- LA Times Homicide Report
Frequently Asked Questions http://homicide.latimes.com/about/
What is the Homicide Report?
The Homicide Report is an interactive map, database and blog that chronicles homicides in Los Angeles County. Any death deemed a homicide by the coroner’s office -- the death of a human being by the hand of another -- is included in the database. Coroner's officials currently are providing a bi-weekly list of homicides to The Times. At a minimum, the Homicide Report provides basic details of each killing. In addition, the report includes in-depth reporting of cases and communities, as well as updates when arrests are made and suspects are tried in court.
According to Homicide Report data and reporting since 2007, Latinos, about half Los Angeles County’s population of about 10 million, have accounted for nearly half of all homicide victims.
Blacks, just 8% of the county’s residents, have accounted for 32% of all homicides. In 2013, blacks were killed at more than seven times the rate of all other racial and ethnic groups combined -- a fact that has remained stubbornly high as homicides have plummeted in the county.
Why does the Homicide Report list killings by police?
The Homicide Report relies on the coroner’s designation in what we include in the database. Any death of a human being by another is included. The coroner’s definition also includes criminal homicides and justifiable homicides by civilians acting in self-defense.
A coroner’s investigation is separate from law enforcement. Coroner’s investigators take intent, as well as other factors, into account. To the coroner, “homicide” is a medical examiner’s term of art, not a legal concept.
Our homicide statistics sometimes differ from law enforcement because we use the coroner’s definition of homicide. In homicide data provided to the FBI, law enforcement agencies are not required to include officer-involved shootings.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses the same rationale as the coroner in its national mortality reports and includes justifiable homicides, police killings and other deaths. In 2010, the latest year for which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has published data, there were 16,259 homicides in the United States. The FBI reported 12,996.
The Homicide Report presents this larger data set for the county. For the 114 neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, for example, the report counts 262 homicides in 2013, compared with 251 reported to the FBI. The higher total is a measure of lethal conflict between human beings in any form.