Jooyoung Lee in London Free Press

Jooyoung Lee is a faculty member in Sociology, teaching at the St. George Campus. His research focuses on gun violence. He spoke with the London Free Press on Wednesday, February 1. The full article is available here. Below is an excerpt.

London police: More weapons seized, but lack of arrests in local gun incidents erodes confidence in cops, says prof

By Dale Carruthers, The London Free Press

As gun seizures more than doubled in London last year, police still haven’t made any arrests in a spate of shootings — including one homicide — that have plagued the city over the last half year.

One gun violence expert warns that unsolved shootings not only make citizens feel unsafe, but they also erode their confidence in police.

“When cases go unsolved, they also compound and add to people’s distrust of the police,” said Jooyoung Lee, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto.

“There’s a lack of faith that police can actually protect people and do their job.”

The unsolved shootings — all of them in the second half of 2016 — left one man dead and two others injured…

(part of the article omitted)
…But Lee says authorities can’t seize their way out of gun-violence problems.“Aside from seizing guns, which is a valuable measure, police also could reduce gun violence by working with community leaders and trying to repair the strained relations with communities that don’t trust them all the time,” said Lee, whose research focuses on street gang members and gunshot victims.

Witnesses to two of the recent London shootings, neither of whom wanted to be identified, said they didn’t fully co-operate with investigators, citing a distrust of police and fear of retribution.

Lee says marginalized communities, where gun violence is more prevalent, often adopt a moral code of not co-operating with authorities — something that police need to crack.

“It’s essential,” he said, “because police rely upon community members to solve cases and they rely on tips and information to do so.”

Read the full article.