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Graffiti is seen on a sign near a new townhouse construction site March 3, 2009 in Compton, California.
The Los Angeles city attorney wants police to be able to arrest graffiti taggers for hanging out with one another, regardless of whether they’ve committed a crime.
Carmen Trutanich, who took office in July, told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that law enforcement agencies throughout L.A. County have problems with graffiti.
Carmen Trutanich: “They have seen a marked increase in these graffiti tagging gangs, taking to weapons and fighting to protect their walls, their territory, their names. And I can only assume the city is experiencing the same.”
The city of Los Angeles logged 600,000 reports of graffiti in the last year and spent $7 million on graffiti cleanup.
Taggers are targeting stores, rail lines, phone booths, buses, and police cars.