A previously unknown issue has come to light with the increase of the homeless population in Los Angeles County: Homicide. While only 1% of the city’s population lives on the streets or in shelters, homeless people accounted for about 17% of its homicide victims during 2019.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department’s latest numbers, 42 unhoused people have been the victim of homicide in 2019. That’s up from 39 in 2018, 29 in 2017 and 22 in 2016, even as the overall number of homicides has decreased in recent years; showing an alarming trend of an increase in the homeless homicide rate in Los Angeles.
People who live outdoors “are the most vulnerable people in our city to be victimized by crime,” said LAPD Commander and Homeless Coordinator Donald Graham. In about two-thirds of the homicides with homeless victims in 2019, the suspects were also homeless.
In 2019, the city of Los Angeles experienced a 16% jump in the number of people living on the streets, in cars or in shelters over the previous year, according to the latest count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county agency.
At present, there has not been a response from the City of Los Angeles concerning the homicides.