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The mayor of LA threatened to cut power and water to houses hosting parties after YouTube and TikTok stars kept gathering despite COVID restrictions

Business Insider logo Business Insider 8/6/2020 sbaker@businessinsider.com (Sinéad Baker)
Jake Paul posing for the camera: Jake Paul. Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Republic Records © Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Republic Records Jake Paul. Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Republic Records
  • Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said officials will cut water and power to houses that host parties, which are currently banned due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Eric Garcetti said that the measure would only be used on homes that repeatedly break the rules.
  • The announcement came a day after a huge party that ended in gunfire and one woman dead.
  • Parties have been thrown and attended by high-profile YouTube and TikTok stars in the area, including by Jake Paul.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Mayor of Los Angeles said he is authorizing the county to shut off water and power to houses that host large gatherings despite the coronavirus restrictions.

Eric Garcetti's announcement came at a press conference on Wednesday, after a series of high-profile parties in Los Angeles, including those involving YouTube and TikTok stars.

According to The Daily Beast, Garcetti said: "Starting on Friday night, if LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties offending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that DWP shut off service within the next 48 hours." 

He said the rule was to target "people determined to break the rules, posing significant public dangers and a threat to all of us."

He noted that some parties have been thrown in homes that were left vacant or in homes that can be rented through services like Airbnbs.

He said the gatherings were "unsafe and can cost Angelenos their lives."

Eric Garcetti, Hilda Solis, Janice Hahn standing in front of a building: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a Los Angeles County Health Department press conference on the novel coronavirus, (COVID-19)on March 4, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images © ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a Los Angeles County Health Department press conference on the novel coronavirus, (COVID-19)on March 4, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

"All those sacrifices can be undone by a few who refuse to follow the science and who refuse to follow the rules and put our economy and our community at risk," he said, the Boston Globe reported.

Garcetti said that Los Angeles authorities could cut water and power after only one incident, but would rather hold off unless people repeatedly violate the rules.

"We can actually do the power or water shutoff after a first violation," he said, "but we like to educate, not enforce."

"We will not act lightly. But we will act."

The threat to shut off utilities mirrors the one Garcetti made to businesses in April, when he said that any unessential business that continue to operate in defiance of restrictions could get their water and power shut off.

Garcetti did not mention any specific events or parties at his press conference on Wednesday.

But his comments came the day after a party of around 200 people was held in a mansion of Mulholland Drive, in Southern California's Santa Monica Mountains.

Neighbours called the police with noise complaints. But police found the aftermath of gunfire, which they believe is gang related.

One woman was killed, and four others injured, the Los Angeles Times reported.

And numerous YouTube and TikTok stars and influencers have been accused of attending and throwing large parties.

The Hype House, a collective of high-profile creators who live together, threw a party in July with around 70 people, including influencers like Charli D'Amelio and Emma Chamberlain, with "hundreds" more waiting outside to be let in.

a group of people posing for the camera: Larri Merritt, Emma Chamberlain, James Charles, Charli D'Amelio at a party in the Hype House in July 2020. @larray, Phil Shaw @p.hil/Instagram; @jamescharles/Instagram © @larray, Phil Shaw @p.hil/Instagram; @jamescharles/Instagram Larri Merritt, Emma Chamberlain, James Charles, Charli D'Amelio at a party in the Hype House in July 2020. @larray, Phil Shaw @p.hil/Instagram; @jamescharles/Instagram

Some big creators, like YouTubers Tana Mongeau and James Charles, apologized after another YouTuber, Tyler Oakley, called them out for being there.

YouTuber Jake Paul held a party on July 14 that Alicia Weintraub, the mayor of the LA city of Calabasas, said she was "outraged" over.

He told Insider that he wasn't sure if he was going to keep hosting parties, and that he isn't the type of person who's going to "sit around" and not live his life during the pandemic.

Under Los Angeles' current rules, indoor gatherings of people from different households are banned, except as part of essential activities.

a close up of a man in a striped shirt: Jake Paul. Leon Bennett/Getty Images © Leon Bennett/Getty Images Jake Paul. Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Venues like bars and nightclubs are closed, and police say they are seeing an increase in calls about large parties, particularly in the Hollywood Hills.

Barbara Ferrer, the LA county director of public health, said: "You can't have parties right now."

"Gatherings are simply not allowed at this point under the health officer order," she said, according to Deadline. "Because they create a lot of risk for transmission at activities that really are not essential."

Los Angeles has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other county in the US, according to data from John Hopkins University.

As of Thursday, more than 198,000 cases have been recorded in Los Angeles, and more than 4,800 people have died there.

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