New York Times — The Spike in Shootings During the Pandemic May Outlast the Virus

About 505 people were shot in New York City through May 9, the highest year-to-date number in a decade.

By Troy Closson
May 14, 2021

… Experts say the economic and physical strain of the virus, which disproportionately took lives and jobs from neighborhoods that were already struggling with high levels of gun violence, most likely drove the rise in shootings.

Those factors are not likely to subside soon, criminologists warn, and the spike may persist even as virus cases plummet. That in turn has stoked fears that gun violence will slow the city’s ability to bounce back from its long lockdown.

Restaurants, stores, offices, theaters and many other businesses and cultural institutions will be allowed to open fully May 19. But the cycles of violent retaliation fueled by individual shootings in recent months will be hard to break, said Jeffrey Butts, the director of the research and evaluation center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“That kind of motivation does not go away suddenly because the lockdown is over and people are going back to work in their offices,” Dr. Butts said. “That’s my big concern. This could be a generation that we have screwed up for some time. And I don’t know how long it will take to reverse that.”

[ read the article at NYT ]


New York Police Department investigators investigated a shooting in Brooklyn that killed a 1-year-old boy last summer as gun violence surged during the pandemic. Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times.