LA officials to set up task force to crack down on illegal street racing

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's loud and dangerous. Some call it a street takeover, police say it's Illegal street racing.

"It's getting more violent, they're becoming more frequent, the crowds are getting bigger and they're in every single community now," said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander.

The Los Angeles Police Department and the city council are trying to crack down on street racing. So far this year, officials says there have been three incidents that ended in six fatalities.

It's been going on for decades, but they say racing has become more glamorized with social media.

"It is very prevalent in our media, like movies, certain franchises support it. There are popular TV shows, currently, that support this culture and, of course, social media," said Commander Martin Baeza from the LAPD.

The council voted unanimously to set up a task force to get several law enforcement agencies and community groups together to be able to stop the street racing trend.

Parent William Littlefield's daughter, Michelle, was killed on her way home from Disneyland by street racers.

"Street racing is a criminal act. They're criminals, they are thugs, they don't need any compassion," he said.

"We are tracking every occurrence, we are tracking license plates, we're tracking everybody that is showing up and participating -- spectators, we're looking at every single angle, any tool we have that we can use to crack down on this," Englander said.

Law enforcement officials also said they hope they can work with community groups to set up legal racing at facilities such as the Irwindale Speedway.
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