City leaders, police working together as crowds gather for illegal street racing

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — State and local leaders are concerned over large gatherings in the metro.

Over the weekend, illegal street racers and crowds ignored public health restrictions, and it led to violence.

Police and city officials said they’re taking notice of the events and plan to take action.

“It is a challenge because they are secret and they aren’t confined to one particular area. They have a meet up location, so KCPD is not alerted to where they are until after its happened,” 5th District Councilwoman Ryan Parks-Shaw said.

This weekend’s car stunts resulted in seven people getting shot in three separate incidents. One victim was shot multiple times and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Officials estimate a street racing site off of Eastwood Trafficway had more than 100 cars and 1,000 people in attendance.

Shaw said she’s not happy about what’s happening in her district, where majority of the stunts and gatherings were reported.

“We are definitely concerned about people not social distancing. With as many people that were out there, it is very difficult to social distance. We are concerned about the outcome of potential increase in COVID numbers,” Shaw said.

Leaders say it should be addressed before another person is hurt or, even worse, killed.

“What we noticed recently is an increase in violence associated with these. That’s what really has us concerned,” said Capt. David Jackson, spokesman for KCPD.

“The street racing is not good. We don’t endorse street racing, but when it turns violent, and we have had some shooting associated with it, that is what’s brought this to the forefront.”

Jackson said a number of different departments are collaborating to monitor the secret gatherings and track them once they’re happening.

“One of the things we have tried to do is improve our ability to track social media, and we are working through some various means to do that,” Jackson said. “We are learning the new terminology, too.”

Police ask you to notify them about these planned gatherings or call 911 while they are happening to keep everyone safe.

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