Crime in Los Angeles, California

Crime in Los Angeles, California

Infobox UCR
city_name=Los Angeles
year= 2008 to date (% change from 2007)
homicide=9.6 (+4%)
forcible_rape=18.9 (-14%)
robbery=310.2 (-8%)
aggravated_assault=302.4 (-6%)
violent_crime total=641.1 (-7%)
burglary=464.5 (-5%)
grand theft auto=545.9 (-8%)
BTFV=730.7 (-7%)
personal/other theft=647.8 (-6%)
property_crime total=2388.9 (-6%)
source_name=LAPD online citywide profile
notes=Year to date 2008 as of 07/05/08

Crime in Los Angeles has been a major problem in Southern California and concern for Angelenos since the early 20th century. Crime is down 8% since 2006 [] . Los Angeles is informally known as the "Gang Capital of the Nation".

In the city of Los Angeles, crime rates are currently decreasing. However while most cities in the L.A.-area have shown a constant decrease of criminal activities over the recent years, some, such as Lancaster, Palmdale and Long Beach [ Crime Statistics of Long Beach, CA] ] have shown some increase in crime in 2008.

In the first half of 2008, Los Angeles reports 198 homicides - which corresponds to a rate of 9.6 (per 100,000 population) - a major decrease from 1993, when the all time homicide rate of over 21.1 (per 100,000 population) was reported for the year. [ [ Crime Rates ] ] . This including 15 officer-involved shootings. One OIS led to a SWAT member's death, Randal Simmons, the first in LAPD's history.cite web
url =
title = Simmons, Randal
accessdate = 2008-07-09
work = LAPD

Chinese massacre of 1871

Zoot Suit Riots

Watts Riots

The riot began on August 11, 1965, in Watts, when Lee Minikus, a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer, pulled Marquette Frye over. Minikus believed Frye was intoxicated because of observing his driving which Minikus believed to be erratic. While police questioned Marquette Frye and his brother Ronald Frye, a group of people began to gather. The mob began to throw rocks and other objects and shout at the police officers. A struggle ensued shortly after Frye's mother, Rena, arrived on the scene, resulting in the arrest of all three family members.

As a result of the riots, 34 people were officially reported killed (28 of those were African American), 1,032 people were injured, and 4,000 people were arrested. Among the dead were a fireman, an L.A. County deputy sheriff and a Long Beach police officer. The injured included 773 civilians, 90 Los Angeles police officers, 136 firefighters, 10 national guardsmen, and 23 persons from other governmental agencies. 118 of those injured were injured by firearms.

Six-hundred buildings were damaged or destroyed, and an estimated $35 million in damage was caused. Most of the physical damage was confined to businesses that were said to have caused resentment in the neighborhood due to perceived unfairness. Homes were not attacked, although some caught fire due to proximity to other fires.

Hippie Riots

The crack epidemic

South Central became the site of many police raids. Previously unknown gangs were growing and new were emerging. The rap music genre, TV shows and movies portrayed that part of Los Angeles as a no-go zone and a highly violent area. In fact, neighborhoods outside notorious city parts such as South Central haven't experienced a big rise in crime and remained relatively safe. Fact|date=September 2008

1992 Riots

The 1992 Los Angeles riots, also known as the Rodney King uprising or the Rodney King riots, were sparked on April 29, 1992 when a predominately white jury acquitted four police officers accused in the videotaped violent and brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King when he resisted arrest following a high-speed car chase. King had a past and violent history of criminal convictions and drug use, which did not justify the police officer's beating, and thousands of blacks in the Los Angeles area joined in a race riot involving acts of law-breaking, including looting, assault, arson and murder, seeing in King an example of injustice against Blacks in the United States. The situation looked so grim that the California National Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps were called in. About 5 National Guardsmen were injured during the riots. Overall, 53 people died during the riots.

North Hollywood shootout

The North Hollywood shootout was an armed confrontation between two heavily-armed and armored bank robbers, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Matasareanu, and patrol and SWAT officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in North Hollywood, California on February 28, 1997. It happened when responding patrol officers engaged Phillips and Matasareanu leaving the robbed bank. Seventeen officers and civilians were wounded before both robbers were killed. Phillips and Matasareanu had previously robbed several banks prior to their attempt in North Hollywood and were notorious for their heavy armament, which included automatic assault rifles.


Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums, usually known as C.R.A.S.H., was a special unit of the Los Angeles Police Department established in the early 1970s to combat the rising problem of gangs in Los Angeles, California. Each of the 18 divisions had a C.R.A.S.H. unit whose primary goal was to suppress the influx of gang-related crimes in Los Angeles that came about primarily due to the increase in narcotics trade. C.R.A.S.H was also used in the popular game as an antagonist organization.

Rampart Scandal

The Rampart Scandal refers to widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (C.R.A.S.H.) anti-gang unit of the LAPD Rampart Division in the late 1990s. More than 70 police officers in the CRASH unit were implicated in misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence of these activities.

The Los Angeles May Day mêlée

South Central L.A.

South Los Angeles, more widely known as South Central Los Angeles is a notoriously dangerous region of the City of Los Angeles which has an extensive history of gang violence, as it gave birth to the Bloods, Crips, 38th Street gang, 18th Street gang, Florencia 13, Mara Salvatrucha and other dangerous gangs. Also, a majority of gang wars in Los Angeles take place there, as well as racial violence between African-Americans and Latinos. South Los Angeles has steadily declined in crime as crime has spread more throughout the Los Angeles County in the early 1990s.

South Central had become a byword for urban decay, its bad reputation spread by movies such as "Colors", "South Central", "Menace II Society", "Friday", and in particular, South Central native John Singleton's "Boyz N the Hood". The rap group N.W.A.'s album "Straight Outta Compton" and the video game "" also popularized South Central's bad image.


In 2006, the Morgan Quitno Corporation rated Compton as the most dangerous city in the United States with a population of 75,000 to 99,999, and fourth most dangerous overall. The city is notorious for gang violence, primarily caused by the Bloods, the Crips, and Hispanic gangs. Compton's violent reputation was popularized in the late 1980s by the rise to prominence of local gangsta rap groups Compton's Most Wanted and N.W.A., who released the famous album "Straight Outta Compton" in 1988. Since then, "Compton" has become a euphemism for anything ghetto-related or gang-related. A recent rapper from Compton to popularize the city's gang culture is The Game.

Compton has a homicide rate about eight times higher than the national average, most of which are gang killings. Economic conditions and Compton's location as the center of the South Los Angeles "ghettos" make crime prevention more difficult. Although crime rates had been falling for years after the crack epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s, Compton has in recent years witnessed spikes in the rate of violent crime.

Compton had 72 murders in 2005, which is a per capita rate significantly higher than the national average for small cities. Recently in an effort to combat this gun violence the Compton citizens were given the option to hand over their guns to the police, and receive a $100 voucher for various goods.cite web
url =,2933,179714,00.html
title = Angelenos Swap Guns for Gift Certificates
work = Associated Press
publisher = Fox News
date = 2005-12-25
accessdate = 2008-03-26
] During 2006, Compton has deployed twice as many sheriff deputies and the murder rate has decreased from 22 in four months, to just five. Like parts of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Compton is also a hot bed for racial violence between Blacks and Hispanics.

Skid Row

Skid Row is an area of Downtown Los Angeles. The area, officially known as Central City East, is home to one of the largest stable populations of homeless persons in the United States. Informal population estimates range from 7,000 to 8,000. First-time visitors to this area usually immediately see cardboard boxes and camping tents lining the sidewalks. According to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the official boundaries of skid row are Third and Seventh Streets to the north and south and Alameda and Main Streets to the east and west, respectively.


External links

* [ California Attorney General - Criminal Justice Statistics Center]

See also

*Downtown Los Angeles
*Los Angeles County Sheriff
*North Hollywood shootout
*List of California street gangs

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