Oakland City Council backs push to crack down on sideshows

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Dangerous sideshows spinning violently out of control in the East Bay. Under pressure to act the Oakland police are vowing to crackdown this weekend.

As of Tuesday night, Oakland city leaders are following suit and supporting stiffer penalties for participants.

RELATED: 'Complete lawlessness': Semi-truck looted, burned during Oakland sideshow

Sunday night on International and 42nd Avenue, in East Oakland, a bus and a big rig were set on fire.

No arrests were made even though a driver was also held up at gun point.
Oakland City Councilman, Larry Reid said, "The side show is getting more and more violent than any other time certainly in the 22 years I've been on the council."

That's why he and two others are sponsoring Assembly Bill 4-10. The bill would make multiple convictions of a side show a felony, enact a hefty fine, and impound a car for up to a month.

Plus, for the first time, bystanders can be charged too.

Reid told the council, "It's time for this council to fight hard for this piece of legislation to enact."
Everyone on the council agrees and some even want more, like a social media task force.

Councilmember Sheng Thao said, "What would be helpful as well is if we whether it's OPD or a certain task force to really look through social media and see where the next side show will be in the city."

RELATED: 2 large sideshows in Oakland have some city leaders calling for crackdown

Bill opponents insist criminalization isn't the answer but perhaps legalizing side shows is.

Oakland resident and sideshow attendee, Zach Murray said, "The city could ensure there's insurance, where the city can ensure there's proper liability being assumed and if you bring it into the light you legalize and legitimize it that gives you a better grounds to enforce."

As for immediate change, Oakland police and the Sheriff's Dept. plan to work together to up patrols this weekend.

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