Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that he has authorized the Department of Water and Power to turn off utilities at homes caught hosting large gatherings, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Garcetti said that as of Friday, if Los Angeles Police Department officers find large parties at properties and there is evidence that those locations have repeatedly flouted the city’s guidelines, the police will have the authority to request that water and electricity be turned off within 48 hours.
The announcement came after reports of large parties in violation of health guidelines.
Because nightclubs and bars have been closed, Garcetti said, “these large house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the hills.”
“The consequences of these large parties ripple far beyond just those parties,” he said. “They ripple throughout our entire community because the virus can quickly and easily spread.”
Big party triggered move:
The announcement came after 200 people were reportedly attending a party when police responded to numerous complaints from neighbors on Monday at a mansion on Mulholland Drive.
Officers impounded some cars that were illegally parked but did not break up the party despite the ban on large gatherings.
Hours after police were called, the party ended with a shooting. Two women and a man were shot. One of the women died while the two others are in stable condition.
City Council weighing legislation:
City Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion on Wednesday that would hike penalties and create more enforcement options against property owners that defy city laws and safety rules.
“Despite a pandemic that has killed thousands in Los Angeles, some homeowners are choosing to put everyone at risk by renting out their homes to massive house parties,” Ryu said. “This is irresponsible bordering on deadly – and it must be stopped.”
“Whether it takes shutting off utilities or revoking their permits, we must do what it takes to shut down these parties,” he added.