Leap Sees Violence Exacerbated by Pandemic

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap was featured in a Los Angeles Times article about the disproportionate rise in homicides targeting Latino and Black victims. “It speaks to the two Los Angeleses,” said Leap, pointing to the significant disparities in public safety across the city. Communities of color have been disproportionately burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an increase in drug disputes and violence, she said. “Drug dealing is not a peaceful endeavor,” Leap said, and the violence it spawns has been “exacerbated literally by hunger, by worse poverty, by people not having enough money, by people being desperate.” Furthermore, many programs aimed at reducing gang activity and violence were put on hold during the pandemic. Leap explained that people who had relied on such programs were driven into a spiral of despair by their collapse, and she predicted that the increased violence will only stop once those programs are back in place.

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