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Oakland police upping their street presence to prevent sideshows on Cinco de Mayo

Oakland police stepping up their sideshow enforcement for Cinco de Mayo
Oakland police stepping up their sideshow enforcement for Cinco de Mayo 02:28

OAKLAND – The City of Oakland is stepping up its sideshow enforcement for Cinco de Mayo.

The effort comes after back-to-back years of sideshow activity during Cinco de Mayo celebrations. During the 2022 and 2023 celebrations, the Oakland Police Department towed 150 vehicles, issued nearly 80 citations and made several arrests.

CeCe Castellon said she can understand why police are taking these precautions.  

"I could see why it's dangerous," said Castellon.

She was taking her dog for a walk around Lake Merritt as OPD set up DUI checkpoints and sideshow enforcements ahead of the holiday.

"The police activity is very active right now," Castellon said while looking around. "It was all throughout the lake and that's not usually the case."

She saID she also worries things may get more out of control when police try to break up a sideshow.

"I feel like not that safe," Castellon said. "If I was to see a show on the street I would be like 'let me mind my own business,' but with some police activity you never know what could happen. Some gun violence or something like that."

Kuda Mushaike moved to Oakland from Zimbabwe. He said he doesn't mind people celebrating Cinco de Mayo by participating in sideshows.

"It's a really big thing in South Africa, and I think it's the most exciting thing ever," Mushaike said. "It looks exhilarating, and I would definitely want to be a part of it one of these days."

He suggested creating a designated space for sideshows so that people can do it safely instead of trying to shut it down, and Castellon agrees.

"I feel like maybe if there was space for that specific activity where it's a little more regulated perhaps it would bring the community closer," she said.

OPD said they still want people to enjoy the city during this Cinco de Mayo holiday, but they ask that people do it in a responsible and respectful way.

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