In the middle of Monday’s meeting of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore at command level, Police Commissioner Dale Bonner, who was sitting behind closed doors, came up with a question.
Bonner looked at crime printouts and wasn’t sure if the percentages in red ink reflected the increase in 2020, when homicides and shootings were already high, or in 2019, before violence escalated in Los Angeles and cities across the country.
Moore made it clear: increases – including a 17% increase in homicides – were higher than the figures for 2020. Compared to 2019, Moore said, the increase was even more pronounced.
“They’re improving,” Moore said of the city’s murders. “Murders have risen by 17% and people will say, ‘Well, a lot of other cities are actually higher.’ But if we look at the two-year period, they have increased by 49%.
Every Monday, Moore convenes a small group on the 10th floor of downtown LAPD headquarters to learn about the latest trends in urban crime. The briefing gives Moore a better idea of where the department is progressing, he said, and where it is losing.
After a decade of success in reducing violent crimes such as murder and shooting, Moore and others in the room have noticed progress since last year fading, with more and more red ink on their printouts. The latest report, which Moore allowed The Times to observe, offered no delay.
Each commander enters the room – including Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmal, who oversees operations in the department’s four offices; Assistant Chief Robert Marino, who oversees special operations; and Moore’s Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief Daniel Randolph – received maps that break down crime by geographic area and over time. They also received statistics on crime that the ministry believes is linked to gangs, crime related to the homeless and crime related to domestic violence – three categories that have seen an increase in recent years.
At the top of their packages was a four-page document, “Talking Points,” the first line of which calculated the murders.
“Last week there were 10 murders compared to 3 in the same week last year,” it read.
At the bottom of the page were shooting statistics. Since the morning meeting, there have been 1,202 shooting victims this year, which is almost 20% more than 1007 at the same point in 2020 and almost 50% more than 802 at the same point in 2019.
There were 326 homicides and 277 last year. They included 72 cases in which the victim was homeless, 33% more than in 2020, and 35 cases in which the suspect was homeless.
Girmala noted that out of 10 murders last week, three were cases of domestic violence, reflecting a trend of concern to officials. By the end of September, the number of severe attacks between intimate partners had increased by 5.1%.
Between October 22 and 24, there were 13 shooting incidents in which 16 people were shot; three were killed, another sheet in the package showed. Of these incidents, seven occurred at the southern LAPD office, four at the central office, and one each at the Valley and West offices.
After the group reviewed the numbers, Bonner asked if there had been a shooting in the housing estates. covered by the Community Security Partnership program, in which officials get to know the communities in which they work and ensure a greater presence in collaboration with local leaders.
Moore sent the question to Deputy Chief Emadi Tingirides, who accompanied the video.
“We haven’t had any shooting incidents in the past week, boss,” Tingirides said.
Moore asked Tingirides about her plans for something he said last year was an important factor in the violence at the time: so-called “hooded days,” cultural gatherings, and homes organized by local gangs on the same day each year.
“The phenomenon is real,” Moore said. Tingirides agreed.
Tingirides said she would expect such meetings in several apartment buildings in the coming days, including Nickerson Gardens and Imperial Courts in Watts, Tingirides said, and her team was preparing to be on hand alongside police officers and violence workers and Ambassadors of Peace – including 11 a.m. to 4 a.m., when events are usually at their peak.
“We can get more than 300 to 500 individuals who don’t necessarily live in the community, but return to the community to often celebrate or mourn for those lost in the community, some because of gang violence,” Tingirides said. “Often there is a big problem with parking, racketeering, gambling, drinking. We have seen acts of violence focused on these identified gang neighborhoods. “
Bonner asked if they were consulting with community leaders about possible solutions, and Tingirides said yes. She said she had recently focused on coordinating with leaders rather than promoting police enforcement as a means of ensuring security at such events – and it seems to be working.
“This year has been much better than previous years, and I think that’s the message out there – that it’s a concerted effort; it’s not just that law enforcement is preventing or not understanding what’s going on in these communities in culture, ”Tingirides said.
“The key is not to force a way out of this,” Moore said. “The key is enrollment.”
Moore said the city’s housing administration and the mayor’s office for gang reduction and youth development will play a role in navigating over the next few months, with the goal of preventing gun violence.
The scale of this type of crime in LA is already too high this year.