Inside an LAPD crime briefing on the rise in violence

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Amid the command-level crime briefing from Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore on Monday, Police Commissioner Dale Bonner – who was attending the closed-door meeting – responded with a question.

Bonner was examining the printouts of the crime numbers and was unsure whether the red ink percentages reflected increases from 2020, when murders and shootings were already high, or 2019, before violence escalated in arrow in Los Angeles and cities across the country.

Moore was clear: The increases – including a 17% increase in homicides – were higher than the 2020 figures. Compared to 2019, Moore said, the rise was even more pronounced.

“They make it worse,” Moore said of the town murders. “Homicides are up 17% and people will say, ‘Well, a lot of other cities are actually higher. But when you look over a two-year period, they’re up 49%.

Every Monday, Moore convenes a small group on the 10th floor of the LAPD headquarters in downtown to review the latest trends in urban crime. The briefing gives Moore a better idea of ​​the department’s progress, he said, and where it is losing ground.

LAPD chief Michel Moore, left, holds his weekly crime briefing with command staff on Monday.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

After a decade of success in tackling violent crimes like murder and shootings, Moore and the others in the room have seen the progress fade since last year, with more and more red ink on their faces. impressions. The latest briefing, which Moore allowed The Times to observe, offered no reprieve.

Entering the room, each commander – including Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala, who oversees operations in the department’s four offices; Deputy Chief Robert Marino, who oversees special operations; and Moore’s Chief of Staff Deputy Chief Daniel Randolph – received tables breaking down crime by geographic area and over time. They also obtained statistics on crime the department found to be gang related, homeless population crime, and domestic violence crime – three categories that have seen an increase in recent years.

Above their packages was a four-page “Talking Points” document, the first line of which calculated the killings.

“There were 10 homicides last week against 3 for the same week last year”, we can read.

At the bottom of the page were statistics on the shootings. There had been 1,202 shooting fatalities this year at the morning briefing, an increase of almost 20% from 1,007 at the same time in 2020 and almost 50% from 802 at the same time in 2019.

There had been 326 homicides, up from 277 last year. They included 72 cases in which the victim was homeless – a 33% increase from 2020 – and 35 in which the suspect was homeless.

Of the 10 homicides the week before, Girmala noted, three were cases of domestic violence, reflecting a trend that worries authorities. At the end of September, aggravated assaults between intimate partners were up 5.1%.

Between October 22 and 24, there were 13 shootings in which 16 people were shot; three of them were killed, as shown on another sheet of the package. Of these incidents, seven occurred in the south office of the LAPD, four in the central office and one in each of the valley and west offices.

After the group went through the numbers, Bonner asked if any of the shootings took place in housing estates covered by the ministry’s Community Safety Partnership program, in which officers get to know the communities in which they are. work and ensure an increased presence in coordination with local leaders.

Los Angeles Police Commissioner Dale Bonner

Los Angeles Police Commissioner Dale Bonner speaks during the crime briefing.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Moore posed the question to Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides, who was connecting via video.

“We haven’t had any shooting incidents over the past week, Chief,” Tingirides said.

Moore asked Tingirides about his plans for something he said was a major contributor to violence around the same time last year: the so-called ‘neighborhood days’, cultural gatherings, and reunions that local gangs have. hold the same day every year.

“The phenomenon is real,” Moore said. The Tingirides accepted.

Many residential complexes, including Nickerson Gardens and Imperial Courts in Watts, are expected to attend such gatherings in the coming days, Tingirides said, and his team were preparing to be alongside mounted officers, response officers. Against Violence and Peace Ambassadors, including 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., when events typically peak in size.

“We can get up to 300 to 500 people who don’t necessarily live in the community but often come back to the community to celebrate or often mourn those who have been lost in the community, some due to gang violence,” Tingirides said. “Often there is a huge problem with parking, loitering, gambling, alcohol. We have seen acts of violence centered around these identified gang neighborhood days. “

Bonner asked if community leaders were being consulted on possible solutions, and Tingirides said yes. She said she had recently focused on coordinating with leaders rather than law enforcement to the police as a means of ensuring safety during such events – and it seems to be working.

“This year has been a lot better than previous years, and I think it’s because that message is there – it’s a coordinated effort; it’s not just law enforcement that prevents or doesn’t understand what’s going on culturally in these communities, ”Tingirides said.

“The key is we don’t apply our way out of this,” Moore said. “The key is membership.

Moore said the municipal housing authority and the mayor’s office for gang reduction and youth development will play a role in the navigation over the next two months, in a bid to prevent gun violence.

The volume of such crimes in Los Angeles this year is already too high.


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