PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chances are, you’ve seen them, but Philadelphia Police say the shows must not go on. Dangerous stunt driving spectacles continue to draw huge crowds in some unlikely places around Philadelphia. There are new efforts to crack down on those behind the wheel before somebody gets hurt.
Reckless driving stunts outside of City Hall in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia. These scenes played out at 15th and Walnut Streets overnight Saturday. Huge crowds mobbed the area cheering drivers on as cars could be seen spinning around and circling the street.
This time-lapse video gives an aerial view of what residents living near that area must have heard and seen in the middle of the night. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office addressed the incident during their weekly crime briefing.
“I personally believe that the kind of behavior that we saw is an indication of a lawless streak going on here in the city and county of Philadelphia and it needs to stop,” First Assistant District Attorney Bob Listenbee said. “That kind of behavior is just not acceptable right here in Center City, in front of City Hall. It’s just not acceptable.”
Philadelphia police say there were several large gatherings like this over the weekend. Video at one point even shows a car and the crowd closing in on a police cruiser.
Marshall Mitchell is a pastor of Salem Baptist Church and lives in the city. He believes police need to target social media where many of these gatherings are organized.
“There absolutely needs to be more of a presence with police. I think the police also have to understand increasingly how to read what’s happening on Instagram in particular,” Mitchell said. “I do think that there has to be this modernization of policing where they’re looking at electronic surveillance differently with respect to social media.”
Meantime, the investigation into these mass gatherings continues.
“So far, to the best of my knowledge, there’s been no charges that have come to our office. We understand there were a number of police officers present at the time,” Listenbee said. “Many of us have seen the videos on the news. As soon as they bring charges, we will follow up on them immediately.”
Police say these gatherings are a constant issue in Philadelphia and officers are working to address it.