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75 LA Murders in 2008
75 killings this year equal a 27% increase from this last year, but the LAPD says they are random and unrelated, according to KFWB News 980 on air. One of those include a murder this morning. There has been a 5% decline in violent crime overall and a 25% drop in gang-related homicides.
"Try telling that to the people I represent," said LA City Councilwoman Jan Perry in the Daily News report on gang violence. Perry represents part of Downtown and South LA, where 22 shootings have occurred in her district. "Crime may be down in some parts of the city."
Yesterday at a press conference in South LA, "Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton also sought to calm fears the violence has been racially motivated."
At that event, the Mayor said that some of the shootings and killings like the six people shot at a bus stop two weeks ago were "ordinary citizens minding their own business. What is unnerving for all of us is the random nature of these shootings."
Add in LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti: "We are seeing this all too often now. Thirteen deaths in one month. We have seen entire neighborhoods locked down. We have had to evacuate three schools."
Patt Morrison at the LA Times opines that government agencies, the city in this case, need to stop the funding shenaigans and to stop piecemealing programs around the city ("A boy is killed in the Valley; the city finds dough for an anti-gang program there. A baby is murdered in South L.A.; another wad of money for a different program"). Rather, centralize the effort as City Controller Laura Chick says. Morrison gives this one example from nine years ago where bureaucratic process wins over safety:
The council had OKd a $300,000 consultant to figure out whether LA Bridges was helping. When Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina's husband's company didn't get the job, he complained that he wasn't getting a fair shake because of "who I'm married to" -- and the council OKd $100,000 to start the process all over again. Does this look like kids' needs are No. 1?
Photo by guamafro via Flickr