LOS ANGELES (AP) – Homicides are up nearly 11 percent this year and Los Angeles is looking “a little too much like Dodge City” following a weekend with five fatal shootings, Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.
Beck told the Police Commission’s weekly meeting that 19 people were shot between Friday and Monday in a spate of gang-related violence.
Gang crime is up more than 15 percent this year compared with 2014, the chief said.
August was the deadliest month in six years, with 39 people killed, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/1VqiP9v ). In response, the LAPD deployed additional officers into the hardest-hit neighborhoods and reached out to residents, asking for their help.
After the meeting, Beck told reporters that the city had the right strategies in place to curb gang violence: a mix of intervention and prevention efforts, youth outreach and officers focused on gang suppression. But he also called on the community to say “enough is enough.”
Four killings this weekend occurred within a 24-hour period in the LAPD’s South Bureau, which covers South Los Angeles, the newspaper said.
“This is not Dodge City,” Beck said. “And unfortunately it looked a little too much like Dodge City this weekend.”
Last week Mayor Eric Garcetti defended the city’s crime-fighting strategies, which involve deploying hundreds of additional elite police officers into troubled neighborhoods and increasing funding for gang-intervention programs. The mayor said he was confident those efforts had prevented an even sharper rise in violence, according to the Times.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.