Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) announced Wednesday night that by the end of the week, the city will start cutting off water and electric services to homes and businesses caught holding unauthorized large gatherings in violation of COVID-19 restrictions.
The mayor says he wants offenders shut down "permanently."
What are the details?
"Recently we've seen the reports of some large parties and gatherings in flagrant violation of health ordinances," Garcetti said during a news conference. "As our county Department of Public Health said yesterday, and I quote, 'The highest risk settings are large, in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and where face coverings are not worn."
Despite the fact that Garcetti himself was pictured (see photo above) mask-less among crowds of crammed-together George Floyd protesters weeks ago, he says it's time to crack down on others who host gatherings that are not permitted by the government.
The mayor went on to say that with bars and nightclubs shut down already under his commands, "these large house parties have essentially become night clubs in the hills."
So, he has authorized the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to cut services to anyone busted allowing people to assemble in "large" gatherings without permission, starting Friday night.
According to Fox News, Garcetti said his aim is for the utility department to use their new powers against offenders to "shut these places down permanently."
"By turning off that power, shutting off that water, we feel we can close these places down, which usually are not one-time offenders but multiple offenders," he explained.
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A KTTV-TV reporter tweeted that Gardetti's "move comes after a massive mansion party took place in #BeverlyCrest on Monday night" that "ended with a shooting that left one woman dead and two others critically injured."
He added, "Police tell us the party on Mullholland Drive was gang related."
Garcetti used the example of the Mullholland Drive house party during his conference, and assured citizens that only the most "egregious" offenders would face having their utilities shut off. However, repeat offenders will face criminal charges on top of having utilities cut to their property.
Another KTTV reporter asked the mayor about the legality of his new order, and Garcetti replied that city attorneys assure him the order is "rooted in strong law."
The Democrat added, "We know we can do this."