announces $100 Million Violent Crime Intervention Fund

Tennessee’s governor Tuesday announced that the state would give local law enforcement $100 million to fight violent crime.

“As Americans face rising crime nationwide, TN is launching the $100 million Violent Crime Intervention Fund to equip local law enforcement with tools to keep every community safe,” said Gov. Bill Lee (R) on Twitter. “I invite all TN police departments & sheriff’s offices to apply today.”

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FBI Says Tennessee Ranks Third in Nation in Violent Crime

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data collected from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) says that Tennessee ranks third in the nation in violent crimes per capita. 

According to the annual FBI report, the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people in Tennessee in 2021 was 674. The only regions with higher violent crime were Arkansas, averaging 708 violent crimes per 100,000 people, and Washington, D.C. (included in the data despite not being a state) at a whopping 968 violent crimes per 100,000 people. 

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Philadelphia Victims’ Relatives Testify About Krasner’s Work as District Attorney

Pennsylvania’s House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order heard from mothers of recent Philadelphia murder victims on Thursday morning to gather perspective on District Attorney Larry Krasner’s (D) job performance. 

In a video-recorded interview, Jennifer Meleski, the mother of 24-year-old Chuckie Maude who was murdered in the city’s Kensington neighborhood in 2021, shared her frustration with the city for creating an atmosphere in which gun violence abounds. She blamed Krasner for hamstringing police by pressing charges against officers who “stop and frisk” people on suspicion they are illegally carrying weapons. 

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More than Half the Nation Wants a Crackdown on Violent Crime, Poll Suggests

More than 75% of probable voters said they would not likely back candidates supporting policies that stop police from detaining criminals charged with violent offenses, according to a new poll, with a state measure set to potentially free some violent crime suspects.

About 76.9% of respondents said they would not be at all likely to vote for a candidate supportive of such policies toward criminals facing violent charges like kidnapping and armed robbery, according to the September poll by the Trafalgar Group partnered with Convention of States Action. Illinois’ Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE–T) Act is set to permit the bail-free release of people accused of kidnapping, aggravated battery and other crimes punishable by probation next year, Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Reitz told ABC 20.

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Roger Simon Comments on Memphis Murder Spree Suspect, Crime in America’s Cities, and the Role of DAs

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to comment upon the uptick in crime that is plaguing Democratic-run cities across the country and the role of District Attorneys.

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Gov. Doug Ducey Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff Following the Loss of Pima County Constable

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered state buildings to fly flags at half-staff Friday following a mass shooting in Tucson resulting in the loss of Pima County Constable Deborah Martinez-Garibay.

“The loss of Constable Deborah Martinez is felt across our state,” Ducey said. “Whether it was serving in the U.S. Army or carrying out her duties as a constable for Pima County, she dedicated her life to helping others and her community. Constable Martinez was a Tucson native who will be remembered for the way she treated others with dignity and respect. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family, as well as those who also lost their lives in today’s tragic events.”

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State Report Confirms Violent Crime Skyrocketed on Walz’s Watch

Gov. Tim Walz’s administration waited until nearly 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon to release a report showing violent crime has soared in Minnesota in back-to-back years.

In its annual uniform crime report for 2021, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) said violent crime increased by 21.6 percent last year, a bigger jump than the 16.6 percent increase seen in 2020.

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Tennessee Representative David Kustoff Introduces Resolution Calling on Congress to Address Rising Crime in the U.S.

Tennessee Republican Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-08) recently introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives that calls on Congress to create a strategy to address the rising violent crime in the United States. A similar resolution was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Republican Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

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Ohio Awards Grants to Toledo, Cortland to Combat Trafficking, Other Crimes

Governor Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) announced Friday that numerous local law-enforcement departments will receive a total of $3.5 million for anti-trafficking efforts and other anti-crime initiatives, with the cities of Toledo and Cortland receiving significant grants. 

The money comes in the fifth round of allocations from the Crime Reduction Grant Program, a project created last year that has disbursed $23 million to 83 agencies across the Buckeye State so far. 

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Democratic Officials Want Philadelphia Mayor Kenney to Resign

Jim Kenney wishes he wasn’t Philadelphia’s mayor. City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart and Councilman Derek Green — like Kenny, both Democrats — now wish the same.

Kenney drew their reproaches after confessing to reporters on Monday, July 4, that city violence has made his job a displeasure that he looks forward to concluding.

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Six Major Cities to Surpass 2021 Totals of Violent Crime Halfway Through 2022

In six of America’s largest cities, the rate of violent crime is already well on track to surpass previous record highs reached in 2021, with six months still left to go in the year 2022.

As reported by Fox News, the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. are all seeing even greater numbers of violent crime than last year. The largest increase is in New York, the largest city in America, with a 25.8 percent spike in crime compared to the same time in 2021. Violent crime is generally described as including the acts of homicide, assault, robbery, and rape; homicides in particular have been on the rise, with a 30 percent increase from 2019 to 2020, followed by an additional 5 percent increase from 2020 to 2021.

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DeWine Authorizes Nearly $4 Million for Local Law Enforcement Across Ohio

At a visit to Springfield this week, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) announced his authorization of nearly $4 million in grants to 16 police and sheriff departments across the Buckeye State.

The allotments come as the third round of DeWine’s Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program. Springfield’s police department itself gets a grant of $305,206.94. Those funds will go toward video-recording systems and automated license-plate readers to gather intelligence pertaining to gun-related violations. 

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Department of Justice, Local Leaders Announce Agreement to Combat Violent Crime in West Tennessee

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and local leaders in West Tennessee are working together in order to reduce violent crime, according to a release from the DOJ.

United States Attorney Joseph C. Murphy Jr., joined by non-profit organizations, clergy leaders, and other community leaders, announced a new “Better Community Summit” effort to tackle the crimes.

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Department of Justice Launches New Program to Combat Violent Crime Spike in Minnesota

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is launching a new effort to combat a spike in violent crime, specifically targeting the Twin Cities area.

The new changes will allow all federal prosecutors in the office to take on and try violent crime cases. Additionally, the law enforcement agency is hiring more persecutors to assist with the workload.

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Bill to Let State Attorneys Prosecute Philadelphia Gun Crimes Passes Pennsylvania House

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives voted 151-49 Wednesday for legislation allowing state prosecutors to handle some of Philadelphia’s gun-related cases.

The bill would renew the state attorney general’s “concurrent jurisdiction” with the Philadelphia district attorney, letting the commonwealth shoulder part of the effort to prosecute firearm-related offenses in a city where many feel the job isn’t getting done.

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New Arizona Law Extends Legal Protections for Victims of Violent Crimes

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed almost a dozen pieces of legislation into law on Friday, including a bipartisan measure to increase protections for victims of violent crimes.

The bill, House Bill 2604, extends the length of an order of protection from one year to two years after the defendant has been served.

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12 Indicted in Clarksville-to-Chicago Gun-Running Conspiracy

Justice Department Announces Superseding Indictment Charging 12 in Gun-Running Conspiracy to Supply

A dozen individuals have been charged in a gun-running conspiracy that funneled firearms from Tennessee and Kentucky to Chicago, according to a release from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In total, the 12 individuals are facing a 21-count indictment with charges for dealing in firearms without a license, transporting and receiving firearms into another state, making false statements to a federally licensed firearm dealer, and multiple other offenses.

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U.S. Civil Rights Commissioners to AG Merrick Garland: U.S. Attorneys Must ‘Increase Prosecutions in Cities Where Local Prosecutors’ Are Soft on Crime

Attorney General Merrick Garland

In a letter obtained by The Star News Network, four commissioners of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights express their “urgent concerns” to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland about the radical increase in violent crime in America, and ask him to direct the Department of Justice to escalate prosecutions of violent criminals.

U.S. Civil Rights Commissioners Peter Kirsanow (R), Gail Heriot (I), J. Christian Adams (R), and Stephen Gilchrist (R), wrote to Garland Thursday, “not on behalf of the Commission as a whole,” of their concerns about the significant rise in crime “that has affected our nation over the past two years.”

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Phoenix Police Forced to Transfer Specialty Officers to Patrol to Deal With Shortage

The Phoenix Police Department (PPD) announced on Wednesday that around 100 officers and detectives from specialty divisions such as Violent Crimes are being transferred to patrol units due to a severe lack of officers on the streets and handling 911 calls. Their goal is to get the number of officers on patrol duty back up over 1,000. 

The PPD acknowledged officer attrition reached an “unprecedented” rate in early 2021. “These trends indicated the loss rate would become critical due to insufficient hiring and increased employee separations,” Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri L. Williams said in the plan. 

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Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Corman Calls for Philly District Attorney’s Impeachment

Outrage at Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s (D) leniency toward criminals has driven Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) to call for the prosecutor’s impeachment.

Corman sent a letter to leaders of the GOP-run state House of Representatives asking them to seek Krasner’s removal. In his missive, the lawmaker deplored the city’s sharp present rise in violent crime and said the district attorney has played a major role in that spike by allowing many offenders to escape punishment.

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Minneapolis Mayor Says Violent Juvenile Crime Increasing During Pandemic

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) says schools must stay open despite the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in order to keep youth residents from committing violent crimes. 

“We’ve gotta keep the schools open. This is very clear to me,” Frey reportedly said. “Yes, we need to make sure we’re abiding by the necessary safety precautions. Yes, we need to make sure anyone from parents to teachers to students are protected in full from the dangers associated with a global pandemic, and we need to make sure the students are in the schools and that they’re able to learn.”

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Off-Duty Officer Killed in Cleveland Carjacking Ends Another Violent Year

Cleveland police sudan

Cleveland’s last homicide in a record-setting 2021 occurred when an off-duty police officer was shot and killed during a carjacking on New Year’s Eve. 

“Preliminary investigation indicates that a suspect approached the victim in the parking lot of the apartment building with a gun, a struggle ensued and the victim was shot twice by the suspect,” Cleveland police said in a statement. “The suspect then fled in the victim’s vehicle. The victim was conveyed to Fairview Hospital by Cleveland EMS where he was pronounced deceased.”

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Democratic Cities That Enacted Bail Reform See Rise in Crime, Repeat Offenses

Democratic-run cities that have implemented bail reform have seen a rise in criminal activity amid the release of criminals with multiple offenses who went on to commit additional crimes following their releases.

Just five days before allegedly plowing a red SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisc., killing six, the suspected attacker, who had a long criminal history, had been released on $1,000 bail in a case in which he was accused of running a woman over in his car. The low bail for the suspect — even the Milwaukee County DA has since acknowledged it was “inappropriately low” — has thrust bail reform back to the forefront of the national conversation.

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Commentary: America Gone Mad

After three weeks in Europe and extensive discussions with dozens of well-informed and highly placed individuals from most of the principal Western European countries, including leading members of the British government, I have the unpleasant duty of reporting complete incomprehension and incredulity at what Joe Biden and his collaborators encapsulate in the peppy but misleading phrase, “We’re back.”

As one eminent elected British government official put it, “They are not back in any conventional sense of that word. We have worked closely with the Americans for many decades and we have never seen such a shambles of incompetent administration, diplomatic incoherence, and complete military ineptitude as we have seen in these nine months. We were startled by Trump, but he clearly knew what he was doing, whatever we or anyone else thought about it. This is just a disintegration of the authority of a great nation for no apparent reason.”

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Poll: Growing Number of Americans Want Increased Funding for Police

The number of Americans who want to see an increase in funding for local police has risen to nearly half since June 2020, according to a Tuesday Pew Research poll.

Forty-seven percent of Americans say spending on policing should increase in their community, up from 31% in June 2020, according to the poll. The poll found that 21% of respondents felt police funding should be increased by “a lot,” marking an 11% increase from the same period.

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Cleveland Residents to Vote on Measure to Give Citizens Power over the Police

Cleveland police sudan

Residents of Cleveland will vote in November on Issue 24, an amendment to the city’s charter that would give citizens the power of oversight of the police force.

The amendment, which has been endorsed by several progressive groups, would establish an “independent” council of community members to review “everything from disciplinary oversight to recruiting and training.”

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Ohio Governor DeWine Announces New Statewide Grant Program to Address Violent Crime

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced a new grant program meant to help local law enforcement agencies implement violent crime reduction strategies in their communities.

The funds, totaling $4 million, will be dispensed to law enforcement agencies with the goal of reducing a concerning increase in violent crime throughout the state.

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Minneapolis Is ‘a City Run by Gangs,’ Downtown Restaurant Owner Says

Caption of photo says: Around 2:15 p.m., police were dispatched to a report of a person "down" near Lowry and Penn Ave N. Other reports indicated it was a "domestic." As police were arriving, witnesses told police that a male had gotten the female up and dragged her into a residence at 31xx Oliver Ave N. Police arrived and had to force entry to the residence and EMS was cleared in for the victim. If/when we can get info about any arrested party we'll update

Minneapolis is “run by gangs,” an owner of a Minneapolis restaurant and bar remarked in a recent interview, saying he has stopped trying to contact the city about it.

“I don’t talk to the city. I don’t talk to the politicians. I’ve given up. There’s no point,” Ken Sherman, owner of Seven Steakhouse, told WCCO last week.

Seven is a rooftop restaurant, bar, and nightclub located on Seventh and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis. Sherman, who has owned the business since 2017, now operates his own security team nightly, according to a story in the August/September 2021 issue of Twin Cities Business.

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Twice-Convicted Rapist Freed by Bail Minnesota Freedom Fund Charged with Strangling Girlfriend

A twice-convicted rapist who has gained notoriety in Minnesota for his long history of violence against women was freed by a left-wing bail fund and promptly resumed his criminal behavior.

Christopher Don Boswell, 38, has been convicted of raping two women — one of whom was a minor at the time of the incident. In 2020, he was arrested again for allegedly kidnapping and beating two more women whom he held at gunpoint in separate incidents. One of the cases has been dismissed and the other is still open. Following his arrest, Boswell’s bail was set at $350,000 and was paid by the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) in August of last year.

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Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Report: 73 Percent of Illegal Aliens Arrested for Reentry Have Criminal Records in U.S

A shocking report released by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona shows that 73 percent of illegal aliens who were arrested for illegal reentry into the United States in June have prior criminal records here. 

According to the report, “241 individuals were charged in June with illegal reentry,” and “178 of those 241 individuals had previously been convicted of non-immigration criminal offenses in the U.S.”

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St. Louis’ Top Prosecutor Accused of Incompetence as Violent Crime Rises

As violent crime increases in St. Louis, residents’ outrage towards Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner appears to be growing as well.

Gardner, who assumed office at the beginning of 2017 on a progressive platform, is St. Louis’ top prosecutor. But she has taken an extremely lax approach to actually prosecuting violent criminals, angering residents and victims’ family members.

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Tennessee Representative Rose Calls Out Biden Claim That ‘Crime Is Down’

In House floor remarks on Thursday, Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) called out President Joe Biden for insisting in a CNN Town Hall with host Don Lemon a week ago that “crime is down” even as murder rates rise.

The current rise in violent crime has been broadly acknowledged by an array of journalistic and academic observers, and even by liberal outlets like the Atlantic Monthly.

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Commentary: Despite What Biden Says, Guns Factor in Only a Small Percentage of Violent Crimes

Police Car

In response to sharp increases in violent crime, President Biden stressed again last week that his administration is focused on “stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes.”  But critics warn that this “guns first” approach ignores a basic fact – about 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.

Although firearms were used in about 74% of homicides in 2019, they comprise less than 9% of violent crimes in America.

The vast majority of violent offenses – including robberies, rapes and other sex crimes – almost always involve other weapons or no weapons at all.

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Hennepin County Police Chiefs Alarmed by Increasing Violence

Minneapolis Police

Several Hennepin County police chiefs are speaking out after Minneapolis’ suburbs have seen an unprecedented uptick in violent crime. 

“I’ve never seen the gun violence like it is,” Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen told Fox 9. 

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Commentary: Researchers Urge Americans to Focus on Loneliness Epidemic

Woman sitting in a chair, looking out the window, alone

As the pandemic recedes and Americans re-enter public life, the surgeon general and other public health experts are urging the country to focus on another national crisis, one that has lingered for decades and worsened in recent years: loneliness.

For many, pandemic-related lockdowns, social distancing, and physical isolation resulted in their most severe experiences of loneliness. Studies have shown that an uptick in loneliness and other mental health issues coincided with the pandemic, and that lockdown requirements almost certainly exacerbated pre-existing mental conditions. But for researchers who have studied loneliness, the recent increase is only one notable event in an extensive history.

Loneliness is not just a crisis in America, but also in Europe, Canada, Japan, China, Australia and, increasingly, South America and Africa. Loneliness also occurs regardless of race, class, culture, and religion. Even before the lockdowns, tens of millions of people throughout the world felt isolated.

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Commentary: Letters from a D.C. Jail

This week, five Republican senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding his office’s handling of January 6 protesters. The letter revealed the senators are aware that several Capitol defendants charged with mostly nonviolent crimes are being held in solitary confinement conditions in a D.C. jail used exclusively to house Capitol detainees.

Joe Biden’s Justice Department routinely requests—and partisan Beltway federal judges routinely approve—pre-trial detention for Americans arrested for their involvement in the January 6 protest. This includes everyone from an 18-year-old high school senior from Georgia to a 70-year-old Virginia farmer with no criminal record.

It is important to emphasize that the accused have languished for months in prison before their trials even have begun. Judges are keeping defendants behind bars largely based on clips selectively produced by the government from a trove of video footage under protective seal and unavailable to defense lawyers and the public—and for the thoughtcrime of doubting the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

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Three Children Shot in Minneapolis, Residents Angry Over Government Inaction

As violent crime in Minneapolis continues to skyrocket, three young children were shot over the course of ten days. Prominent government officials have made no official statement regarding the violence that sent La’Davionne (10), Trinity (9), and Aniya (6) to the hospital in critical condition.

Aniya died in the hospital of her injuries on Wednesday, May 19th. The other two remain hospitalized.

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Florida Police Related Shooting Deaths Up 52 Percent in 2020

People rioting

In a year that saw a social justice movement, a pandemic, and an increase in violent crime, police relating shooting deaths in Florida in 2020 were up 51.5 % when compared to the previous five years. In contrast, police related shootings nationwide were up just 3.4%.

The numbers come from the Washington Post police related shooting database which began logging information in 2015. The data shows that from 2015 to 2019 Florida averaged approximately 61.4 police related shooting deaths per year. In 2020, there were 93 police related shooting deaths, a 51.5% increase.

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Justice Department Distributes Over $458 Million to Combat Violent Crime

The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs announced Monday the distribution of over $458 million in grants to combat violent crime, according to a press release.

The funds are being distributed “to support state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts to fight and prevent violent crime in jurisdictions across the United States,” according to the press release.

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Akron Sees Crime Spike Mirroring National Trends

Violent crime in Akron, Ohio has increased, which is mirroring an alarming trend across the country.

Just this week an 8-year girl was murdered and a 14-year-old was wounded in a shooting at a birthday party, according to Fox 8. Furthermore, two men were killed in separate incidents, Fox 8 reported.

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Michigan Group Offers Free Shooting Lessons as Crime Spikes

A gun activism group will be giving free gun training to as many as 1500 women in the Detroit area.

The 9th Annual Laid Free Women’s Shoot will take place on August 15 and August 16. Put on by gun advocacy group Legally Armed In Detroit, the event seeks to train women on the safe handling and usage of a pistol.

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