Updating the numbers from an earlier report
Last week, The Times looked at the frequency of fatal police shootings in downtown Los Angeles after a confrontation on skid row that left a man who struggled with officers dead. To do this, we searched our database, which begins in January 2000, for cases that have been tagged as officer-involved homicides. An eagle-eyed reader noticed a case that was missing from the total and alerted us.
Isaac Lee Ricks, 68, was shot to death by Los Angeles Police Department Officer Juan Lopez on Dec. 2, 2014. Officers had been called to the scene after someone reported a screaming woman. According to authorities, when officers forced their way into the apartment, they reported seeing Ricks stabbing a woman. Lopez opened fire, striking Ricks, who was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
That means our count of 13 officer-involved homicides in downtown L.A. should have been 14. And, to be honest, there may be others we have not categorized correctly. We base the designation "officer-involved" on information provided to us by the coroner as well as additional reporting. For cases prior to January 2007, when the Homicide Report launched, we are relying even more on data provided by the coroner.
With that in mind, we've reworked a key number that we reported last week.
The previous article said downtown had 3 officer-involved homicides per 10,000 residents since 2000. That number should be 3.3 per 10,000.
One other note about last week's article. One commenter wrote that the article did not take into account the hundreds of thousands of people who work, but don't reside, downtown. It's true that downtown L.A., has a more dramatic population swing from day to night than most neighborhoods.
Here's how we weighed that: The vast majority of the daytime workers in downtown are centered in the highrises on Bunker Hill or in the government buildings in the Civic Center area. In our database, none of the officer-involved homicides downtown since 2000 were on Bunker Hill -- the closest was Dale Garrett, 51, who was killed by an undercover detective May 10, 2011, at the corner of 5th and Spring streets. As for the Civic Center area, Audwyn Fitzgerald Ball, 39, was killed at 3rd and Los Angeles streets Feb. 1, 2003. On a map that's close to the Civic Center, but, practically, more than 10 years ago (and even today), it's far from where most government employees would find themselves.
Comments and feedback from Homicide Report readers have always been a key part of this effort. Please keep them coming.