The homicide rate in California’s largest cities and counties climbed nearly 11 percent in 2002 while major crimes also rose 3.8 percent, says the state attorney general’s office. Although the homicide total was lower than at its peak in the early 1990s, there were 1,842 reported killings in 2002 – 179 more than during the year before.
Los Angeles’ homicide numbers rose 11.1% during 2002, with 653 killings – the most for any city in the nation. The surge was reflected in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, where the 135 killings were 25 percent above 2001, the Los Angeles Times reports.
There has been a downward trend this year, with 25 percent fewer homicides than in the same period in 2002, said Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton.