LOS ANGELES - For the second weekend in a row, crowds of Angelenos violated orders to stay at home and instead flooded into the streets to watch street takeovers, also known as sideshows.
The Los Angeles Police Department told FOX 11 they’ve seen the problem get worse these past two weekends, and they responded to multiple calls for service regarding the street takeovers.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve got these groups coming out to take advantage of the pandemic situation that we have,” said Sgt. Jesse Garcia of LAPD’s Central Traffic Division and the head of the Street Racing Task Force.
Videos posted to social media from all over Los Angeles show hundreds of people gathering at intersections to watch vehicles perform donuts. Some videos show people being hit by vehicles, or cars crashing into each other.
“Now these takeovers this weekend were unusually bad, people getting hit by cars, traffic accidents, in fact, we had a fatal accident in the city related to racing,” Sgt. Garcia said.
Sgt. Garcia told FOX 11 he has seen the social media videos and says the Street Racing Task Force responded to numerous calls.
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“These crowds number into the hundreds of people standing inches apart engaged in takeover activity which is unacceptable and illegal, when you’re in the middle of the street and cars are doing donuts in the middle of the intersection, it’s only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously hurt or killed," he said.
The sergeant said the takeovers eat up valuable police resources that could be used elsewhere, and they put the public at risk of spreading the virus.
“What people need to understand is that regardless of the situation, it’s still illegal, we’re still going to take enforcement action, and there’s going to be consequences,” he said. “We’re gonna be out there, the question is where.”