Homes that are confirmed to be hosting parties by the Los Angeles Police Department will have their utilities cut, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday in the wake of reports of parties during the coronavirus pandemic in recent days.
The mayor said that he had authorized the Department of Water and Power to cut utilities within 48 hours after parties were confirmed by the LAPD.
"You're breaking the law," the mayor said in response to a question about the constitutionality of shutting off utilities on private property.
The mayor said that, working along with the city attorney, he was confident the city had the authority to take this action. He pointed to similar actions taken by the city on non-compliant businesses.
Garcetti added, "This is life and death."
In response to a question about whether the action would apply to repeat offenders, the mayor said the city had the authority to cut utilities on the first offense. However, Garcetti added that the city typically prefers to educate on the first offense.
On Monday, a party in the Beverly Crest area featured hundreds of people seemingly not social distancing or wearing masks, but police were unable to take action to shut down the gathering. Later in the night, a 35-year-old mother of three lost her life when a shooting took place at the event.