You witnessed the violent and shocking video last week of a mob taking over an LA 7-11 and ransacking it while terrorizing its sole staff member. The incident took place after what’s known as a “street takeover.” The takeovers happen when criminals block roads and perform stunts with their cars in the intersections. Nathan Solis and Melissa Hernandez of the LA Times describe the city’s street takeover “scene,” like this:
A little after midnight, nearly 200 people blocked the streets in what has become a weekly ritual in the city. Two cars whipped around the intersection,burning tires and worn-down brake pads sending shrouds of thick smoke into the air.
The illegal street takeovers, or sideshows, have been a part of urban Southern California culture for years. They often sprawl across multiple roads, with hordes of spectators blocking intersections to watch drivers hurtle around — sometimes scattering when vehicles careen into the crowd.
In the aftermath, glistening shards of broken glass sprinkle the roads and black tire marks tattoo the asphalt.
Those who attend say they aren’t hurting anyone.
But there is a growing backlash in some neighborhoods, with residents demanding authorities do more to crack down on the illegal gatherings that can turn deadly in a flash.
In the last eight months, at least six people have died during or near street takeovers. In November, two men were shot and killed in a car parked near a takeover in Compton. In June, two women were killed in a crash near an earlier Compton event. Over the Fourth of July weekend, a man in his 20s was fatally shot at a takeover in the Vermont Vista neighborhood. And Aug. 14, a teenage boy was shot to death during a takeover in Willowbrook.
Takeovers have grown in popularity since the start of the pandemic, when city streets were devoid of drivers during COVID-19 lockdowns. In the first six months of 2021, there were 500 reported sideshows in the city of Los Angeles, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department. During the same span this year, the LAPD has reported 705 takeovers, just 300 fewer than the entire number reported last year. Data on takeovers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were not available.
“It’s like a warzone,” former Compton Councilwoman Barbara Calhoun said. The perfectly painted white crosswalks on the major intersections near her home are marred by a tangle of black tracks.
Those who live in or near Compton say street racing and takeovers have defiled the city; the topic has become a regular point of discussion during council meetings, with residents like David Castillo pleading for action.
Castillo and his family were driving home from Walmart in March when they were struck by a lime-green Ford Mustang doing doughnuts near Wilmington Avenue and Stockwell Street.
His truck was totaled, Castillo said, and his 13-year-old daughter slammed her head into a window, dislocating a disc in her spine.
The Mustang drove off.
After the harrowing ordeal at the 7-11, the police may finally be attempting to crack down on such street takeover events. The LAPD shut down an attempted street takeover in West Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Action Line: If it has taken years for your city’s leadership to crack down on criminality like this, you probably live in one of the big blue blob cities with a Soros-backed DA. It’s time to look for a better America. Start your search with my Super States, and if you already live in a Super State, click here to sign up for my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter. We’ll weather this storm together.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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