Police: ‘It’s our shared responsibility to stop this senseless violence’.
Gun violence in Los Angeles the past two weeks has resulted in 59 shooting victims, which was a striking comparison to the seven recorded during the same time period last year, authorities said on Saturday.
L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore, in a tweet, called attention to the recent surge in violence amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He said officers made 105 arrests of individuals with firearms and took 130 firearms from the city’s streets.
Moore said police are focused on gang intervention and appealed to community and elected officials.
The tweet came after the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) posted its own crime numbers on Friday, which echoed his feelings on the year’s violent start.
“2021 has seen a violent start—24 homicides & 68 shootings,” the LAPD HQ Twitter account wrote. “Both numbers more than doubled over the same time last year, with the 68 shootings being the highest year-to-date start in over 10 years.”
“It’s our shared responsibility to stop this senseless violence,” the department continued.
The LAPD on Sunday tweeted that homicides in South L.A. were up 150% compared to last year and that victims shot in the area were up 742%. The department called the crime stats “shocking.”
In November, the Los Angeles Times reported that the city was pushed into the 300-death mark for the first time since 2009.
L.A. recorded 253 homicides in 2019, and 260 in 2018, the paper reported.
Police officials attributed the rise in violence last year due to problems related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as economic struggles and virus-related restrictions on services and interventions.
The Los Angeles Times added that crime patterns “radically shifted” when the state issued its shutdown order in March.
In July, the Los Angeles City Council voted to slash the LAPD budget by $150 million in the wake of the death of George Floyd.