Leap on Factors Fueling Spike in Violent Crime in L.A.

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap spoke to KPCC’s AirTalk about factors fueling a rise in violent crime in Los Angeles. In the wake of COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd and economic uncertainty that has put food and shelter at risk for many, “the bottom line is people feel out of control,” Leap said. “And some people who feel out of control act out of control.” A sense of hopelessness, combined with the proliferation of lethal weapons in the United States, has led to a high death count that has had a devastating impact on women and children in particular, with trauma reverberating through years, if not decades, she said. Leap said she hopes the upcoming Los Angeles mayor’s race puts pressure on leaders to come up with innovative approaches to public safety, such as expanding gang intervention and community outreach. “This is really an all-hands-on-deck problem,” she said. 

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