downtown los angeles, historic core

Will New Walgreens Help Improve Crime Infested 5th/Broadway in Downtown LA?

Does this new Walgreens signal a new direction coming for the still-seedy intersection of 5th/Broadway in Downtown LA?

Does this new Walgreens signal a new direction coming for the still-seedy intersection of 5th/Broadway in Downtown LA?

A brand new shiny Walgreens just opened this past Friday at the crime ridden intersection of 5th and Broadway — a part of Downtown LA’s Historic Core that has resisted change from its gang and drug infested past even as the rest of downtown continues to revitalize. The grand opening on Jan 31 at 10 am was an event marked with DJ music, balloons, free food samples, and lots of smiles and cheer. The celebratory mood inside stood in stark contrast to the seedy elements that still lurked outside as the daily east-west migratory pattern from Skid Row to Pershing Square continued as usual uninterrupted. However, given Walgreens’ different operating strategy from “the problem” Rite Aid across the street, the new Chicago-based drug store is hopefully a sign of more positive changes to come for one of Downtown LA’s worst intersections.

While attending the grand opening for Walgreens, I was confronted with a belligerent homeless individual who almost gave me a beat down. A terrifying encounter no one should have to experience.

While standing outside taking pictures of the store’s facade preparing for this blog story, a large thuggy man with a muscular build approached me on my left side along the 5th Street sidewalk. He asked me while walking up to me, “Are you taking pictures of me?” Already feeling threatened by his tone, I replied “No I am not.” He then asked with the same accusatory tone, “Are you taking pictures of anything at all?” At this point, I realized something bad was about to happen (call it intuition), and as I replied “I’m taking pictures of the sign,” he forcefully grabbed my right arm before I could even finish the sentence.

However, as an automatic self-defense reflex, I swung my right arm upward quickly breaking away from his strong grip. I immediately darted to my left along the sidewalk away from him with the goal of running into the Walgreens store as that was the only place I could think of that would offer some kind of refuge. Just as fast as I darted to my left, he immediately came back at me trying to either grab or hit me, which ended up feeling more like a hard slap on my arm. Given how alarmed I was (and the adrenaline pumping through my body), I could feel how hard he hit me but the sharp pain was quickly overtaken by fear.

As I ran inside the store, he was right behind me screaming but stopped just short of crossing the threshold of the store’s front entrance. By this point, people inside — including employees and customers — were obviously alarmed as well and I could hear someone yell for security. The homeless guy was determined, however. He wasn’t just going to leave just like that. He continued screaming at me from the front entrance, “Don’t you ever fucking take pictures of me again!” As I grabbed my phone out ready to dial 9-1-1, he became even more perturbed and said, “Oh, you gon’ call the police (poh-lease) now muthafucka?”

Luckily, that was the last thing he said before taking off. I was not about to leave the store without knowing exactly where he was going. So I watched as he crossed 5th Street toward Rite Aid before crossing Broadway heading toward Pershing Square. A few employees asked me if I was okay. However, the whole event quickly became the pink elephant in the store as everyone tried to go back to “business as usual.” Ironically, I had just spoken to a Walgreens employee a few minutes earlier (before all this happened) about Downtown LA being “so cool” and “the best new place to live!” I was embarrassed, to say the least, as he witnessed this event happen to me — the guy who just told him how great Downtown LA was.

Anyway, this is a departure from my usual blog posts, which are more informative news articles and less personal tales, but I felt I just had to document and let others know what happened to me given the substantial nature of the event. My hope is that Walgreens will be the first positive change to this intersection leading to many, many more with the eventual goal of completely cleaning it up. Broadway is a long street through downtown, but lots of positive things are happening on it especially by 9th where a slew of high-end retailers have opened along with a major road diet coming soon. I remain optimistic that with enough time, Broadway will clean-up nicely — as NYC has been able to do — becoming a street filled with high-quality shopping, dining, and entertainment instead of the drug and crime infested mess we deal with today.

The funny thing is, there was an LAPD cop car parked on Broadway right outside Walgreens when all this happened to me. To the LAPD, please stop wasting our taxpayer money on performing ridiculous jaywalking stings and start doing your job protecting our citizens and catching the real bad guys.

The new Walgreens sits on the ground floor of the Chester Williams Building, which has 88 luxury apartments upstairs

The new Walgreens sits on the ground floor of the beautiful Chester Williams Building, which has 88 luxury apartments upstairs

All Walgreens employees wore this shirt showing their DTLA pride as we continue to take back our community

All Walgreens employees wore this shirt showing their DTLA pride as we continue to take back our community

Nice clean organized aisles without products behind protected glass cases will help improve the psyche and image of this intersection

Nice clean organized aisles without products behind protected glass cases will help improve the psyche and image of this intersection

New Walgreens has a "gourmet" food section with grab-n-go meals

New Walgreens has a “gourmet” food section with grab-n-go meals

Grab-n-go meals include fresh made sandwiches

Grab-n-go meals include fresh made sandwiches

And fresh salads and fruits

And fresh salads and fruits

The new Walgreens is definitely more upscale and fashionable compared to the Rite Aid across the street

The new Walgreens is definitely more upscale and fashionable compared to the Rite Aid across the street

The new Walgreens is a vast improvement over Rite Aid across the street with a well-designed store that's bright, clean, and organized

The new Walgreens is a vast improvement over Rite Aid across the street with a well-designed store that’s bright, clean, and organized

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  1. I am so thrilled about this new Walgreens and that building is beautiful. It is so awful what happen to you. What makes that particular intersection so bad? What makes weird people congregate on that corner? I am constantly taking pictures downtown but being 6’3″ and 220 lbs and black most of these people keep their distance and many think I’m some undercover cop. Lol!!! Anyway be careful and keep up the great work.

  2. Mansard says

    Are my eyes playing tricks on me or does that one photo actually show a shelf located directly behind a column?! A column so close to the merchandize that a shopper would have to do a contortionist routine, or be extremely tiny, to either see what’s behind the column or reach around to pick up an item? If so, that’s a surprising example of a lack of logic or sensible layout on the part of the planners who arranged the new store.

    Such a lack of good sense is also even better exemplified by, among other things, the LAPD’s stupid policy that harasses people who cross streets merely for not acting like they’re living in Mayberry or Grover’s Corner, but allows areas like 5th Street and Broadway to be a hangout for deranged, dangerous, big-city characters.

    Brigham Yen, what happened to you outside Walgreens is both outrageous and appalling, and more likely to happen because of the ridiculous thinking and attitudes found in the LAPD, other parts of LA city government, and our wonderful judicial system.

  3. Gerald says

    Agree with the writer above. Keep up the good work! Hopefully the city and county will address the homeless issue with more effective legislation, better medical and social treatment approaches and additional housing for this segment of L.A.’s population in the future. Hope this incident doesn’t deter you from your excellent work!!!

  4. Jeremy says

    It’s unfortunate this happened and should let you know that a similar incident happened to me here in London. I was looking at my phone and an elderly guy with a stick starting screaming at me and almost hit me
    Unfortunately, this can happen anywhere however DTLA is improving all the time and these incidents are few and far between
    I would be more wary of the LAPD looking for jaywalkers

  5. Robert90033 says

    Incidents like this happens more often than not. I take the Metro Line 18, which runs along Fifth St., everyday and there isn’t a day that these so called homeless people don’t create incidents on the bus many times violent. With no L.A. Co. Sheriff Deputy, who are suppose to patrol the system, around the bus drives and passengers are left to fend for themselves. Unlike the image that many civil libertarians love to portray these so called homeless individuals are prone to violence and are very threatening. I feel for you Brigham and hope that that so called homeless individual that attacked you is caught before he attacks someone else.

  6. wildstar says

    5th st is essentially the homeless highway from Skid Row to bus stops and Pershing. Last month a crazy insane guy told my tiny 5’2 wife that he was “going to f*ckin murder” her before he ran off. I heard a story that a woman who works at the new Urban Outfitters was punched simply walking to work. I had a guy screaming at me last week that he swore he knew me, that he was going to figure it out and come and get me. These things happen all the time to almost everyone who lives here.

    While the actual # of serious violent crime is pretty low given the circumstances, it’s these type of interactions that break people down. I’d love to know the average tenure for people living in downtown. 3-4 years? Maybe that will change since we’re closer to a tipping point, but who knows.

    Also, it’s not the sane situational homeless that are the issue – they should get assistance. It’s the severely mentally disturbed people that often cause the most problems. Treatment is available now for them, but you can’t force them into it, or into housing. Stronger mental health care needs to take place at the state level to make a dent in this problem. There are times that downtown just feels like an outdoor asylum.

  7. Emmeric Konrad says

    Glad your ok. Unfortunately, that area 5th between Spring and Broadway, tends to be a magnet for trouble, especially with the drug dealers from the Alexandrea trying to sell the prescription drugs they buy( or take) off of the elderly low income housing people who live there. As you said, LAPD would do all of us a better service dealing with them then writing ridiculous jaywalking tickets.

    • Kevin says

      I don’t think those dealers are coming from the Alexandria, Emmeric. I moved into the Alexandria six months ago and haven’t seen any kind of shady behavior among my neighbors. It’s a very mixed community here; retired elderly, families, young adults, and people like me who simply don’t earn enough to live in a market-rate apartment. Prospective renters must pass background checks and the management absolutely does not tolerate troublemakers. The Alexandria has changed drastically from the 80’s when it was the crime center of DTLA.

  8. curtid says

    Any corner downtown can erupt in a scene and often does…the zombies don’t care, the police try but go look at central division station on 6th, it is smeared w excrement! They do it on purpose. It is the missions fault for this. We need hospitals not handouts. These people need to spend lengthy stays in mental health facilities, until they can be placed in housing if at all. I walk my dog everyday and night and witness depravity and madness on almost every corner. I hope the LAPD and the mayor will take steps to dismantle the missions and build a hospital before someone gets killed.

  9. Chris says

    I walk down 5th from Hill everyday coming and going to work, sometimes even past midnight, and luckily have never had any threatening encounters. I live near 6th and Main and would love to see the local leaders do something to keep the public safe from these types of encounters. I walk everywhere downtown and can’t make it more than a few steps outside my loft building before being harassed for money. Luckily I’ve never felt threatened. But I can only imagine someone from the west side coming downtown for a night out and never wanting to come back. I personally love it down here because I see so much potential and love being part of the movement towards a clean, safe and fun downtown but can’t understand why city leaders don’t put more effort in. We only get one chance at our downtown. I think we can do better.

  10. I’m sorry to hear about that very unfortunate encounter. Oddly enough, something very similar happened to me yesterday while I was downtown (at 6th and Grand, no less), although thankfully it didn’t get much further than having some insults and threats yelled in my face about having my camera out. I do hope the Walgreens helps out at least a bit at 5th and Broadway. I know I’ll definitely be more likely to go in there than Rite Aid or the 7-11 across the intersection.

  11. andrew wong says

    So unfortunate and unnecessary. Indeed I got a ticket for crossing a street at night with no cars around. I’m sure that ticket took the same amount of time as your incident. The difference being that your incident creates fear. LAPD please understand what it means to police an urban area.

  12. Nancy-Jean says

    So sorry to hear about that scary encounter! I live in the Chester Williams and see so many drug deals going on outside my front door, that I know the “fair market value” for Oxy or Vicodin! It’s crazy! Some dealers just park and sit in the car and deal and not a cop in sight. I’m hoping the Walgreens shines a light on that corner and starts to change the energy there. The owners of the building where Rite Aid is should insist Rite Aid clean up their act both inside and outside.

  13. Louie says

    I wish you did take a pic of that Loser so we can all be on alert if we see him

  14. Belial Issimo says

    More liberal concealed-carry laws in this state would go a long way toward cutting down on this sort of thing.

  15. Marty C. says

    Simple – NO. Until the LAPD gets out of their cars and start walking the beat in DTLA (and Hollywood, etc) the criminal element at the corner of 5th and Broadway – my corner! – will just have the patrons of 2 convienence store to harrass.
    And by walking the beat I don’t mean randomly getting out to stretch their legs. Walking a beat means getting to know the residents, shop owners – and yes – the criminal element. Nothing will stop crime in my neighborhood faster than a cop on the corner, twirling his/her baton.

  16. Sorry about your scary encounter.

    But to off-handedly link this to the jaywalking enforcement controversy (rather than say, the policy for treating mentally ill homeless people), here’s what I don’t get:

    By now, given all the blog postings and newspaper coverage, we all know that jaywalking is technically against the law, and we can and will get ticketed for doing it. Instead of not doing that (anymore), some people continue to jaywalk, knowing full well what the consequences are. And we are bashing LAPD for wasting our resources by ticketing something so trivial as jaywalking.


    (1) Are we so arrogant that we continue to jaywalk even though we know what the consequences are? Maybe we’re all rich enough that we can afford the tickets? Maybe we think the law is so stupid that this is our version of jury nullification?

    (2) If we continue to jaywalk knowing it’s against the law (and some of us have gotten multiple tickets for it), that makes us flagrant lawbreakers. Why would any society tolerate flagrant lawbreakers? The first time, you can be given a pass, but after all the publicity, you can’t plead ignorance anymore.

    (3) Justifying the bashing on LAPD”s enforcement of a valid law and jaywalking is trivial is like the dealers outside rite aid saying their drug dealing is trivial also because they only sell to people who want to buy…sorta like a victimless crime. Who’s to say which criminal act is worse since both groups are now flagrantly violates the law.

    (4) We say the LAPD is wasting our resources by giving out these tickets, but how about we no longer jaywalk (as the law requires)? That way, LAPD won’t have to ticket us, and then they can spend time and resources on what we say is the more serious crime: the drug dealers.

    And yes, I live downtown. But to complain about getting caught for something you should not be doing in the first place seems like we’re all being spoiled brats. (And yes. the typos and grammatical errors are all intentional)

    • Shahbaz says

      Please understand that laws change — while a law may exist today, tomorrow it may be repealed for whatever reason (lack of effectiveness, difficulty in enforcement, societal changes, etc.). Please note all the marijuana use and gay marriage/equality laws being repealed left and right across the country. Taking the law into your own hands is not the lesson from all this — but its downright predatory how cops in this city target jaywalkers.

      Your point seems to be that “jaywalking is against the law and so, you cannot complain about the law being enforced”. But the reason jaywalking is against the law is precisely because we share the roads with cars. Cars speeding through DTLA streets at 65 mph, running red lights, and turning carelessly at an intersection with pedestrians present is ALSO against the law. The outrage from all of us is directed towards inequitable enforcement of the drivers in these cars vs. the pedestrians doing the jaywalking. Please understand that.

      Finally, its human nature to blame a rash of fairly trivial jaywalking enforcement in an area where violent crime and public safety are not being enforced in the same fervor — thereby creating an unsafe environment. If I was mugged on the street by someone and then walked a block down the street and noticed a police car stopping a random pedestrian to give them a jay-walking ticket, you better believe I would be upset at the cop. Especially since I pay a good share of taxes for that cop to have a job in the first place. What you seem to be suggesting is, that you would not be so upset.

      • David Hernandez says

        Funny, I think Shabaz hit the nail right on the head! Laws are constantly changing and obviously focusing on jaywalking in Downtown LA when there are clearly more pressing concerns (i.e., what Brigham just encountered) is a waste of already dwindling resources! There’s not even enough LAPD out there to begin with for a city as large as Los Angeles and to go around looking for jaywalkers is just plain stupid.

      • andrew wong says

        Shabaz nailed it! indiscriminate violence on the sidewalks creates fear, jaywalking does not.

  17. ethan says

    brigham so sorry for your experience and yes hopefully the walgreens will signal a change to that area

  18. JimBo says

    I’m sorry to hear about your incident. But “crime infested” and “seedy”? 5th and Broadway?? Really????? I ask you to reconsider that for a second. Additionally, did you really have to go for the “thuggy” description and use the “slang” to get your point across?

    City living isn’t always about the next big thing on 9th or the next restaurant 7th.Living in the City means having to deal with the challenges cities provide. And the homeless problem is a big one. It’s not going to be solved by simply “sweeping up the corridor.” The homeless have to go somewhere and simply moving them down a street or two isn’t going to do it. You’re a bright guy with your pulse on our continually changing DTLA.Understand, however, that the homeless problem isn’t going away by simply moving them around. I challenge you to consider what, if anything can be done to work through the homeless issues in DTLA.

    • David Hernandez says

      Dude, a thug is thug. Get over it. Low lives should be called out for what they are. I’m sure the guy who attacked Brigham isn’t some corporate exec in a designer suit. And having lived on Spring Street for several years now, I can say with first hand experience that 5th and Broadway is fucking “crime infested” and “seedy.” In fact, I think that all sounds too politically correct. The situation is worse!

  19. David Hernandez says

    It’s about time the city bring out the fucking Lysol already cuz that street is fucking gross!

  20. chattycathy says

    Im a woman and a senior citizen, and I live in, Love , and walk DTLA, but I carry my taser/pepper spray. The frail homeless don’t scare me, it’s the “thuggy” ones.
    I’m Sorry Brigham for what happened to you. Those negative encounters stay with you for a long time and alter our perceptions. But I know you, just like me, will still love DTLA.
    And I think it’s the homeless (who are ALWAYS jaywalking) that started the cops on their ticket binge.

  21. Kevin says

    An excellent article, as usual, Brigham!

    There have been fewer loiterers on that corner since Walgreen’s opening, but it’s probably too early to say whether it will last. Cross your fingers.

    Yes, Mansard, there are products hiding behind columns; bring a flashlight!
    (BTW, Ralph’s has the same problem)

    I was hoping that awesome tattooed bouncer was going to be a permanent feature, but no…

  22. Chris says

    that saturday i watched from my window as a group of 6-8 cops just stood around in a circle by one of their parked cars next to the Walgreens and shot the breeze for a good hour or so without even so much as looking at the goings on of the corner/street. they get out of their cars bc im sure the boss is telling them to for public i.age reasons but the truth is they don’t do jack shit for the betterment of the community when they do. cops should be forced to live in the community where they work, then they may give a half a shit then about all the junkies and human garbage that do populate 5th every day and do these kins of things on the regular.

  23. Felix S. says

    My roommate and I jokingly refer to that intersection as “The Worst Intersection in America.” We’ve both been screamed at and had other really unpleasant encounters in and around that Rite Aid and 7-11. Really hoping that Walgreens changes things, though I can’t really imagine how it will.

  24. What a terrible experience you had to go through Brigham, so glad to hear that it didn’t get any worse. As someone who used to work in Downtown LA, I had to commute to 6th and Spring, and to go home I had to pass through 5th and Broadway to get to the 720 stop or the Pershing Square metro station. I don’t know why that 720 stop is always filled with homeless people, but I’ve seen a homeless woman beaten and yelled at by homeless men. It’s dirty and shady all around. Though 5th and Main’s stop had less people, it’s so dark down that road that I always prayed for the bus to hurry up before something would happen to me.

    Luckily, nothing has ever happened to me in DTLA (knock on wood), but I never felt really safe. And I really wish the city would do a proper sidewalk and street cleaning. The dirt, grime and smell makes the DTLA experience that much worse. While I’m glad to see development happening in DTLA, I for one, would not be keen on moving or living there any time soon.

  25. David Chung says

    Can’t help but to laugh because getting harassed or threatened seems to be a rite of passage in DTLA. Twice in the same week I had a bully who threatened to kick my ass as I went to and fro my parking garage. Haven’t seen him since but for a while those incidents prompted me to carry pepper spray and to grip my metal water bottle like a baseball bat. I wouldn’t have felt good about hurting anyone but you gotta protect yourself if s–t goes down.

    Still I don’t think incarcerating the homeless or rounding them up like cattle and sending them far away is the answer. Truth is the gross majority of our downtown homeless population suffers from mental illness and they need our help. The reason why skid row exists is because we allowed elected officials (Reagan) to dismantle federal mental health initiatives and funding, effectively booting scores of mentally ill into the streets. And a lot of these folks are veterans who fought for our country and came back with PTSD and/or other traumatic brain injuries, so what does that say about us when we can’t even take care of our veterans? It’s a f–king disgrace.

    I already know what a lot of folks will say, “that’s not my problem.” But it is your problem and it’s my problem whether we like it or not. In fact it’s in our own best self-interest as DTLA residents to find a sustainable solution to this problem because it’s not going away otherwise.

    Currently the Twin Towers jail is the largest “mental health facility” in the country because the cops are hauling mentally ill homeless folks into jail every day. But this is a s–t solution because nobody is getting treated and it’s a revolving door; sooner or later they all end up on the streets again.

    So what can we do? I think as the better-heeled DTLA residents that we are, we have a great opportunity to approach this problem differently. Instead of complaining to our elected officials about not having more police presence to protect us from the bad scary guys, we should be holding them accountable to provide mental health services and facilities for our neighbors in Skid Row. To me this is the only viable solution to getting people off the streets. Hauling them to jail or trying to exercise a modern version of manifest destiny are stupid band-aid solutions, a waste of taxpayers’ money, and way below our potential as human beings.

    My hope is that influential members and media outlets in our local community, like Brigham and this great blog, will drive a new vision for how we can curb poverty and violence in our neighborhood. How can we act with love instead of fear to confront these issues? And it would be great to see on this blog, for every ten celebratory posts of a new eatery or store opening in Downtown, a post on what organizations like the Midnight Mission, Downtown Women’s Center, or Homeboy Industries are doing on the front lines to make this community better (and more importantly, how we can help them). As far as I’m concerned if these guys weren’t doing the thankless work they’re doing, we would all be getting beat up and harassed a lot more.

    I didn’t mean to stand on my soapbox and get preachy but these are my thoughts, I hope I’ve contributed something meaningful to this discussion. If we want change we’ll have to dig deeper.

    “We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.”

    Father Greg, Homeboy Industries

    • wildstar says

      Homeboy does good work (and I like your chips and salsa!), but a large part of the issue are the seriously mentally ill. These are people who don’t have the capacity or inclination to do anything for themselves. And the city can’t force them into treatment or into hospitals. I don’t think creating more mental health facilities in skid row is the answer. And housing people with substance abuse issues doesn’t make the street issues go away. They’re still out there buying drugs, pissing on the sidewalk and throwing up all over the place.

      As for extending good will and empathy, it dries up over time. You can only see and hear or be subjected to so much before you stop caring. How many times have I yelled at people to stop pissing on the front of my building (despite being half a block from a public bathroom), how many times have my wife and her female coworkers been exposed to when walking home or to the train, or threatened in various ways. Or the daily offerings of drugs on 5th st when you’re just walking down the street. When seeing someone crap on your front door isn’t the worst thing that you see that day, you know there’s a serious problem. You might be able to retain a Mother Teresa attitude about it, but for most people that’s a challenge.

  26. Christopher Eaton says

    The Homelessness Industry in DTLA doesn’t give a shit about these kinds of encounters, as long as their clients’ belongings aren’t taken away by the cops and as long as the “caretakers” have their jobs. The vision of support for the homeless in Downtown on the part of the folks whose jobs are dependent upon the their homelessness is soooo backwards and regressive. It’s time to force all of LA County to deal with this issue, not just a 5 square block area of one neighborhood in one city in the county.

  27. Gandolf M3 says

    David Chung, when a person trying to sound so informed about homelessness and, in particular, aggressive street people cites a specific government official from over 30 years ago as the cause for the chaotic scene today, that’s when I know that person is a dope about the true cause of bedlam.

    Actually, the key to the rampant, chronic homelessness evident in the streets of LA in 2014 can be traced to irresponsible people in the judiciary who believe that people milling about in public can be as willful, psychotic and crazy as they want to be, because (sob, sob) we the citizens of America (including the police) don’t want to hurt their feelings.

    • wildstar says

      Well, you can trace the issue in part back to the decimation of the state mental health care system in the 80s. But today a huge issue is the centralization of all these services in skid row. Services need to be spread out across the county, downtown should not have to bear the burden alone. Added on top are all these lawsuits against LA that are brought by groups like LACAN every time the city tries to do something. The city and police have their hands tied in a lot of ways. So far, Garcetti has said very little on homelessness.

  28. Tom Nguyen says

    Black homeless thugs harass me constantly when I walk through downtown. I’m starting to notice a racial overtone against Asians but everybody is too politically correct and chicken shit to say it.

    It tends to happen to me when others aren’t around so to say these guys are completely mentally gone is bullshit. They are very aware of their actions. I mean if you can walk and look me in the eye and still harass me well you are a criminal and I’m sorry I don’t want my tax dollars spent on you.

    Just die already so the rest of us can live peacefully and not have to worry about some deranged black man yelling at us. And yes it’s black men.

    • I’m sorry you feel this way Tom. But having worked with the chronic mentally ill for the past 5 years, and recently as an homeless outreach worker on skid row, I can say that many of those who I work with can both be aware and have lapses where they lose control of themselves – they hear voices telling them to do something, or they have an unusual impulse that they feel the need to act on. I understand that you don’t want your tax dollars spent on them, but simply telling them to die isn’t going to solve anything – what would we look like as a society if that is what we are deduced to?

      Anyway you look at it, there will be a cost in assuring safety, and it does not have to involved putting them behind bars (because after all, that will cost even more money in the long run). What they need is to be placed in a treatment facility where they can receive the treatment (medicine + therapy) to cope with the chronic illnesses they face.

      I can’t change the fact that you may have been harassed by certain black males, but in DTLA and in general, there are people of all colors, shapes and sizes who harass people, screaming at the sky or passerby.

      And I say this as a Black man.

    • A lot of gang members end up on the streets of DTLA after finishing long bids at Central Jail/Twin Towers as they’ve often estranged or lost much of their family and friends. So it’s not inherently anything to do with black males, but rather people who were already aggressive and disenfranchised and are now thrust into a world where they have few opportunities and little if any support.

      And the racially coded language both in the article and comments is pretty crass. I’m sorry ‘those people’ are holding DT back from being a paradise for effete yuppies. Personally, i don’t want to see downtown to go the route of gentrification that lower manhattan did.

  29. Meesohonee says

    Dave, your points on jaywalking are the yammerings of a typical dtla douche. We are trying to build something really cool and fun and people like you come in because you have jumped onto

  30. belindieG says

    Just saw some stupid kid get busted for shop-lifting in that store today.

  31. Rich says

    I just read this, Brigham. Don’t know how I missed it but chalking it up to being so busy in February. Something very similar happened to me in that exact same spot. That was the final straw that made me leave DTLA a couple years ago. I was getting pushed by a belligerent homeless guy who was much bigger than me, yelling obscenities out of literally NOWHERE. It was so disturbing. I too ended up taking 6th or 4th from that point. Getting freaked out just thinking about it again.

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