Los Angeles this summer recorded the fewest number of homicides in more than four decades, says the Los Angeles Times. June through August there were 84 homicides in Los Angeles — a level of relative calm not seen since the summer of 1967, when the city had 79 killings over the same period. Summer bloodshed in the city peaked in 1991, when there were 323 slayings during the same three months. The drop in homicides was part of a larger trend for a city that has seen a steady and significant decline in the number of violent crimes and property crimes in recent years.
Early this year, killings were up nearly 40 percent over last year. The surge came amid several high-profile, dramatic killings, adding to the widely held fear that the city’s run of falling crime rates had come to an end. Police Chief William Bratton has chafed at conventional wisdom and research that points to a link between killings and outside factors such as hot temperatures and a declining economy. “Unemployment is up, the economy is not that good in this city — a lot of the things that the so-called experts always predict will cause crimes to go up. But it’s not happening here,” Bratton said.