A bloody Fourth of July weekend that left a dozen people dead across Los Angeles accelerated an already troubling increase in homicides and shootings in 2021, with some of the city’s poorest communities suffering the heaviest toll.
Homicides are up 25% so far this year across Los Angeles, although the brunt of the increase has been felt in South Los Angeles, where killings have jumped 50% over the same time last year.
Shootings citywide, meanwhile, have spiked by half this year. Police and community activists are bracing for tough months ahead as the summer traditionally brings with it a rise in bloodshed.
Like with the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in violence has not been spread evenly in Los Angeles. Watts, Westmont, downtown Los Angeles, Westlake and other largely poor neighborhoods have endured much of the upheaval, though there have been some exceptions. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire division had recorded no homicides this time last year. It now has at least 10.
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