Violence spikes in Providence

Back in May, I wrote:

In contrast to the simplistic rhetoric of tough-on-crime politics, Providence is demonstrating how complex solutions can help to ameliorate complex problems.
Now, the big question is whether the city can sustain its success in having reduced violence — and for how long.

We know now the answer. As Bill Malinowski writes in today's ProJo, Providence has been marked by a burst of shootings, predominantly in the poor neighborhoods most affected by the illegal drug trade:

In terms of violence, the Providence police say August has been the worst month in at least five years.

A review of the gunfire by The Providence Journal reveals that since Aug. 1, there have been at least 26 shootings in the city that have been reported to the police. During that span, 20 people have been shot and 2 people, including Lucky Rodriguez, have been killed. The police have yet to make an arrest in the latest homicide.

The total number of shootings for August has accounted for more than half of the shootings in the city this year. In the previous seven months, 19 shootings were reported to the police.

“It kind of reminds me of 30 years ago, when there were a lot of mob shootings,” said City Council President Peter Mancini.

None of this is particularly surprising. The best efforts of police and their allies can only do so much in squelching violence. The situation speaks mostly to how we as Americans collectively tolerate things in poor neighborhoods that would never fly in more affluent ones.

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