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by downtown guy
Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2003 at 5:02 AM
This has not been reported in the main stream news in Los Angeles. Saturday night a very large group of people broke out into a fight. Several injured, one killed, possibly more.
Sometime around 4 am on Saturday night, approximately 25 to 40 people moved from the east thru the toy district along Winston Street to Main Street settling between 4th and 5th. The crowd held primitive weapons of sticks, bottles, and knives. In some cases bicycles were used. The fight escalated killing at least one person. Reports from area residents say as many as 4 may have died. The cause is unknown for what started the massive street fight.
It was loud, violent, and out of control. The police lines were busy as area residents attempted to call 911. After several tries, callers got thru.
If gang activity or a war along racial lines is breaking out in the downtown area, this could be a serious set back to revitalisation. It also could prove a challenge to the new police chief as well as his force on the streets. The violence was centered one block from the old bank district, now being developed by Tom Gilmore and others.
Jan Perry has been very active in efforts to renew downtown and is pushing to get the homeless off the streets. Are the two connected--Saturday's violent out break and the police sweeps of the homeless? Unknown. But the sweeps have disrupted the regulars who live downtown who can no longer can hang out where they once did before.
The street fight is not being reported in the LA Times. That's one thing that is clear. And if the city doesn't jump on this, downtown may empty out once again and return to being a ghost town.
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