Gun violence is on the rise in New York City. By the end of July, there had been more shootings in 2020 than in all of 2019. Shootings have risen in other metropolises, too, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Houston.
Several theories have been advanced about why. Experts on crime say the coronavirus outbreak has deepened the endemic problems that often underlie gun violence, including poverty, unemployment, housing instability and hunger.
Police leaders also cite budget cuts and a political climate that has made officers reluctant to carry out arrests because of what they see as unfair scrutiny of their conduct.
Today, we look at how the various diagnoses could influence activists’ calls for the police to be defunded.
Ashley Southall contributed reporting.
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