L.A. County Supervisors Seek Public’s Input on Street Takeovers

Los Angeles County officials are seeking the public’s input on how to combat street takeovers or “sideshows.”

This deadly practice has been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. From January 1, 2020 to July 25, 2022, the sheriff’s department received nearly 3,100 calls related to sideshows. The Los Angeles Police Department similarly recorded a 60% increase in calls between 2020 and 2021. Last year, a brand new bridge connecting Downtown L.A. and Boyle Heights was shut down numerous times because of illegal takeovers. 

“The mere act of walking across the street, returning home from work and the grocery store has become hazardous in too many communities across L.A. County. And for all of us, I believe that’s unacceptable,” said Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who introduced a motion calling for a comprehensive report on the problem.

Mitchell’s district includes the City of Compton, where sheriff’s officials have responded to hundreds of sideshows since January.

As the county begins planning public forums to address problem, officials will look to other jurisdictions for ideas as well. Pico Rivera passed an ordinance three months ago that allows police to permanently confiscate vehicles used in street takeovers. Under the new rules, sideshow spectators can be fined $2,000. Meanwhile, the City of Santa Rosa has been taking legal action against sideshow organizers for the environmental damage they have caused.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission held a virtual meeting to discuss the issue. A subsequent report recommended the establishment of a Street Takeover Management Plan. Read the report here