Tags: Coronavirus | guns | murders | pandemic | homicide | oakland | cities

Pandemic Blamed for Increase in Murders

nypd officer wearing a face mask
(Bryan R. Smith/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 29 October 2020 02:26 PM

Murders have surged in American cities, where economies have been ravaged by the pandemic.

The New York Times reported Oakland, California, has seen a jump in gun violence, including six killings of juveniles since June. Los Angeles is set to have more than 300 homicides this year — the first time since 2009. Kansas City, Missouri, and Indianapolis are both setting records for the number of killings in a single year. And Philadelphia has recorded 404 killings this year — a jump of more than 40% over the same period in 2019.

“Because the stresses of the pandemic are everywhere, you are seeing this everywhere,” said Jeff Asher, a crime analyst in New Orleans.

Experts told the newspaper that the jump in the murder rate is a result of the impact of COVID-19.

They point to the impact the coronavirus has had on everything from mental health to policing in a time of social distancing. The newspaper said fewer officers are able to perform up-close-and-personal community outreach work that in normal times has helped curb violence. 

In Oakland, Guillermo Cespedes, the chief of the city’s Violence Prevention Administration, finds it all hard to believe.

“Right before Oakland, I was working in Central America,” Cespedes said. “And this feels more difficult. I’ve been in this field 42 years and I’ve never lived through something like this.”

A study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, estimated that 110,000 people in California have purchased guns because they feared the destabilizing effects of the pandemic.

Meanwhile a Rasmussen poll in August found support for stricter gun regulations has dropped by 12% this year.

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Murders have surged in American cities, where economies have been ravaged by the pandemic. The New York Times reported Oakland, California, has seen a jump in gun violence, including six killings of juveniles since June. Los Angeles is set to have more than 300 homicides...
guns, murders, pandemic, homicide, oakland, cities
269
2020-26-29
Thursday, 29 October 2020 02:26 PM
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