Three stories from national news this week featured the sobering topics of mass shootings, police brutality, and COVID-19. The following are quick summaries of what is currently happening with each:
At least nine mass shootings reported across the U.S. in the past week
Crime experts define a mass shooting as an event in which at least four people were shot.
The recorded shootings which took place just last week occurred in Virginia, Arkansas, and Texas. Additionally, other states across the country have also reported shootings, the article stated.
Recent data suggests that crime rates have risen by nearly 30% since 2019, signifying a high in gun violence that hasn’t been seen since the early 1990s in the U.S.
Leonhardt posited that because gun violence in the U.S. has been seen at such large rates, it is often not broadcasted or widely talked about leaving many to not be aware of its prevalence and occurrence.
Officers under investigation after a man was killed while being tased by police
Five police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are subject to be fired after a man who was suspected of bicycle theft was tased to death in October, a CNN article by Ray Sanchez and Claudia Dominguez reported.
A medical examiner ruled the death of the man to be an accident, as it was declared to be a result of lack of oxygen to his brain.
According to a Pittsburgh news network report, the officers used the taser because the suspect was not cooperating or complying to orders.
The five officers’ names have not been disclosed. Each officer will have two weeks to challenge the firings, Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt said.
The article stated that the officers will have the opportunity to retire.
The incident has sparked the Pittsburgh police bureau’s panel to recommend changes to their policies and procedures regarding police training, according to Sanchez and Dominguez.
How the three largest cities in the U.S. populations dropped due to COVID-19
New York: An AP article by Mike Schneider stated that New York, New York saw over 320,000 residents move out of the city in the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, births outweighed deaths and an increase in international residents occurred. Despite this, the New York metro area saw its population drop to just under 20 million residents that year.
Los Angeles: The article also mentioned that Los Angeles, California saw just under 200,000 residents move out of the city. Births outweighed deaths, however Los Angeles saw the second largest drop in population across the U.S. in response to the first year of the pandemic.
Chicago: Schneider stated that in the greater Chicago, Illinois area, a little over 90,000 residents moved out of the city. Their births also outweighed deaths, but the increase was seen at a smaller rate than most other major U.S. cities.