OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Hundreds of young people gathered on two East Oakland street corners Sunday evening, cheering on illegal sideshows and violating the shelter-in-place order, according to dozens of social media posts and videos.
Oakland police said three people were arrested during the sideshow activity, and 12 vehicles towed. Another two dozen people were cited.
Sunday during our sideshow enforcement 3 people were arrested 14 others cited & 12 vehicles towed. Roughly 450 people took part in this disruptive and illegal behavior. Special thanks to "ARGUS" our police helicopter which played a major role. Weekend enforcement will continue. pic.twitter.com/L8zxE2bSJI
— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) March 30, 2020
YouTube and Twitter videos showed the large crowd quickly dispersing as Oakland police arrived at corner of 38th and International.
Other videos showed vehicles doing donuts in the intersection as the large crowd cheers on the drivers.
A later video shows a large response by Oakland police, blocking the intersection after the sideshow had come to an end.
There also appeared to be another sideshow in an Oakland neighborhood on a corner on Foothill and Bancroft.
If you’re in Oakland.. there’s always a sideshow pic.twitter.com/UEldJVCKg9
— Alvin (@hoyitsalvin) March 30, 2020
75-year-old Levi Wells lives in senior housing ride on the corner on Bancroft and saw the large crowds gather, noting that they were standing “neck and neck.”
“Shoulder to shoulder? No…neck to neck. People were climbing on top of each other. I’m serious,” Wells said. “These kids don’t care. They are not thinking about that. They are thinking about having their fun.”
Another video on social media shows police arresting a driver after breaking the windows of the vehicle.
Oakland police told KPIX that two blocks away from Bancroft and 55th Avenue, they arrested a driver under the influence who smashed his car onto a front porch of a home, killing a pedestrian and injuring three others. Police are still investigating the fatal collision and are asking anyone with information on the incident to contact them.
OPD also released a statement Monday evening saying they will continue cracking down on weekend sideshows.
“We are concerned with mass gatherings of groups whether legal or illegal activity during the County Health Order Shelter in place and social distancing, COVID-19. Additionally, participating or being a spectator during an illegal sideshow is a crime. The Oakland Police Department will continue our enforcement efforts each weekend,” said OPD spokesperson Johnna Watson.
When asked about the sideshow in an interview Monday, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf pleaded with Oakland residents to be respectful of the shelter-in-place order.
“People are so stressed out and the additional stress of having a sideshow in your neighborhood is so unacceptable,” Schaaf said. She also noted that law enforcement is actively trying to intercept sideshows before they happen on the highway.
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Others took to social media to criticize the participants for blatantly violating the coronavirus shelter-in-place order that has shut down popular parks and other gathering places for nearly two weeks. The restriction requires local residents to practice social distancing — an order the large crowd clearly violated.
One post read: “Sideshow in Oakland today. The level of ignorance is uncanny at a time like this. These mfs probably aren’t even from my city. Don’t get me wrong.. I come from this… but this ain’t the time. Also I’m hearing someone passed away in an accident. Save it for the summer guys. #StayHome”
Oakland police have been contacted for details. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has also not commented on the activity. There was no evidence on the videos of any arrests or cars being seized.