OAKLAND (CBS SF) — There’s a troubling trend on the streets of Oakland — gunfire has become commonplace during illegal street racing sideshows.
At least three people have been shot and injured this year — one shooting victim at a sideshow in mid-January and two more last weekend.READ MORE: 'Sick Of Looking At The Blue Trap'; Golden State Warriors Ready For Playoff Stretch Drive With Fans In The Stands
In effort to stem the surge in violence, the Oakland police have partnered with the California Highway Patrol and Alameda County Sheriff’s Department this weekend to step up visibility and prevent sideshows.
Oakland police said they will impound participants’ cars for 30 days and ticket spectators.
“(We had) two people with gunshot wounds as a result of participating in a sideshow,” said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong. “We often have seen a huge increase in ShotSpotter activations at the sideshows.”
It’s not just in Oakland, a sideshow in San Jose also ended in gunfire on Valentine’s Day.
Armstrong blamed budget cuts for the increase in sideshow activity in his city, no money to do enforcement. But after three people were shot, he received approval for stepped up patrols for this weekend.
“This is going to be our effort to make this city safe this weekend,” he said. ” And so those extra resources will be out in full force.”
Business owner Tadesse Teklemichael told KPIX 5 that enforcement is good, but a short-term fix. There are large sideshows regularly at an intersection near his business.READ MORE: South Bay Traffic Alert: Overturned Big Rig Shuts Down Southbound Traffic On 101
“Unsafe, I don’t feel safe,” said Teklemichael. “If it continues, they are going to kill someone or they are going to damage properties.”
He agreed with his local councilman’s idea.
“Environmental design is something we absolutely have to look at,” said Oakland District 6 Councilman Loren Taylor. “In certain intersections where it makes sense, we can put up things that slow people down (like a roundabout or median strip)”
Taylor said he supported the extra patrols.
“But we do need to make that balance between enforcement, environmental design, community engagement, and alternatives to entertain folks and give them options,” Taylor said.
But any solution may come too late for Adriena and Lee Harris. They were planning to move out of Oakland, saying they were sick of the crime and sideshows.
“You get tired of that. And I love my house, I love Oakland,” said Adriena Harris.MORE NEWS: 'I'm In'; Caitlyn Jenner Says She'll Challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom In Recall Election
“Crackdown. That’s all we need, law enforcement to crack down,” added Lee Harris.