Progressive-minded criminologists like Roman or Butts are boosters of community antiviolence intervention programs such as the Cure Violence model, in which more mature people from the neighborhood work as “violence interrupters” and seek to mediate disputes or defuse tensions before they get out of hand.
"We were already in a weakened condition when the pandemic hit -- class divisions, overt racism, partisanship, a really poor social support infrastructure -- so if you think about the effect of the pandemic on an 'epidemic' of shootings -- it's like the immune system of the United States was already suppressed," Jeffrey Butts, director of the research and evaluation center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told ABC News.
Investing in policing may reduce rates of victimization. But it does so at a price not captured in any fiscal budget: the needless deaths caused by trigger-happy officers; young Black men’s routine experience of harassment, discrimination, and/or nonlethal forms of police violence, and the physical and emotional toll of those experiences.
What has led to the historic rise in gun violence and what can be done about it? KGW Investigates spent the last two months talking to families, law enforcement officers, and community leaders to try and answer those questions. Everyone we spoke to agreed on two things: the pandemic has played a significant role and long-term solutions will require investment in communities.