The streets of Los Angeles’ Skid Row are paved with crack cocaine, heroin, and just about every kind of illegal substance. For years, the downtown area has been a haven for drug dealers preying on the thousands of homeless people living on the streets. Now, reports National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Police Department is trying to crack down on specific dealers. A proposed new legal strategy is meant to lock up Skid Row drug dealers longer. The injunction targets 80 well-known dealers. They’d be arrested for so much as stepping foot in the area, and they’d face at least six months behind bars.
Police Capt. Todd Chamberlain says it’s the first time L.A. is going after the dealers by name – those who’ve been arrested multiple times. “They’re here because the people who buy their drugs are here, the people they can exploit, the people who they know are weak, and it’s an easy target to sell to them,” says Chamberlain. “We’re not going to just throw up our hands and say, ‘This is a no man’s land.’ That might have been done for too long, for too many years. That’s why it’s so important to have this other tool available, to say, ‘We know you’re doing it, now you just can’t do it here anymore.’