The murder rate in Los Angeles is shocking — shockingly low. Fewer Angelenos were killed in 2010 than any of the last 43 years, and back then the city was 30 percent less crowded.

Possible explanations for the drop include an easing of the drug epidemic, a gentler, more enlightened approach to gangs, and the fact that more Americans than ever are sitting in prison. — PZS

Los Angeles Times:

As of mid-afternoon on Sunday, the Los Angeles Police Department had tallied 291 homicides in 2010. The city is likely to record the fewest number of killings since 1967, when its population was almost 30% smaller.

Strikingly, homicides in the city have dropped by about one-third since 2007, the last full year before the economic downturn, according to a Times’ analysis of coroner records. Throughout the rest of the county, which is patrolled by the L.A. County sheriff and individual cities’ police departments, homicides during the same period tumbled by nearly 40%. The Times’ analysis showed 159 homicides in areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department and 164 in the rest of the county through mid-December.

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