On In Public Safety, Dr. Jarrod Sadulski of American Military University links it all together: “Sadly, 2020 was the deadliest year in United States history, primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. The year also included unprecedented civil unrest following the police shooting deaths of several Black Americans, massive job losses, and varying personal restrictions due to the deadly COVID-19 virus.”
“While there were no large-scale mass shootings last year,” he adds, “shooting incidents did increase dramatically. Time pointed out that there were more than 600 shootings in the United States in 2020 that involved four or more people shot in the same incident. That’s the most in the past five years and represents an increase of nearly 50% compared to 2019. According to the National Commission on Covid-19 and Criminal Justice, homicide rates increased 42% during the summer and 34% in the fall compared to the same seasons in 2019.
“The coronavirus pandemic has changed policing in terms of police interactions with their communities. To help reduce the spread of the disease, officers are less likely to patrol on foot in crowded areas where people gather. The pandemic, along with prior police recruitment challenges, has led to staffing shortages, which can negatively affect the police presence on the streets.”
So it all begins to fit together – virus and violence, and we probably haven’t seen the end of it.