A surge in crime in U.S. cities has experts pointing to a “perfect storm of distress” facing Americans – unemployment, a pandemic, and anger over racial inequality. Police officials argue the rise in violence is a consequence of reforms that keep officers from doing their jobs.
Still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and street protests over the police killing of George Floyd, exhausted cities around the nation are facing yet another challenge: a surge in shootings that has left dozens dead, including young children.
The spike defies easy explanation, experts say, pointing to the toxic mix of issues facing America in 2020: an unemployment rate not seen in a generation, a pandemic that has killed more than 130,000 people, stay-at-home orders, rising anger over police brutality, intense stress, even the weather.
“I think it’s just a perfect storm of distress in America,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after a weekend of bloodshed in her city.