2021 Violent Crime in Los Angeles Continues to Outpace Recent Years

The LAPD says an increase in murders and shootings continued through May.

LAPD police car
Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Investigates

The numbers of murders and shootings reported in the city of Los Angeles continue to outpace violent crime rates recorded in 2019 and 2020.

One hundred forty-one people have been murdered so far in 2021, a 22-percent increase over the same period in 2020. Six hundred people have been struck by gunfire in shootings in 2021, a 59-percent increase over this time last year.

“When we look at the underlying influences of that street violence...those involved with gangs continues to be the highest area of concentration,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the LA Police Commission Tuesday.

He said there was a 37-percent increase in 2021 in the number of murders attributed to street gangs, and said he believed the overall spikes in killings and shootings were also related to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not isolated just in Los Angeles,” Moore said. “It's across the county and major cities across the country. And in many instances, actually higher increases of that violence in those other parts of the country.”

While the overall crime rate showed a 6-percent decrease between Jan. 1 and the first week of June, that reduction was heavily weighted by fewer property crimes, which are far more frequent than violent crimes.

Moore said there was also an increase in the number of stolen cars in recent months.


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The LA County Sheriff’s Department reported 87 murders in its most recent public data release, which cut-off at the end of April, 2021. It reported 601 serious assaults with guns during that time, but it was unclear how many people were injured as a result.

The LAPD also published this week its review of use-of-force incidents that occurred in 2020. These include all of the times officers used their guns, batons, or other weapons during arrests. 

The department reported officers’ gunfire struck people 12 times in 2020, a 43-percent decrease from the number of police shootings in 2019. The report said in half of the shootings the person being confronted was armed with a firearm, and in all but one the person was armed with some kind of weapon.

The report said data was not yet available on whether or not the persons shot had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the shooting, and said none of those shot by officers in 2020 were considered homeless. 

Read the 197 page report here.

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