Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped drive gun violence and increase killings in the city this year, including by spurring economic despair and interpersonal dramas while undercutting efforts to interrupt cycles of retaliation.
“What we’re sensing is a lot of stress, a lot of communities that are on edge, a certain amount of depression,” Moore said during a morning meeting of the civilian Police Commission.
In addition to serving as an emotional and economic wrecking ball, the pandemic, Moore said, has shifted nighttime gatherings away from traditional settings such as clubs and bars into neighborhoods and party houses, which have become a “fertile bed for some type of spontaneous violence.”
He also said that pandemic-related rules barring visitors from local hospitals have prevented trained violence intervention workers from visiting the bedsides of surviving shooting victims — eliminating the opportunity to provide resources and emotional support, address their anger and help prevent retaliatory violence on the streets.
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