Los Angeles

LAPD Beefs Up Patrols in South LA Following Social Media Threats

As rumored threats of gang violence spread on social media, the Los Angeles Police Department said bolstering staffing in South Los Angeles resulted in a sharp decrease in gang-related crime.

On Tuesday, the 77th Street Division held a "Take Back the Night" event that brought police and community members together to celebrate a success in the face of deep concern.

On social media, #100Daysand100Nights was thought to be a pledge by those mourning the loss of street gang member last month to seek revenge on a rival gang.

"The interventionists, the clergy, all the community folks that we talked to, I think we had had two or three different emergency meetings within the community because of that hashtag," said LAPD Asst. Chief Jorge Villegas.

The LAPD redeployed anti-gang units from South Bureau and received help from elite Metro Division officers.

While there had been an uptick in gang crime, particularly in one weekend of mid-July, the extra deployment worked, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. He addressed the issue at Tuesday's meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission.

"The results were remarkable they virtually cut gang violence by ," Beck said. "The first week we cut gang violence by 75 percent in 77th Division over one week's time. Now, it took department-wide resources to do that."

The area covered by 77th Street Division leads the city in crime with 150 gang-related shootings this year, twice as many as last year. But Beck says the overall trend is promising.

"In the 1990s, gang violence was four times the level that it is today," he said.

About half of the city's homicides are attributed to gang warfare.

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