Tensions Rising During Pandemic, Leap Says

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap was featured in an NBC News report about the rise in violent crime during the COVID-19 pandemic. After years of remaining steady, gun violence and homicide rates skyrocketed in 2020. Many experts point to tensions associated with the pandemic as the source of increased violence, including unemployment, health concerns and racial tension. People following stay-at-home orders have more idle time, and conflicts are more likely to escalate. “We’ve got people that are under tremendous strain, and quite honestly, sometimes people just snap,” Leap said. Many people are facing joblessness and economic insecurity, and these issues have been exacerbated by conflicts between police and communities of color. “People feel unsafe … because of the mixed picture we are getting of law enforcement that is based in fact, not fiction,” Leap explained. “All of these things contribute to heightened emotions and heightened violence.”

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