L.A. Homicides Up 20%

Homicides in the City of Los Angeles are up 20% from last year, according to a new report from Crosstown, which is affiliated with the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.

There were 239 murders between January and September of this year. During the same time period in 2019, 199 people were murdered. The overall crime rate fell by 9.7%, however.

Curtis Woodle, a retired Los Angeles police officer, told Crosstown that the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with police call outs in July played a significant role in the increased murder rate. The largest increase in homicides occurred in the Vermont Square area of South Los Angeles, which is known for heavy gang activity.

Police Chief Michel Moore expects Los Angeles to hit 300 homicides before the end of the year — a number the city hasn’t experienced since 2009. The increase in violent crime presents even more challenges for a department facing low morale and budget cuts.