A district where bribery, extortion, vice and corruption of the police are common, red light district.
Jim Riordan, a San Francisco police patrol officer stationed in the Tenderloin District for 10 years, said it is a common sight to see teams of drug dealers shuffling guns and drugs back and forth between them so police don't know who to stop. He said that they wind up using minors, especially young girls, to hide the drugs and the guns in their pants when the police are around.
Unattributed, NBC11 online news, 21 November 2003. NBC11 News
During much of the nineteenth century, New York City was considered the leading center of vice and crime in the United States - some estimated that New York had more crime than the entire rest of the country. Within Manhattan in the late nineteenth century, the section considered to be the most crimeridden was the area of western midtown that came to be called "the Tenderloin," roughly bounded by 23rd and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Seventh Avenues (by the turn of the century, it extended northward and westward). The name was supposedly derived from Alexander S. ("Clubber") Williams; upon his appointment in 1876 as captain of the 29th Police Precinct that served this area, he looked forward to getting some of "the tenderloin" after long service in other neighborhoods. Williams, a millionaire by the time of his forced retirement in 1895, was a legendary symbol of the police graft and corruption that were major problems in New York City, nowhere more so than in the Tenderloin, particularly during the heyday of Tammany Hall.
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Report, December 15, 1998. Report
Becker lorded it over the Tenderloin, an amorphous district on the West Side, extending from 23rd Street to 42nd Street and northward, as Times Square took shape after the turn of the century. Called “Satan’s circus” by scandalized clergymen, the neighborhood was a haven for prostitutes, con men, gamblers and thieves. For the police, it was El Dorado of illegal payoffs.
Willian Grimes, The New York Times, 20 June 2007, New York Times
reviewing Mike Dash's Satan's Circus - Murder, Vice, Police Corruption and New York’s Trial of the Century. Amazon
Duignan, like so many other young immigrants, emerged from priest-controlled peasant Ireland to a place of unrestrained decadence, of sexual license, cheap gin and the dazzling corruption of the Tenderloin.
Ben Macintyre, The New York Times, 8 January 2006, New York Times
reviewing Nuala O'Faolain's The Story of Chicago May. Amazon