Sideshows, where large groups of people gather to watch and cheer on drivers participating in illegal performance driving tactics, remain a problem for many cities. Now, the city of New Orleans is seeing an increase in practice, also known as “pop-up shows,” and is looking for solutions. New videos from the city show some of the daring behavior we’ve seen from the crowd at these side shows.
On Monday, the New Orleans Police Department held a press conference condemning the practice. Superintendent Shawn Ferguson said the stunt show was held at four different locations in the city, Sunday, June 5th. He noted that the individuals involved were brave and shameless.
Related: See this reckless driver targeting police officers with his drift
This included not only the performance stunt driving, in this case almost exclusively donating in the middle of the intersection, but also the illegal reaction of the crowd in the presence of the police. In several videos uploaded to the web, we see people jumping into police cars, kicking and banging windows.
As a result, Superintendent Ferguson says the city will become more courageous and bold in its response. And those involved will not be sent on their way, accusing them of reckless driving. Now, participants will be charged for severe obstruction of the highway or trade. If convicted, the offenders could face up to 15 years in prison.
Ferguson said he was also advocating for harsher punishments for those who attended the events. If this sounds dramatic, then the words of Councilman Oliver Thomas have taken things to another level. “It’s not Gotham City,” he said. “Jokers and penguins don’t run this city.”
Fortunately, another councilor, Eugene Green, recently demonstrated a more subtle approach that highlights the importance of dealing with such stunts properly. “If the police chase after two or three motorcyclists and an accident occurs, what will be our reaction as the public and the media,” Green Nola asked, according to Dotcom. “Why would they run after them for such a non-violent crime?”
Green, however, supports holding viewers accountable, citing their presence as a big reason for these stunt shows. What are your thoughts on this kind of stunt show? Does a 15-year prison sentence sound unreasonable for anyone involved in one of these events? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.