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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

By Dennis J Freeman

COMPTON—It’s a sunny Tuesday in June on the streets of Compton. As the summer heat creeps up, it is a normal, seemingly quiet afternoon. Except for the mad scribble of fresh black skidmarks scrawled across the intersection of Wilmington and Stockwell like the shadow of a discarded bouquet of flowers. The stench of an alleged street takeover late Sunday night remains rank in the air.

Except for the line of candles, balloons and flowers, the neighborhood around Wilmington and Stockwell is low-key; seemingly normal. However, this day is anything but normal for the people, friends and loved ones of the two women who lost their lives in an alleged street takeover incident Sunday night.    

The Compton Bulletin made several attempts to contact the Los Angele Sheriff’s Department Compton Station for a clear understanding of what took place. The Compton Sheriff’s Station stated there were not yet any press statements issued regarding the deadly incident.

One of the things the law enforcement agency is still in the works of determining is whether or not the fatalities of Jennyfer Flores, 18, and Michellie Gonzales, 20, were the result of taking part in the alleged act of a street takeover, or caused by just a vehicle.

Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), has seen and heard enough. That is why Gabriel introduced legislation to crack down on illegal street racing and sideshows.

“Far too frequently, street racing and illegal sideshows devastate families, harm innocent bystanders, and cut short young lives,” said Gabriel. “Communities in the San Fernando Valley and across California are sick and tired of this reckless behavior. This bipartisan legislation will crack down on dangerous activity and help to save lives.”  

According to a press statement released by Gabriel’s office, the illegal street takeovers and street racing incidents have seen an uptick since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reportedly fielded at least 25,000 calls related to a street takeover.

Gabriel’s bill (AB 2000) is geared towards blocking all forms of illegal street racing in parking lots and street takeovers and banning sideshows related to these events. Other California lawmakers like Vince Fong (R-Kern County) are all on board with Gabriel’s bill.

“There are countless stories every week throughout California about illegal street races and dangerous sideshows shutting down streets, causing accidents, damaging neighborhoods, and endangering lives,” said Fong. “They are unpredictable, destructive, and can lead to senseless deaths that devastate families. AB 2000 is an important and needed step in cracking down on illegal sideshows to make our communities safer and save lives.”