Progressive Briefing for Wednesday, August 29

Hurricane Maria caused 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico, California joins nine other states and enacts trio of gun control bills that affect domestic violence offenders and more.

Image Credit: ABC News

Hurricane Maria caused 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico, independent study estimates

Independent researchers from George Washington University have estimated that Hurricane Maria caused 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico in the six months following the storm.

The researchers’ findings had been long-awaited. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló commissioned the independent study in February, after months of public pressure over his administration’s failure to adequately count the number of hurricane dead. At the time, he said the research team would have the Puerto Rican government’s full cooperation, including access to all mortality data.

As a result of Maria, researchers estimate 22 percent more people died during those six months than would have had the hurricane not struck. They also said those most at risk for death were poor people and the elderly.

California joins nine other states and passes trio of gun control bills that affect domestic violence offenders

It will soon be impossible for people with domestic violence convictions to legally purchase a gun in California. The Democratic-controlled legislature passed a new gun control bill that will place a lifetime ban on owning firearms for domestic violence offenders along with two other measures in the trio that now awaits approval from Gov. Jerry Brown.

Coming just days after a fatal shooting took place at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, the other two measure will place “a lifetime ban on people placed on involuntary psychiatric holds twice in one year and new standard for residents to obtain a concealed weapon permit (eight hours of training and pass a live-fire shooting test),” ThinkProgress reported.

Family of innocent man awarded $14.35M settlement after deputies fatally shot him

In a case of mistaken identity, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputies were responsible for fatally shooting an innocent man attempting to flee an active crime scene with his family. On Monday, the family’s attorney announced that Los Angeles County had settled their negligence lawsuit for $14.35 million.

On August 1, 2014, LASD deputies arrived at a residence in Pico Rivera to arrest Cedric Ramirez, 24, for parole violations, including being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent. According to an LASD press release, Ramirez fled on foot in an attempt to evade the deputies.

Andrew Gillum’s stunning victory sets up an epic Governor’s race in Florida

Andrew Gillum won Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday with a remarkable grassroots campaign that highlighted his record as the bold young mayor of Tallahassee who “developed a thriving innovation economy, beat the gun lobby in court to protect common-sense reform and stood up to President Trump and Governor Rick Scott to defend immigrants.”

Gillum welcomed the support of Color of Change, Indivisible, Democracy for America, Our Revolution, the Working Families Party, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Women’s March Florida, National Nurses Union, NextGen America, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and other local, state, and national progressive groups. The candidate, who marched with Parkland students and rallied for gun safety, celebrated the fact that he was a “Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate of Distinction.” He proudly campaigned with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at his side.


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