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Where Is the National Outrage Over Uvalde?

Almost 50 days later, attention is moving on, but officials still haven’t explained how police failed so badly.

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The murder of George Floyd altered public perceptions of law enforcement. We still don’t understand why the police reaction to the Uvalde tragedy went so horribly wrong, and it may have its own effects on policing and firearms.

Here are three brand-new pieces from The Atlantic, though, to start.

Unaccounted-for Failures

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Around this time two summers ago, citizens from all across the nation were demonstrating in the streets to denounce the shooting death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

A shooter at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 pupils and two instructors nearly two years to the day following Floyd’s passing. Thousands of victims’ families and allies marched in Uvalde over the last weekend. A lonelier demonstration took place. Already, the July 4 massacre in Highland Park, Illinois, has captured some of the nation’s attention. (To be honest, I had to double-check that I hadn’t missed any other significant mass shootings.)

Police played a significant role in both Floyd’s murder and the Uvalde massacre, though in very different ways. Everyone appears to agree that the police in Uvalde should have used force sooner but instead waited too long to do so after using excessive force in Minneapolis. These are extreme instances of a well-known dichotomy between overpolicing, which includes pretextual stops (when officers find an excuse to stop someone in the hopes of discovering a more serious offense) and harsh enforcement, and underpolicing, which makes the public feel abandoned by law enforcement.

Junior cops were found guilty in the Floyd case for failing to step in while Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck. In Uvalde, cops waited for a command for nearly 80 minutes before taking any action. According to experts, criminal charges in Uvalde are improbable because it is more difficult to prosecute cops for their inaction than it is to prosecute them for their actions, but civil lawsuits are still a possibility. Pete Arredondo, chief of the school district police, has resigned from his position on the city council and is on leave from his duties as a police officer, but he has not complied with calls for him to do so.

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Both cases are especially exceptional in that numerous other police officers have denounced what happened in them. The public still understands vanishingly little about why the police in Uvalde performed so terribly, despite the fact that nearly 50 days have gone since the massacre. However, as we have learned from other situations, civilians should be dubious of government accounts, particularly in the beginning. Officers were able to put the suspect in handcuffs and observed that he seemed to be in medical discomfort, according to the infamous first police report on Floyd’s death.

“I’m curious as to what took place. At this weekend’s march, Laura Morales, the aunt of a victim, stated to Texas Public Radio, “I want to know what was said. “I’m curious as to why there was a delay. What happened where?

Families have every right to be incensed, and so should the rest of the nation. However, as I’ve said, the police mistakes only tell a portion of the tale. Any reaction after the shooter started shooting would have been too late to save everyone. Beyond the bipartisan agreement Congress passed last month in reaction to the massacre, demonstrators advocated for tighter gun legislation during the march on Sunday.

The idea that no matter how many people say “Never again,” there will be another, most likely very soon, is one of the most dismal aspects of every mass shooting. Perhaps there is a glimmer of optimism in Floyd’s death’s aftermath. Similar to mass murders, disproportionate police use against Black individuals had been a problem for a while before the Floyd killing by Chauvin video sparked widespread outrage. Those demonstrations resulted in major reform requests, however they have since painfully stalled. That may indicate that the United States may eventually conclude that enough is enough when it comes to mass shootings.

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Related: News of the Day

The House January 6 committee held a hearing today that was primarily concerned with the connections between the Trump administration and radical organizations like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. It was also revealed that Trump had planned ahead to lead a march of supporters to the Capitol on January 6. Vladimir Putin will meet with the leaders of Iran and Turkey in Tehran the next week, according to the Kremlin, in an effort to garner greater economic and military backing for Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. More James Webb Space Telescope photos have been made available by NASA.

Nightly Dispatches Read

Can Mental Illness Be Healed? No, Says Two Centuries of Trying.

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Through Daphne Merkin

Since its inception, psychiatry has drawn skepticism, if not downright derision. The discipline had a hard time defining its techniques and goals even before Freud came up with his crazy ideas about infantile sexuality and repressed wishes to kill one’s father. Many people still consider psychiatry as incomplete, neither a science nor an art, dragged here and there by an ambiguous purview and shifting medical trends, more than two centuries after it first arose as a profession dedicated to the care—and hoped-for cure—of the mentally ill.

Read the entire piece.

More Culture Break Content from The Atlantic

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Read. Victor and Jacob Maymudes’ hybrid memoir-biography Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and Off the Tracks is an independent of Dylan’s creative output.

Alternatively, pick one more title from this list of seven novels that discuss the legacy that writers leave behind.

Ada Limón was also chosen the new poet laureate of the United States. Try one of her poems, then read Nicole Chung and Limón’s most recent exchange in I Have Notes.

Watch. Try something from our list of 20 TV shows for a short attention span after finishing The Bear (streaming on Hulu), and only after finishing.

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Play our crossword every day.

P.S. If you use the internet, you’ve definitely spent some time looking at the new James Webb Space Telescope’s initial photographs today. If you haven’t seen it, my colleague Marina Koren explains why they’re such a huge thing in her gallery, which is maintained by my colleague Alan Taylor. (Marina’s space reporting is so excellent, it even moves me, a renowned space hater.) While you’re taking things in, allow me to suggest a soundtrack by the legendary bandleader and composer Sun Ra. Sun Ra was once written off as an eccentric because of his extravagant stage attire and conviction that he was an alien from Saturn, but more lately his blend of traditional jazz, the avant-garde, and Afrofuturism has received the recognition it rightfully deserves. And who today can contest his ruling? The setting is space.

— This mail was made possible by David Isabel Fattal.

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