I was in LA for my 1L summer. I got an offer to work at the Los Angeles DA’s unit that handles gang murders: The Hardcore Gang Unit.
You think, oh LA; that’s Hollywood, the Walk of Fame, Chinatown, Koreatown, beaches, sunshine, surfing. Sounds fun. After a few weeks at the DA’s office, LA seemed a helluva lot more dark. People really do get killed for being in the wrong neighborhood, for wearing the wrong color shoes, and for no particular reason at all. The gangs of LA are quite brutal.
Part of the reason is that killing someone gets you increased status within the gang. The other part might be the fact that about half of all murders in LA County go unsolved.