In January, the Los Angeles Police Department released the results of a new demographic analysis that reveals which groups of Los Angeles residents are most likely to end up the victims of a violent death in the city. According to the results, young men from minority, low-income neighborhoods suffer disproportionately from the impacts of deadly violence, which homicide detectives have known all too well. Over 90 percent of homicide victims in Los Angeles were black or Latino last year. Most of those homicide victims were poor and lacked college degrees. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who worked homicides for several years, stated,
I’ve been with the families. I’ve stood over the victims in the middle of the night and seen the tragedy, seen my kids’ faces in theirs, because these are primarily young men. It is a waste of a generation.
The analysis revealed the unfortunate fact that many homicides are committed by people who also fit the descriptions of the victims. Over half of the homicide victims last year were Latino, and the city’s population is about 49 percent Latino. About 36 percent of the homicide victims last year were black, and the city’s population is almost 8 percent black. About 90 percent of victims were male, and more than 60 percent were 35 or younger. It appears that the number of homicides is decreasing because for the eighth year in a row, the city had fewer than 300 homicides, which is almost four times less than in the 1990s. Hopefully, the homicides continue to decrease and public safety increases in the city.