Downtown Has A Higher Rate Of Deadly Police Shootings Than Watts Or Compton
Although Sunday's shooting death of Charley Leundeu Keunang on Skid Row at the hands of the LAPD has made headlines this past week, it was actually the second fatal police shooting downtown this year, and it turns out it happens more often than you might think.
In light of Sunday's shooting, the L.A. Times' Homicide Report crunched the numbers and found that downtown Los Angeles has a high rate of fatal police shootings. Per 10,000 residents, downtown has seen a higher rate of people killed by police since 2000 than the notoriously violent neighborhoods of Watts, Compton, and Inglewood.
Since 2000, downtown has seen 3 police-related homicides per 10,000 people—five times the county average over the same period (0.61 per 10,000). As the post points out, the areas of downtown that government agencies, businesses, or anything area considered "trendy" (*cough* gentrified) are generally safe; the two fatal police shootings in the neighborhood this year were either in Skid Row or nearby.
The rate of fatal police shootings isn't necessarily correlated with the overall number of gun homicides in a given neighborhood. According to a study by criminologist Dave Klinger, police officers intentionally open fire at a lower rate in the most violent neighborhoods compared to moderately violent neighborhoods. He suggests that police that patrol those neighborhoods have a higher "tactical acumen" and that residents in heavily-patrolled areas are better at interacting with officers. "People who are used to dealing with the police might tend to take a less aggressive posture toward the police on average," he told the L.A. Times.
Despite the higher rate of fatal police shootings in downtown, Compton and Watts both have an overall higher homicide rate, with over 60 per 10,000 people—though downtown's isn't far behind with 55 per 10,000.