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Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia

Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia
Each Wednesday morning we share news, research, data, opinions and community responses related to gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia.

Developing best reporting practices
Shift the Narrative: Media Panel on Community-Centered Gun Violence Reporting
Shift the Narrative: Media Panel on Community-Centered Gun Violence Reporting
• What does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic news reporting look like when covering community gun violence? Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard took part in this panel discussing the role and responsibilities of the media. [PCGVR]
Better gun violence coverage? Stop doing ‘breaking news’
• Listening to survivors: Dr. Beard introduced important new work from our research collaborative last week – in which firearm injury survivors describe the harms of episodic news reporting – during the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research in Washington. [@jessicahbeard]
The cost of violence prevention
• During the upcoming fiscal year, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney’s administration plans to expand gun violence prevention spending to more than $184 million on . []
City Council activities
Philadelphia to consider $10k bonuses for police recruits
“I can recall when people actually knew police officers in those neighborhoods and the people knew the police officer. It would go a long way into creating an environment where they work together to keep your neighbors safe.” - Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke
• One day before the mayor’s annual budget address, Philadelphia City Council leaders unveiled a plan that would steer millions in new funding to the police department and add more officers. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
• Councilmember Curtis Jones introduced a bill to authorize the Committee on Public Safety to hold public hearings on the use of technology to solve shootings in the neighborhoods surrounding the 57 blocks where 10 or more people have been shot in Philadelphia. [The Philadelphia Tribune]
Ya Fav Trashman
Hey Philly 🗣 If you look at a map and highlight the zip codes with the highest amount of gun violence, and then highlight the dirtiest parts of the city, guess what…The maps will match 🤯🤯 It’s no coincidence, the intentional disinvestment in certain zip codes is evident. 🤔🧐
Situation report
“While we are making constant adjustments to mitigate this sickening reality, our officers, simply put, just can’t keep up by being everywhere at all times.” - Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw
• A new poll of Philadelphia Democrats identifies police and public safety as top priorities. Two-thirds say they have become more worried about becoming a victim of crime during last six months. [The Philadelphia Citizen]
“When it comes to gun violence, it’s often as if city officials and city residents are living in parallel universes — and nothing seems to be bridging that gap.” - Helen Ubiñas of The Philadelphia Inquirer
Sammy Caiola
Community members are out at 15th and Susquehanna in North Philly, raising the alarm about gun violence after a recent shooting. Children walk past police cars on their way back from school, neighbors hug one another, prevention groups give out gun locks and pamphlets.
By the numbers
Philadelphia shooting victim demographics: 1/1/15 - 3/31/22 [PCGVR]
Philadelphia shooting victim demographics: 1/1/15 - 3/31/22 [PCGVR]
24: People shot last week in Philadelphia, down from 43 shooting victims recorded one week earlier. 
13: People shot this past Monday alone in Philadelphia, including two fatalities.
164: Shooting victims recorded in Philadelphia during March, up from 152 shooting victims in February but down from 177 people shot during March, 2021.
79: The city’s average shooting victim total for the month of February from 2015 through 2019.
524: Total Philadelphia shooting victims reported to police this year through Monday.
126: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through last night.
55: Year-to-date homicides recorded in Philadelphia as of the same date in 2013.
76,096: Estimated number of guns sold last month in Pennsylvania, down one percent from the previous month and down 19 percent from the same month last year.
Attend in person
• Tonight at Temple: The Political Science Society at Temple University is hosting a Symposium on Combating Gun Violence. [@CaterinaGRoman]
• April 20 in Mt. Airy: Join Students Demand Action, Moms Demand Action and community partners for #Enough Plays To End Gun Violence. Hear eight student-written plays around gun violence. []
• Through April 28 in Center City: The Souls Shot Portrait Project is now on display at the First Presbyterian Church at 201 South 21st Street in Philadelphia. [KYW Newsradio]
New research
• Living with a handgun owner is associated with substantially elevated risk for dying by homicide. Women are disproportionately affected. [Annals of Internal Medicine
• In survivors, nonfatal firearm injuries led to increases in psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, and pain diagnoses, alongside substantial increases in health care spending and use. [Annals of Internal Medicine]
• Nationally, children of color, especially Black children, experience greater exposure to neighborhood firearm violence than white children. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated these racial disparities. [American Journal of Preventive Medicine]
• In rural areas: For the 30% of participants who carried a handgun, the age at initiation was young, starting at 12 to 14 years. Prevention programs to reduce the risk of firearm-related harm in this population may need to start early. [JAMA Network Open]
Finished the non-academic summary brief of our Phila-COVID-drug market article. Link below. Also did some calcs that show that just 10% of Census tracts -the 38 drug market tracts- account for 68% of shootings in the post-Covid study time period. Yowza!
“Other developed nations don’t live like this. The rate of gun homicides in the U.S. is eight times higher than it is in Canada, 13 times higher than it is in France, and 23 times higher than in Australia.” - Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, after 18 people were shot early Sunday in Sacramento
Watchdog reporting
• The Chicago police closed exactly 400 murder cases in 2021 but 199 of those cases were closed “exceptionally,” meaning no one was charged. [Chicago Sun-Times]
• St. Louis has quietly lowered its murder count in another way: classifying more than three dozen killings as what are termed justifiable homicides, sometimes in apparent violation of FBI guidelines for reporting crimes. [Pro Publica]
• Law enforcement in the US have killed 249 people this year as of March 24, mirroring the deadly force trends of recent years and suggesting the US has made little progress following promises of systemic reforms. [The Guardian]
“There is still a nationwide impulse to increase police funding and police presence. A national poll found that two out of three voters believe increasing police funding decreases crime. However, this is not entirely true.” - Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Howard Henderson and TSU doctoral candidate Denise Brown
How a California port community embodies the deadly link between pollution and gun violence
Data analysis
• In just the first three months of this year, more people have been shot in defensive shootings in Philadelphia than in each of the last three entire years. If defensive shootings continue at the same rate through the rest of the year, Philadelphia is on track to have more than five times as many of these incidents as last year. [6ABC]
• Monthly U.S. aggravated assaults with guns increased “like normal trends on steroids” during 2020 while aggravated assault without guns stayed “pretty consistent with past years.” [Thread: @JacobKaplanCrim]
Solution of the Week
Smart Guns: Technology That Can Save Lives
New institution
JH Center for Gun Violence Prevention & Policy
The news is out! Two leading organizations dedicated to #GVP are merging with the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence to form a new center at @JohnsHopkinsSPH @JHSPH_HPM. Introducing the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. Follow us at our new handle @JHU_CGVS!
In memoriam
Convictions in Philly mistaken identity cold case
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The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

Reporting on gun violence comes with exceptional challenges, responsibilities and opportunities. The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting wants to help.

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