- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A deadly August has reversed a decline in murders in Los Angeles.

Police Chief Charlie Beck says 39 killings in August have driven a year-to-date uptick in homicides in the nation’s second-largest city.

Officer Norma Eisenman, a department spokeswoman, says 189 people were killed between January and the end of August. That compares to 173 the same time period last year, a 9 percent increase.

Eisenman says the 39 homicides this August are compared to 22 in July and 19 last August.

Mid-year crime statistics had shown homicides were decreasing by 7 percent.

Beck addressed the homicide increase at a police commission meeting Tuesday and largely attributed it to gang violence.

He says he hopes August “does not portend what will occur in the following months of the year.”

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