An anti-gang task force of 1,000 police officers arrested 1,524 people, more than half of them gang members, and seized guns, drugs and cars in a weekend crime crackdown throughout the city, police said.
The anti-gang task force, code-named "The Hammer," was concentrated in south-central Los Angeles, though officers made several arrests in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles."We will do it as often as we can, as often as we think it will be productive and effective," police spokesman Cmdr. William Booth said Sunday.
Police confiscated at least 217 grams of cocaine, 551 grams of marijuana, nearly $5,000 in cash and impounded 220 vehicles during the two-night raid Friday and Saturday night, Officer Larry Judd said.
Along with rock cocaine and the drug PCP, several weapons also were confiscated, including an AK-47 assault rifle.
Smaller sweeps, using as many as 250 officers, have become regular weekend fixtures since January, when police began an aggressive crackdown on the city's 70,000 street gang members.
The actions are major skirmishes in what Police Chief Daryl Gates calls a war on "the rotten little cowards," and followed the release of a department report showing gang slayings had risen 20 percent this year.
The report cited 96 gang-related killings in the city through the end of May, compared to 80 a year ago. In all of Los Angeles County there have been 138 gang-related killings this year. In 1987, there were 387 gang slayings.