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Diversity Is Strength! It's Also…Homicide-Prone Minorities In Los Angeles
<!-- Start of Article --> The hubbub over whether the late Michael Jackson's personal physician will turn himself into the Los Angeles Police Department on a charge of involuntary manslaughter is reminiscent of all those celebrated L.A. homicides of fact (for example, the O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector cases) and fiction (Chinatown and The Big Sleep). Yet the typical Los Angeles County homicide isn't much at all like the glamorous murder mysteries seen on screen. Few killings take place in the Hollywood Hills or at the beach. Instead, homicides are concentrated in the vast urban plain south of Wilshire Boulevard. An impressive journalistic endeavor by the Los Angeles Times to maintain a database of all 2,600+ homicide victims in L.A. County since the beginning of 2007—the Los Angeles Homicide Report—allows the public (me) to study in detail who exactly is killing and getting killed. And that's worth knowing because:
- L.A. County, in and of itself, is huge (with ten million residents, it's by far the most populous county in America).
- It's long been a forerunner of demographic and social change in the rest of America.
- Much of the recent mortgage meltdown occurred in the exurbs of Los Angeles due in part to a multiethnic version of white flight from L.A. crime.
- Hispanics: 794 victims out of 611,789 young men in the 2006-2008 Census estimates
- Blacks: 380 victims out of 96,676 young men
- Non-Hispanic Caucasians: 47 out of 247,173
- Asians: 28 out of 129,716
- Pacific Islanders: 8 out of 3,510
- American Indians: 0 out of 6,088
- Total L.A. County: 15-29 year old males: 1,257 out of 1,108,268
- Whites: 1.0 times the white rate (by Census definition)
- Asians: 1.1x the white rate
- Latinos: 6.8x
- Pacific Islanders: 12.0x
- African-American: 20.7x
- Total L.A. County: 6.0x
- First, L.A. County has particularly law-abiding young white men.
- Second, L.A. County has a notorious street gang culture that is endemic among the lower ranks of all ethnic groups in Los Angeles, except European-Americans, Japanese-Americans, and American Indians.