Compton experiences spike in homicides, all gang-related

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Compton city officials announced efforts Thursday to combat a recent spike in gang-related homicides.

This year, the city has had 22 slayings, all of which have been classified as gang-related by authorities, according to figures provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols Compton.

Last year, there were 21 killings, 15 of which were classified as gang-related.

Mayor Aja Brown said Compton, a city of about 100,000, is in the midst of a community emergency as violent crime has risen.

“It is our intent to take immediate action,” she said at a news conference on the steps of City Hall.

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The city has deployed five additional two-man patrol cars and Brown announced a community policing task force composed of community leaders and law enforcement.

Compton has seen its homicide rate decline since 2005, when there were 66 killings. Brown said she hopes the city will not revert back to those times and blamed part of the recent increase in violent crime to the state’s effort to relieve prison overcrowding, also known as realignment.

According to the sheriff’s department, the city is also seeing increases in aggravated assault, burglary and theft.

Sheriff Lee Baca, who also spoke at the news conference, said the issues will affect “quality of life” in Compton.

“We want to have a better strategy,” he said.

The most recent homicide in the city occurred just after 8 p.m. Aug. 23. Deputies found John Henry Davis in a driveway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. There were no witnesses to the shooting.

 

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