Dramatic Rise in Crime Casts Shadow on Downtown L.A.’s Gentrification

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A woman sits on the sidewalk near the intersection of 5th Street and Broadway in a downtown area known as "the corridor." Overall, violent crime in the LAPD's Central Division — which covers parts of downtown, skid row and Chinatown — was up more than 57% through the end of August compared with the same period last year, and property offenses increased nearly 25%, according to police data. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

As Lauren Mishkind was walking along 7th Street this summer in downtown Los Angeles, a man pulled a handgun and pointed it at another person standing behind her.

Terrified, she hid behind a car while the assailant tackled the victim.

“I was just shaking for the rest of the day,” said Mishkind, an architect who lives and works downtown. “You kind of assume it’s par for the course living down here, which is kind of more shocking.”

Crime has jumped across the city this year, but nowhere has the increase been as large as in L.A.’s hippest new domain: downtown.

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