Lowriders claim discrimination after recent ban

The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors insists it does not discriminate.

"We have turned away gatherings of Porsches and other exotic cars, VW Beetles and Buses, and classic cars. Our parking lots are reserved for beachgoers," a statement from the department reads.

This also comes as California recently lifted a ban on cruising, owners of lowriders say they are still facing a ban at public beaches. 

Yet, Lorraine Quiñonez, a community organizer, expressed her dismay, stating, "We love to cruise, and yet it feels like we’re not accepted. We don’t have the same rights as other people." 

Jesse Castillo, of Lordz of Kustomz, echoed this sentiment, highlighting how they are suddenly labeled as "the bad guys," simply because of the vehicles they drive.

The controversy arose when classic car enthusiasts were denied entry at Rosies Dog Beach in Long Beach and White Point/Royal Palms County Beach in San Pedro over the weekend. 

Donald Galaz, a member of the community, questioned the reasoning behind these actions, asking, "If I was a Lamborghini or a Porsche owner, would they deny me entry to a public beach? I don’t think so."

The Department of Beaches & Harbors responded to the allegations and issued the following statement: 

"At the Department of Beaches and Harbors, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the beach. Our public parking lots were built to serve the parking needs of beachgoers. That’s why we don’t allow car clubs to meet nor permit car shows in our beach parking lots, just like we don’t allow people to reserve the lots for sporting events or private parties. Turning parking lots funded by taxpayer dollars into private event venues displaces beachgoers and poses safety concerns. It’s hard enough to find parking at the beach; we don’t want beachgoers to arrive only to discover the parking lot full because of an unpermitted car event. When that happens, our enforcement team works with law enforcement to clear the lots and cite violators.  

We did deny entry to multiple vehicles on Feb. 17 because of an unpermitted car show called "Classic Wagon Fest," which was advertised on social media. Law enforcement was summoned to help clear the lot and prevent potential safety hazards. It should be noted that this is the same beach parking lot in which five individuals were shot and wounded last year during another unpermitted event.

All visitors, no matter what they drive, are welcome to park at our beach parking lots—as long as their ultimate destination is the beach, not the lot itself."

However, classic car enthusiasts argue that they are not part of any organized club and should not be subjected to such restrictions.