The number of San Francisco murders attributed to gangs in largely black areas has dropped by more than 50 percent so far this year from 2004, thanks in part to intervention by federal law enforcement, police officials said yesterday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Overall, the number of homicides dropped more than 20 percent in the first half of the year.
Deputy Chief Morris Tabak said efforts by city investigators and federal officials to identify the city’s most violent predators and subject them to federal prosecution were showing results. In 2005’s first six months, there were 41 homicides in San Francisco, 16 of them believed the result of gang disputes in African American areas. In the same period last year, there were 53 slayings, 36 of which were attributed to gangs in largely black neighborhoods. The most important factor in the decline, police say, is the effort to take violent criminals off the streets with the help of the federal “Trigger Lock” law, which provides for prison terms of 10 years or more for convicted felons caught with a gun. Last year, 77 defendants were referred for federal Trigger Lock prosecution. So far this year, police have referred 111 cases.