OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Cities across the Bay Area are scrambling to find new ways to deal with sideshows.
This on the heels of this weekend’s giant sideshows in San Francisco, Oakland, and even on the Bay Bridge. Oakland city leaders are proposing changes to keep these dangerous events at bay.
Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo – not mincing words – about these stunts out on the streets, near his home in east Oakland. He says, “it is illegal activity. We must put them to an end.”
Gallo argued the merits of his ordinance to strengthen existing city codes to help police cope with sideshows at the city council meeting Tuesday. The ordinance would ratchet up what the city can do: including fine promoters, and go after the people who use cars to block intersections, preventing law enforcement from breaking up events.
Over the past year – sideshows have seemingly grown more violent and dangerous. A man died at a Vallejo sideshow late this summer.
In Santa Rosa, more than 200 people converged on city streets causing thousands of dollars of damage. Just this past weekend, the Bay Bridge was shut down for hours due to sideshow activity.
Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley has long criticized the sideshows watching them increase in intensity. He says he supports council member Gallo’s ordinance but also wants to see the state get involved.
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Miley said, “I am asking for a state taskforce from Bonta.” As for Oakland, the council plans to take up the ordinance again at their next meeting – some members wanting the punishment clearly spelled out for those who do break the law at these sideshows.