Leap on the Underpinnings of Increased Gun Violence

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap spoke to LAist about a recent increase in gun violence in South Los Angeles. Violent crime has spiked across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, and gang intervention workers have identified contributing factors including the economic and social stresses of the pandemic, distrust between the community and law enforcement in the wake of police shootings, social media and drugs. “It is not a law enforcement problem, it is a public safety problem,” Leap said. In an analysis of LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership program, Leap highlighted the jurisdictional challenges of violence intervention, where different parts of the same streets are monitored by different police departments. “This is multifaceted. The old ways of doing things are not going to work, and it’s never going to be solved by simply putting cops [in hotspots],” she said. “If anything, sometimes that heightens the issues.”


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