Los Angeles: Police Chief William Bratton highlighted 20 of the most prominent arrests and convictions for murder during a news conference this afternoon.
“While we hear and read about local murders when they happen, few people hear about the arrests,” said Chief Bratton. “These 20 men represent twenty arrests for murders committed since the year 2001.”
Seven hundred forty-two murders were committed in South Los Angeles in the three years between 2003 and June 3, 2006. Of those crimes, 255 were cleared by arrest. Of those arrests, 95 cases ended in convictions.
The twenty men’s sentences totaled over 800 years in State prison. The average age of the 20 men was 22 years. The oldest defendant was 32 years old at the time of his crime and the youngest was only 16 years old. Two of the defendants received life sentences without the possibility of parole. Thirteen others received indeterminate life sentences. None of the juries voted for a death penalty.
South Los Angeles makes up 13 percent of the city’s area, but the homicide rate last year was nearly 43 percent of all the city’s homicides.
So far this year, the homicide rate is down nearly 20 percent compared to last year. Homicides are done nearly 11 percent citywide.
Detectives also displayed over 400 guns, all seized in the first four months of this year in just two divisions, Southeast and 77th Street.
“For everyone of these guns taken off the street, a potential life is saved,” said Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger. “We need the public to know how important it is to turn in guns and the people who misuse them.”
Chief Bratton and the other participants encouraged the public to work with the police to identify suspects and solve crimes. “For most violent crimes that occur, there are several people who know the perpetrator,” Chief Bratton added. “We need those people to come forward to solve more crimes.”
Anyone with information on a crime is urged to call the LAPD’s 24-hour toll-free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855). Callers can remain anonymous.