NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Street stunts are the hot topic Monday morning after videos of dangerous situations surfaced over the weekend. Street stunts are when crowds of people gather and block an intersection doing tricks and stunts.
Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, Chief Shaun Ferguson, held a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss this dangerous and illegal activity. Chief Ferguson was joined by Officials from the Louisiana State Police, Orleans Levee District Police, and Crimestoppers.
Chief Ferguson said more than anything, we should not accept the “total disrespect for our officers, in jumping onto our vehicles, kicking our vehicles, as they are trying to protect citizens of our city.”
Officials believe these drivers are not from New Orleans, but Chief Ferguson says regardless of where they are from, this activity is not acceptable.
FULL FOOTAGE: Street stunts caught on camera in New Orleans East
Video Courtesy: Anthony Parker
“We should not be receiving these distractions when we need to focus on the real problem at hand, which is the violence in New Orleans,” said Chief Ferguson.
Two situations, one at the intersection of Dowman Road and Chef Menteur Highway and the other at St. Claude and St. Roch Streets, are going viral right now. The videos are taking the internet by storm, showing “street stunt” incidents with passengers hanging out the windows as the cars plow through the intersections doing donuts and causing smoke to cloud the area.
One of the videos, sent to us by a viewer,r shows dozens of bystanders watching, recording, and blocking traffic, as a driver performs stunts.
The drivers in these videos are dangerously spinning around, getting close to the people watching. The videos show cars, trucks, and motorbikes taking over these intersections.
One of the videos– which we can’t air— shows a single NOPD unit being attacked and jumped on while the officer is trying to get through the intersection. Both of the incidents went on for several minutes.
In another video we cannot air, multiple spectators are seen flashing guns.
In the Monday afternoon press conference, Chief Ferguson said, “In the past, we haven’t addressed this with arrests, for reckless operation. Those days are no longer.”
Drivers caught performing these illegal street stunts will be arrested for “aggravated obstruction of highway or commerce.” This charge carries us to 15 years in jail.
NOPD Press Conference on illegal street stunts
The Chief says he is also advocating for more legislation and more policies to be put in place so that Officers can seize these individuals’ vehicles. And further, more legislation that will allow Officers to address the spectators.
On Monday evening, Mayor Cantrell sent out a statement urging “respect for law enforcement.” Her full statement can be read below: