Dozens filmed doing burnouts and tossing money into Calif. intersection

The sideshow was part of five to 10 different street takeovers Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded to that evening


By Jonah Valdez
Los Angeles Times

COMPTON, Calif. — Dozens of people were seen in a video running into an intersection during an illegal street takeover just outside of Compton on Sunday night, narrowly avoiding cars that swirled along the asphalt.

The video, originally reported by KTLA-TV Channel 5, showed an individual standing on the roof of a black pickup truck parked at the center of the intersection and tossing cash in the air, drawing spectators to rush toward the money. Several cars burned doughnuts around the crowd in West Rancho Dominguez.

The sideshow at East Compton Boulevard and South San Pedro Street was part of the five to 10 different takeovers that Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded to on Sunday evening in and around Compton, said Lt. Oscar Butao. It was likely the same group of 200 to 300 people jumping from intersection to intersection, hosting the shows, he said.

A separate video of another sideshow in the Harvard Park neighborhood showed images of a minor crash.

No arrests were made, and no injuries were reported during the sideshows, according to Butao.

Butao said the Compton sheriff's station responded to calls about sideshows starting Thursday and into Sunday, a typical weekend for deputies, who are unable to do more than show up, chase the crowds away and occasionally cite or arrest a driver, largely due to limited resources available to respond to such incidents.

Originating in Oakland and the East Bay area in the 1980s and 1990s as a part of the wave of hyphy hip-hop culture, sideshows became a common social space for the area's Black, Latino and Asian youth. It was common for people driving souped-up cars to acrobatically burn doughnuts into the pavement and to ghost ride, or to dance atop or next to a slow-moving, driverless car.

However, the shows quickly drew criticism from local officials worried about safety as well as fights or drug dealing happening at the events, turning to law enforcement to crack down on the gatherings.

In recent decades, the takeovers spread to Southern California, where South and Southeast Los Angeles cities and neighborhoods, such as Compton, have become a hub. Safety remained a major concern for Compton city leaders as well as residents whose loved ones were killed at sideshows. However, authorities have struggled to curtail the sideshows, which despite arrests, have not slowed their frequency.

"We're not going to arrest our way out of this," LAPD Chief Michel Moore said at a Police Commission meeting earlier this year. "Despite the hundreds of impounds and citations and arrests, we still see the proliferation of this."

A separate money shower incident in L.A.'s recent memory that drew controversy involved rapper Blueface, who showed up at skid row, also standing on top of a car, throwing cash at homeless people. Video of the appearance went viral on social media. Though intended to be an act of charity amid the city's housing and homelessness crises, the "Thotiana" performer received backlash with many calling the stunt humiliating and degrading.

NEXT: Calif. city installs deterrent to prevent street takeovers

©2022 Los Angeles Times. 
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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