The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deployed a new “Super-Spreader Task Force” over New Year’s Eve to detain more than 900 people for violating coronavirus restrictions.
TONIGHT: As #COVID19 cases & deaths explode in L.A. & small businesses crumble under endless restrictions, we were at several massive NYE parties in Malibu, DTLA, & Pomona last night, all broken up by @LASDHQ. Over 900 people detained, 90 arrests, 6 guns recovered. 10pm @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/JM4eXZZebT
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 2, 2021
The task force comprised “hundreds of detectives, patrol deputies, and Specialized Response Teams,” according to the city.
It shut down five large parties in Los Angeles, Malibu, Hawthorne and Pomona, resulting in more than 90 arrests and dozens of written citations.
“I have made it clear that we will seek out and take law enforcement action against all ‘Super-Spreader’ events occurring anywhere within Los Angeles County,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
“The goal of these enforcement actions is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the risk to our vulnerable populations,” he said.
LASD Captain Holly Francisco said the task force relied on tips from nearby residents to alert them of “illegal” gatherings.
Once the police confirmed the location of the “illegal” gathering, “we had our ‘Super Spreader Task Force’ respond and detain the occupants,” she said.
This enforcement was necessary because party-goers “knowingly placed others in jeopardy by having a large gathering,” said Lt. John Satterfield. “There was no social distancing, there were no masks, it was unsafe and irresponsible,” he added.
One partygoer, however, defended gathering with friends and family and slammed the police for overreacting.
“We’re tired of closing this sh** down,” the frustrated reveler told KTTV.
“My people have lost businesses and all that sh**, and we really just wanted some fresh air, man—that’s what’s going on,” he continued. “We wanted some fresh air, they come out with the tanks and all, man. Sh** is crazy.”