Oakland Police Boost Presence to Prevent Sideshows

A spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department said Friday that extra officers from Oakland and other Bay Area law enforcement agencies will be on duty this weekend to try to prevent sideshow activity that's being promoted on social media platforms.

Officer Johnna Watson said officers from Oakland's traffic division and other specialized units will be posted in various locations "to deter sideshow participants and anyone who's thinking of observing illegal and dangerous sideshow activity."

"We're going to be out here, we're gonna site you, we'll make arrests, we'll tow your vehicles, so don't come," said Lieutenant Rachel Van Slooten from the Oakland Police department. 

Extra officers from the California Highway Patrol and other local police agencies will join Oakland in having extra officers on duty and the agencies will all share information.

Watson said, "We want to discourage people from participating in or observing" sideshows.

She said sideshows, in which car drivers and motorcyclists speed, perform stunts and engage in reckless driving, "are inherently dangerous and can lead to serious injuries and even to deaths."

Watson said sideshow participants could face arrest, citations, and the possibility that their vehicles could be towed and impounded for up to 30 days.

Residents say they've been seeing these street spectacles more often lately and fear the dangerous consequences. 

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