The Detective: A disturbing run of hate crimes continues

A rundown of recent criminal activity in Los Angeles

Illustration of two women



Here are some recent anomalies in Los Angeles Police Department data found by the Detective, our data-crawling robot, and aggregated by the robot’s human assistant, Catherine Orihuela. This period covers April 11-18, 2021 (the eighth day covers an unreported day the previous week).


? Los Angeles’ distressing spate of hate crimes continues, but this time in a perhaps unexpected neighborhood. On April 12, a 41-year-old lesbian was harassed and threatened while walking down the street in the affluent community of Hancock Park. During the encounter, an assailant hurled profanities and other vitriolic language at the woman. The suspect was later arrested. The woman was targeted based on her sexual orientation, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. 


Unfortunately, this was not the only incident of its kind. On April 13, two lesbian women—ages 34 and 38—in Watts were confronted by a neighbor who brandished a weapon and threatened to harm them. It is unclear what led to the encounter. According to police, the women were targeted because of their sexual orientation. The LAPD code for “Bias: Anti-Lesbian” has been used 22 times in the last three years. 


? The Detective flagged a crime related to dog fighting during this period. On April 17, police responded to calls about a couple living together at a house in Mount Washington. The victim—a 35-year-old woman—was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to police. Further information about the dispute and its connection to dog fighting was unavailable. Since 2011, the code for “crime related to dog fighting” has been used 15 times. 


? A 33-year-old man was attacked by someone wielding a hammer in Echo Park on April 13. According to the LAPD, the suspect picked the area because it was a popular place for large gatherings. Police classified the attack as gang-related. No arrest has been made. The code for “target was Mass Gathering Location” has only been used five times; three of those incidents were listed as bomb scares. 


? Police responded to a disturbing scene in Wilmington on April 13. A 58-year-old man was riding his bike when he was attacked on the street by an individual he did not know. The man was then kidnapped, tied up with wire and robbed. According to police, the victim was experiencing homelessness. The suspect was later arrested. The LAPD code for “wire used as binding” has been employed 27 times since 2010. 


How we did it: At Crosstown, we examine publicly available crime data from multiple Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies. We have a robot on the team called the Detective that scans the LAPD publicly available data for anomalies. LAPD officers tag most crime reports in their system with MO codes, for “modus operandi,” Latin for operating method or style. The MO codes are shorthand for describing what happened in a crime incident. 


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