‘Interrupting’ violence before it happens

Pittsburgh

Unauthorized violence

It’s a job that even with the best of intentions, I could never do:

Helmed by Richard Garland, director of the Violence Prevention Initiative at Pitt’s [the University of Pittsburgh] Center for Health Equity, the new initiative [the Healthy Village Learning Institute] seeks to address the violence in McKeesport by treating it as a disease – one that can be transmitted among a community and, with tireless effort and the right individuals involved, perhaps interrupted. Among the freshly minted crew of “interrupters” is [Keith] Murphy, who operates the Healthy Village as a “place of hope, health and healing,” and supervises the team’s day-to-day operations.[8]

It’s dubbed a “public health” approach and apparently it’s had enough success that people have experimented with it in a few places.[9]

Of course the only thing a bunch of people around Pittsburgh can think of, with their thin blue line signs and their thin blue line flags, is the police, white supremacist gangsters. But even if we ignore that any approach these gangsters may take to any given situation will be colored by their possession of and authority to use weapons as coercive authority, which inherently tend to escalate situations through the fear they inspire, these gangsters are reactive.

The Public Source article describing the Healthy Village Learning Institute program opens with an investigation of a shooting; white supremacist gangsters arrive after violence has already occurred and is indeed so much a part of the fabric of a community that it is nonchalantly expected. “Another shooting?” asks a driver passing by.[10] And that’s a major difference with the “public health” approach, which seeks to stop violence before it happens using people who have credibility within their communities, communities that face the problems often associated with poverty, with people within those communities who have turned their lives around.

Of course we can hope these programs like this succeed. My concern is with poverty, with its despair, its hopelessness, its frustration, as itself a cause of violence. We need to be meaningfully addressing that as well, but that would mean challenging the power relations of rich over poor, and you know we can’t have that.

Quinn Glabicki and Amelia Winger, “‘Change the narrative’: A new crew of ‘interrupters’ aims to curb the violence in McKeesport,” Public Source, August 15, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/gun-violence-prevention-pennsylvania/


Gilead

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

The impression I had of Merrick Garland as dithering[11] in the face of sometimes violent white Christian nationalist backlash[12] is confirmed in a Wall Street Journal article. Garland dithered for weeks over whether to authorize the search at Mar-a-Lago and is still dithering over whether to bring charges against Donald Trump.[13] In accepting responsibility for the decision to search Trump’s residence, Garland had said, “Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor.”[14] But this very much has the look of a man terrified of Trump and his supporters, of a man who can use the impending midterm elections as an excuse to dither further.

Jonathan Capehart, “Liz Cheney is the Obi-Wan to Trump’s Darth Vader,” Washington Post, August 8, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/08/liz-cheney-obi-wan-kenobi-trump-darth-vader/

Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, “Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate,” Associated Press, August 8, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-government-and-politics-9e8d683afe87389407950af7ccfdbdd6

Scott R. Anderson et al., “What We Do and Don’t Know About the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Search,” Lawfare, August 9, 2022, https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-we-do-and-dont-know-about-fbis-mar-lago-search

Devlin Barrett et al., “Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld items,” Washington Post, August 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/09/trump-fbi-search-mar-a-lago/

David Frum, “Stuck With Trump,” Atlantic, August 9, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/08/trump-fbi-mar-a-lago-search-republicans-loyalty/671084/

Julia Ioffe, “Defund… the F.B.I.?” Puck News, August 9, 2022, https://puck.news/defund-the-f-b-i/

Perry Stein, “Garland vowed to depoliticize Justice. Then the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago,” Washington Post, August 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/09/garland-trump-raid-politics/

Jan Murphy and Charles Thompson, “FBI delivers subpoenas to several Pa. Republican lawmakers: sources say,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, August 10, 2022, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2022/08/fbi-delivers-subpoenas-to-several-pa-republican-lawmakers-sources-say.html

Tina Nguyen, “‘The DeSantasy Is Over,’” Puck News, August 10, 2022, https://puck.news/the-desantasy-is-over/

Steve Peoples, “GOP rallies around Trump following FBI search of his estate,” Associated Press, August 10, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/gop-rallies-around-donald-trump-a0f20a219b1090fd02f529acf744f246

Amber Phillips, “What could the Mar-a-Lago search mean for Trump legally?” Washington Post, August 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/07/what-is-presidential-records-act-how-did-trump-violate-it/

Devlin Barrett et al., “FBI searched Trump’s home to look for nuclear documents and other items, sources say,” Washington Post, August 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/11/garland-trump-mar-a-lago/

Erik Larson, “Trump’s ‘Planted Evidence’ Claim Unlikely to Stand Up In Court,” Bloomberg, August 11, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-11/trump-s-planted-evidence-claim-unlikely-to-stand-up-in-court

Erin McCarthy, “Who is Rep. Scott Perry, the Trump ally from Pa. whose phone was seized by the FBI?” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 11, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/scott-perry-jan-6-trump-fbi-raid-20220811.html

Tara Palmeri, “The Trump Informant Guessing Game: Knives Are Out!” Puck News, August 11, 2022, https://puck.news/the-trump-informant-guessing-game-knives-are-out/

Steve Peoples, “Trump’s bond with GOP deepens after primary wins, FBI search,” Associated Press, August 11, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-wisconsin-donald-trump-marjorie-taylor-greene-b5c2ee83bb655c43e1deb9c46f2a6020

Andrew Solender, “Political threats spiral,” Axios, August 11, 2022, https://www.axios.com/2022/08/12/political-threats-spiral

Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent, “Merrick Garland’s surprise announcement calls the Trump-GOP bluff,” Washington Post, August 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/11/garland-announcement-trump-fbi-bluff/

Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, “Agents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago seized 11 sets of classified documents, court filing shows,” Washington Post, August 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/12/trump-warrant-release/

Alex Leary, Aruna Viswanatha, and Sadie Gurman, “FBI Recovered Eleven Sets of Classified Documents in Trump Search, Inventory Shows,” Washington Post, August 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-recovered-eleven-sets-of-classified-documents-in-trump-search-inventory-shows-11660324501

Lisa Rein, “Under fire, Homeland Security watchdog delays probe — with GOP help,” Washington Post, August 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/12/joseph-cuffari-homeland-security-watchdog-investigation/

Betsy Woodruff Swan, Kyle Cheney, and Nicholas Wu, “FBI search warrant shows Trump under investigation for potential obstruction of justice, Espionage Act violations,” Politico, August 12, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/12/search-warrant-shows-trump-under-investigation-for-potential-obstruction-of-justice-espionage-act-violations-00051507

Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, “Trump calls for ‘immediate’ release of Mar-a-Lago warrant,” Associated Press, August 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-search-unsealing-the-warrant-5e00a3e6728cd77daa0d2180d078fcb6

Clyde Hughes, “Rep. Greene files articles of impeachment against Attorney General Garland,” United Press International, August 13, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/08/13/-Marjorie-Taylor-Greene-articles-impeachment-Merrick-Garland-Attorney-General/4231660394406/

Arwa Mahdawi, “The Mar-a-Lago search prompts a big question: who snitched?” Guardian, August 13, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/13/mar-a-lago-search-ivanka-trump-week-in-patriarchy

Renato Mariotti, “Espionage Isn’t the Strongest Case Against Trump. It’s Simpler Than That,” Politico, August 14, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/08/14/trump-classified-documents-doj-opinion-00051584

Marcy Wheeler, “Trump's Timid (Non-Legal) Complaints about Attorney-Client Privilege,” Empty Wheel, August 14, 2022, https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/08/14/trump-claims-the-ssa-receipt-includes-privileged-materials/

Sadie Gurman and Aruna Viswanatha, “Merrick Garland Weighed Search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago for Weeks,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/merrick-garland-weighed-search-of-trumps-mar-a-lago-for-weeks-11660601292

Tom Hamburger and Eugene Scott, “Giuliani is target in Ga. criminal probe of 2020 election, lawyer says,” Washington Post, August 15, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/15/trump-2020-election-georgia-investigation/

Eugene Scott, “Graham must testify in Ga. probe of effort to overturn 2020 election, judge rules,” Washington Post, August 15, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/15/trump-2020-election-georgia-investigation/


  1. [8]Quinn Glabicki and Amelia Winger, “‘Change the narrative’: A new crew of ‘interrupters’ aims to curb the violence in McKeesport,” Public Source, August 15, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/gun-violence-prevention-pennsylvania/
  2. [9]Quinn Glabicki and Amelia Winger, “‘Change the narrative’: A new crew of ‘interrupters’ aims to curb the violence in McKeesport,” Public Source, August 15, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/gun-violence-prevention-pennsylvania/
  3. [10]Quinn Glabicki and Amelia Winger, “‘Change the narrative’: A new crew of ‘interrupters’ aims to curb the violence in McKeesport,” Public Source, August 15, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/gun-violence-prevention-pennsylvania/
  4. [11]David Benfell, “In Alice’s Wonderland, or, rather, its Gilead equivalent, a bluff is not a bluff,” Not Housebroken, August 16, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/12/in-alices-wonderland-or-rather-its-gilead-equivalent-a-bluff-is-not-a-bluff/
  5. [12]Farnoush Amiri and Michael Balsamo, “Jan. 6 panel puts Garland in ‘precarious’ spot, ups pressure,” Associated Press, April 1, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/capitol-siege-merrick-garland-donald-trump-f70143880cb9be8a0610edcad1ed18e8; Andrew Solender, “Political threats spiral,” Axios, August 11, 2022, https://www.axios.com/2022/08/12/political-threats-spiral
  6. [13]Sadie Gurman and Aruna Viswanatha, “Merrick Garland Weighed Search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago for Weeks,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/merrick-garland-weighed-search-of-trumps-mar-a-lago-for-weeks-11660601292
  7. [14]Devlin Barrett et al., “FBI searched Trump’s home to look for nuclear documents and other items, sources say,” Washington Post, August 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/11/garland-trump-mar-a-lago/

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