San Francisco to implement harsher penalties to crack down on illegal sideshows

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco is proposing new actions to crack down on illegal sideshows and implement harsher penalties for those who participate.

This proposal comes in the wake of a recent shooting, where a man’s body was found near a sideshow in a San Francisco neighborhood.

City leaders say the legislation would deter people from coming to San Francisco to take part in sideshows.

“A piece of legislation that will increase the the ability in San Francisco and the time to impound vehicles,” San Francisco supervisor Ahsha Safai said. “First offense no less than two weeks.”

“And if we can prove that you were behind the wheel you will be arrested,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said.

“We understand that people want to do this but they are dangerous and it is no fun if someone is killed,” Mayor London Breed said.

San Francisco city leaders are proposing new action to crack down on illegal sideshows. Supervisor Ahsha Safai says the new legislation not only targets drivers, putting them behind bars and impounding their vehicles up to 30 days, it also goes after sideshow facilitators.

“People that also set the perimeter,” Safa said. “People that use their vehicle to set up these events, in criminal terms it’s called aiding and abetting, those too will have their vehicles seized.”

Chief Scott says a special sideshow unit has been formed. Fifteen new surveillance cameras that will soon be installed to catch sideshow drivers and participants.

“For this to work effectively, we need to be able to put the driver behind the wheel,” Scott said. “Then we can do something with that case.”

Increasing the penalties for participating in sideshows comes after Labor Day’s deadly shooting in the Excelsior District.

“It’s dangerous for the participants. It’s dangerous for the spectators,” Breed said. “It’s dangerous for all the folks who are in range of this particular event.”

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