A Study of Gang Activity in Los Angeles

Topic: Law Enforcement
Words: 377 Pages: 1

In this part of the assignment, we look at the problem of street gangs in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we could not get a response from the LAPD on this issue, but that did not stop us from doing our research. The history of street gangs in Los Angeles dates back to the 1960s (Baldassare, 2019). Young people between the ages of about 12 and 22 like to gather in packs to walk, socialize and generally have fun in their free time. Such are the specific behaviors of this particular age group. Entertainment for young people can be different, from going to the movies and ending with breaking windows, arson, and robbery (Hazlehurst & Hazlehurst, 2017). The line between a gang of cronies and a gang of criminals can sometimes be so thin that young people cross it without even noticing. The reasons for the sinister transformations usually lie in the economy.

Los Angeles in the 1960s was a place where a black teenager from a low-income family was unlikely to succeed. Mass unemployment, inability to get a quality education, and discrimination pushed young people of color onto the streets, forcing them to fight for a place in the sun. That is why street gangs began to gain popularity as an easy way to make money (Knox et al., 2018). Today, the problem of gangs is no less urgent, as gang clashes in Los Angeles are not uncommon. Gangsters are most often killed, but sometimes a bullet goes to the wrong person by accident. Drug dealing, car theft, robbery, and burglary are the main occupations of people in such gangs (Gaines, 2011). Gang members are involved in anything that can make money or hurt another gang. Crimes are committed out of hatred, revenge, or lust for profit.

Thus, gangs are not a new problem, and it is unlikely that they will be solved in the near future. The Los Angeles Police Department is taking steps to prevent teenagers from getting into gangs, such as educational activities and conferences on the subject. They also actively combat the destructive actions of such gangs by arresting and convicting their leaders. However, the current situation shows that the community has a long way to go to stop gang activity in Los Angeles.


Baldassare, M. (Ed.). (2019). The Los Angeles riots: Lessons for the urban future. Routledge. Web.

Gaines, L. K. (2011). Public Administration (3rd Ed.). Cengage.

Hazlehurst, K., & Hazlehurst, C. (Eds.). (2017). Gangs and youth subcultures: International explorations. Routledge. Web.

Knox, G. W., Etter, G. W., & Smith, C. F. (2018). Gangs and organized crime. Routledge. Web.

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