During a press conference Wednesday night, Mayor Eric Garcetti authorized the city to shut off power and water to properties, including houses and businesses, that are in violation of gathering regulations as a means to “shut these places down permanently.”
“By turning off that power, shutting off that water we feel we can close these places down, which usually are not one-time offenders but multiple-offenders,” Garcetti said.
He noted that local law enforcement officers are having a hard time dealing with gatherings where there are hundreds of people who are “breaking the law.”
“We know we can do this,” Garcetti said, responding to a question about the measure’s legality.
The authorization comes as the state battles a recent surge in confirmed cases. According to the mayor’s office, Los Angeles had nearly 198,000 cases as of Wednesday, as well as 4,825 fatalities.
Other states are having similar issues as local leaders ask residents to adhere to distancing guidelines.
In New York, for example, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has authorized local authorities to revoke the business licenses of establishments with environments in violation of these regulations – and regularly posts the names of the offending bars and restaurants.
“We continue to see situations that are just not intelligent and local governments have to crack down on these, whether they’re in New York City or Long Island or upstate New York,” Cuomo said this week.