Compton Murder Rate Has Tripled in 2016

Compton's murder rate has tripled in 2016 due to an increase in gang violence.

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The homicide rate in Compton has tripled in 2016. In May alone, seven people were killed due to what police are describing as increased gang-related violence

So far this year, 15 people have been killed in the Los Angeles neighborhood, according to statistics published by the Los Angeles Times. That's two more killings than there were in all of 2015. One victim was 1-year-old Autumn Johnson, who was shot in the head while standing up in her crib. Police believe the shooter was targeting her father but hit his daughter instead.

Along with Chicago, Detroit, and New Orleans, Compton was selected as one of 13 cities to receive assistance from the Violence Reduction Network (VRN). That program aims to help cities facing high violent crime numbers through various trainings, educational initiatives, and more. 

While the organization provides resources to assist with long-term plans to combat and minimize violent crimes, it still takes time to implement. Satra Zurita, a local school board member helping Compton run the program, said, "People think that the [VRN] comes and cures all, but what it does is provide expertise and resources, and that helps in the long run," according to the Los Angeles Times.

As part of its effort to reduce violent crimes, Compton received outside trainings from Arizona State University and the Oakland Police Department to help prevent gang participation and solidify community relations. The city has also implemented programs targeting youth and recidivist programs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The incidents in 2016 echo a gang-related crime surge in 2013, Los Angeles Times reported. That led Compton Mayor Aja Brown to announce measures, including a community policing task force, to help combat the growing murder rate.

Chicago is also continuing to experience high violent crime rates. Over Memorial Day weekend, at least 60 people were shot, and six were killed during a spree of violence, The Guardian reported. Those numbers are down from last year at the same time, when 12 people were killed. 

Neither Mayor Brown nor the Compton Sheriff's Station immediately returned Complex's request for comment.

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