LAPD Analysis Shows Homicide Victims Are Overwhelmingly Young, Nonwhite and Poor

Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2018

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In Los Angeles last year, more than 90% of homicide victims were black or Latino, the analysis found. Most were poor and lacked college degrees.

Many homicides are committed by people who also fit those descriptions, according to the analysis.

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For the eighth year in a row, the city had fewer than 300 homicides, nearly four times less than in the 1990s.

Then, [Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie] Beck’s presentation turned to the victims.

“I’ve been with the families. I’ve stood over the victims in the middle of the night and seen the tragedy, seen my kids’ faces in theirs, because these are primarily young men,” said Beck, who worked homicides for years. “It is a waste of a generation.”

About 8% of Los Angeles’ population is black, but 36% of homicide victims last year were black.

Slightly more than half of homicide victims were Latino, and the city is about 49% Latino.

Whites, who make up 29% of Los Angeles’ population, comprised 5% of homicide victims. Asians make up 11% of the population but 1% of victims.

About 90% of victims were male, and more than 60% were 35 or younger.

Fewer than 4% of victims had some college education, and about two-thirds had household incomes of $25,000 or less. Of the 282 people murdered last year, 44 were homeless.

James Jones Jr., who is known in South Los Angeles as Pastor J.J., said the numbers were not surprising, considering the long-term “inequity and imbalance” that exists in the city.

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In Harvard Park, one of South Los Angeles’ most violent neighborhoods, the LAPD launched an intensive community policing program in September. Officials credit the program, called Community Safety Partnership, with reducing homicides in the city’s public housing developments.

Last year, there were three homicides in housing developments with CSP programs, compared with 11 in 2010. Nickerson Gardens and Jordan Downs did not have any homicides last year.

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