With violent crime rising in Los Angeles, the City Council Wednesday directed the police department to report back with a plan to address the increase.
“Violent crime increased dramatically in the city over 2020 from the previous year, with a significant upsurge in shootings and homicides as well as other types of violent crime,” the motion introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz reads. “For the first time since 2009, there were over 300 homicides in the city, and gun crimes are at levels not seen in years.”
On a 12-0 vote, with three members absent, the council directed the LAPD to provide an overview of the department’s plan to address the increase in violent crime.
The department several weeks ago reinstated “investigative stops” in South Los Angeles in response to the increase in shootings and homicides, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Officers in uniform will stop people or vehicles based on “information gleaned from crime alerts, real-time statistics and communication with the area commanding officers regarding the most recent crime trends,” Chief Michel Moore said.
The program was mostly halted in 2019 after The Times reported that officers stopped Black drivers at a rate of more than five times their share of Los Angeles’ population. Moore also said at the time that the stops were ineffective.
The Community Coalition, which seeks to transform social and economic conditions in South L.A., released a statement decrying the reinstatement of investigative stops.
“It’s been tried and it’s still truly ineffective, in addition to being an entryway to the harassment, abuse and murder of Black and Brown people in communities like South Los Angeles,” the statement reads. “It is extremely disappointing and infuriating to see the LAPD surreptitiously return to this criminalizing strategy of `investigative’ vehicle stops that’s been proven with concrete data time and again as largely ineffective and harmful to residents who’re pulled over under the guise of `reasonable suspicion.”’
The coalition maintains that the only way to address the increase in violence is to fund community intervention workers who have the trust of the community.
“We have people coming home from incarceration after years away with little to no support in a historic health and economic crisis,” the statement says. “This violence at its core is rooted in neglect and abandonment during a time of severe need.”
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