Gun violence and community trauma in the Covid-19 pandemic

Philadelphia has been in a gun violence crisis for a long time, but the number of shootings in the city since the beginning of the pandemic is staggeringly high.

Listen 49:15
Philadelphia 3rd District Councilmember Jamie Gauthier speaks from a podium at a press conference, with elected officials behind her

Philadelphia 3rd District Councilmember Jamie Gauthier led a press conference of officials and community leaders demanding Mayor Jim Kenney declare a gun violence emergency on July 22, 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s gun violence rate has remained at an alarming level for decades, but a recent study showed incidents nearly doubling since the city first implemented Covid-19 restrictions in March 2020.  JESSICA BEARD, the Temple University Hospital surgeon and researcher who led the study, joins us to discuss her findings, plus her thoughts on the connection between the pandemic, poverty and violence. Councilmember JAMIE GAUTHIER also joins the hour to talk about gun violence in her district and the ongoing crisis she’s been so vocal about. Alongside them, we hear from ARTURO ZINNY, Program Director of Healing Hurt People at the Center for Non-Violence and Social Justice at Drexel University, about the cycle of trauma victims face every day.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal