As social unrest swept across Los Angeles this month, police dispatchers were hit with a curious, if brief, trend.
Calls for service handled by officers — incidents ranging from loud parties and fireworks to domestic disputes and traffic stops — declined nearly by half during the two-week demonstration period. That means each day there were 2,000 fewer calls for police compared with the department’s typical workload, according to a Times analysis of dispatch data.
The timing of the dramatic drop in calls was unmistakable: It began on May 27, when protesters angry over the killing of George Floyd clashed with police in downtown Los Angeles and continued during the nearly two weeks of demonstrations. Police call levels returned to normal only around June 9, the day of Floyd’s funeral, the records show.
It’s unclear what precisely led to the drop in the roughly 5,000 calls that officers respond to each day. They fell in all police districts and among the most common types of cases, The Times analysis shows.
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