For Immediate Release: May 17, 2021
The City of Oakland experienced two separate illegal Sideshows over the weekend. Starting on Saturday night, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) saw close to 200 vehicles traveling in and out of Oakland and nearby cities for six hours. The groups were attempting to take over intersections in Oakland to engage in illegal sideshow activity. Oakland Police Officers dedicated to sideshow enforcement were able to monitor the activity on the ground and in the air with the department’s helicopter (ARGUS). Officers successfully deterred and disrupted this activity and towed one vehicle.
On Sunday night, officers worked sideshow enforcement for nearly eight hours. OPD received reports of illegal sideshow activity taking place in the area of 98th and Edes Avenues. Officers in ARGUS flew over the scene and spotted approximately 300 people watching 100 vehicles take part in the illegal activity. Officers on the ground responded to the area and were able to disrupt the activity by arresting eight people, towing 22 vehicles, one ATV and, writing 14 citations.
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong said, “I appreciate our City Councilmembers for supporting and restoring funds for a dedicated sideshow detail. Without these additional resources, our city would’ve experienced significantly more destructive sideshow activity. These sideshow events are known to take over intersections and neighborhoods causing significant safety concerns in our community. It will take a combined effort of law enforcement and the community to address these dangerous sideshow events. Let’s continue to work together towards making Oakland a city free of sideshows.”
Officers are following up on identifying additional vehicles that took part in this illegal activity. Once identified, investigators will go to the homes where the vehicles are registered and tow those vehicles.
OPD continues to partner with community groups, regional law enforcement agencies, and other city departments for a long-term solution to address illegal sideshows and violent crimes in Oakland.
If you have information about illegal sideshows you can send OPD a tip at our non-emergency email, firstname.lastname@example.org