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America's Crime Surge: Why Violence Is Rising, And Solutions To Fix It

A police officer holds a firearm as community members gather on June 6 in Minneapolis, for Winston Boogie Smith Jr., who was fatally shot by members of a U.S. Marshals task force several days earlier. (Christian Monterrosa/AP Photo)
A police officer holds a firearm as community members gather on June 6 in Minneapolis, for Winston Boogie Smith Jr., who was fatally shot by members of a U.S. Marshals task force several days earlier. (Christian Monterrosa/AP Photo)

The homicide rate in some large cities rose by 30% last year. The violence shows no signs of slowing down. We take a look at what’s behind the sudden spike, and solutions that could reverse the trend.  

Guests

Patrick Sharkey, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University. Founder of AmericanViolence.org. Author of “Uneasy Peace.”

Eddie Bocanegra, senior director of the Rapid Employment and Development Initiative (READI) Chicago at the Heartland Alliance. (@heartlandhelps)

Also Featured

Lawanda Finney, founder of Save Our Sons, Drop The Guns in Shreveport, Louisiana.

J.W. Matt Hennessee, pastor at the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. (@JWMattHennessee)

From The Reading List

The Atlantic: “Why America’s Great Crime Decline Is Over” — “Americans are experiencing a crime wave unlike anything we’ve seen this century. After decades of decline, shootings have surged in the past few years.”

Chicago Sun-Times: “‘Our kids are becoming extinct’: Chicago children are being killed by guns at far faster rate than years past” — “Children in Chicago are dying from gun violence at a rate three times higher than last year, according to a Sun-Times analysis.”

New York Times: “With Homicides Rising, Cities Brace for a Violent Summer” — “The upbeat mood at an album release party at El Mula Banquet Hall in Miami-Dade County was shattered when three men in ski masks jumped out of a stolen white Nissan S.U.V. and fired randomly into the crowd early Sunday.”

Washington Post: “Officials worry the rise in violent crime portends a bloody summer: ‘It’s trauma on top of trauma’” — “The mayor of Albany never expected to spend her days attending funerals and comforting the families of those killed and injured in a spate of alarming gun violence she finds hard to explain.”

The Guardian: “US saw estimated 4,000 extra murders in 2020 amid surge in daily gun violence” — “For exactly a year during the pandemic, the United States did not see a single high-profile public mass shooting. But a surge in daily gun violence contributed to an estimated 4,000 additional murders throughout 2020, in what experts warn will probably be the worst single-year increase in murders on record.”

TIME: “As Shootings Continue to Surge in 2021, Americans Set to Face a Summer Plagued by Gun Violence” — “In the year and a half since the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset, gun violence has skyrocketed across the U.S., even with nationwide lockdown procedures, social distancing mandates and attempts to limit interactions between individuals.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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