Attack at YouTube HQ Points to Rise in Workplace Homicides

The Takeaway

Here's what you'll find on today's show:

— On Tuesday afternoon, a disgruntled blogger forced her way into YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, and fired at employees before committing suicide. The incident follows a spate of mass shootings around the country. But it also points to a troubling trend, a rise in the number of workplace homicides across the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 500 workplace killings in 2016. That's up from 409 in 2014. While many of these murders represent violent acts like robberies, a significant portion are tallied from embittered current or former employees.

— Police shot and killed a black man holding a metal object believed to be a gun in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Wednesday afternoon. Saheed Vassell, 34, had bipolar disorder and was well known in the community. According to the New York Police Department, three different 911 callers reported seeing Vassell waving what they described as "a silver firearm." Four police officers arrived at the scene, three in street clothes and one in police uniform, and fired 10 bullets. It was later discovered that Vassell was holding a metal pipe, not a gun. The shooting drew angry residents who gathered in the streets of Crown Heights, demanding answers from police. 

— The federal trial of Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen, and Gavin Wright, three members of a local militia in Kansas, is now in its third week. The men stand accused of conspiring to bomb a building in Garden City, Kansas, that housed members of a Somali refugee community. They were arrested in October of 2016 after a months-long investigation by the F.B.I. Defense attorneys for the men aren’t arguing that their clients didn’t harbor anti-Muslim feelings or take part in the terrorist plot. Instead, they contend that the F.B.I. and its undercover informant went too far in goading the men to target the local Somali population.

— In the hours and days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., violence broke out in some 130 cities across America. But amidst the chaos and rioting, there was an oasis of relative peace in Boston. Many attribute that to the "Godfather of Soul," singer and songwriter James Brown. The evening after King’s murder, 50 years ago tonight, Brown performed a concert in Boston and used his platform to soothe the raw tensions that were festering nationwide.