With rats running everywhere among piles of decaying garbage, these shocking images of a tent city look like a sordid third world shanty — but are actually downtown Los Angeles.
“The city of Los Angeles has become a giant trash receptacle,” Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez complained.
The decay covers large chunks of Skid Row, a sprawling 50-block area that is believed to be the base for around 4,200 homeless people.
“What century is this?” Lopez asked.
“Is it the 21st century in the largest city of a state that ranks among the world’s most robust economies, or did someone turn back the calendar a few hundred years?”
He described someone even dumping “a fat load of poop” in the streets among the rest of the dirt and depravity.
“It used to be that illegal dumpers were a little more discreet, tossing their refuse in fields and gullies and remote outposts,” Lopez wrote.
“Now city streets are treated like dumpsters, or even toilets.”
The conditions in the area have also reached the local police station — with officers threatening to seek transfers after at least one developed typhoid, according to the Times.
The LAPD confirmed that a second employee had a lower intestinal infection, but a specific diagnosis has not been determined.