19 people were shot last weekend in Los Angeles, and five were killed, as the city’s homicide rate continues to rise, despite a program instituted and championed by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to reduce crime in the city.
The Los Angeles Times reported that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck acknowledged that it had been a “very, very tough weekend” and that homicides had risen almost 11% in 2015. He added that gang-related crime was up roughly 15.6% from 2014.
Beck informed the weekly meeting of the Police Commission’s board that the majority of the shootings were triggered by gang violence.
Beck insisted that programs have been implemented to reduce violence: “This is not Dodge City. And unfortunately it looked a little too much like Dodge City this weekend.”
39 people were killed in Los Angeles in August, more than any month in six years.
Only last week, Garcetti protested that his crime-fighting strategies would eventually work, saying, “Strategies for turning around crime, one way or another, don’t happen in a period of weeks.” His plans, announced in his State of the City address in April, had included “nearly doubling the ranks” of “elite” police officers in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Metropolitan Division; expanding the police department’s Community Safety Partnership, which embedded police officers for five years at public housing developments; and upping funding for the city’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development program by $5.5 million.
Garcetti claimed, “These are sound strategies. We know they work. They’re just starting to come into play. And I will never assess that they are not working because crime might still be going up. I’m confident that it would be going up more without them. Strategies for turning around crime, one way or another, don’t happen in a period of weeks.”