Here's What an Illegal Sideshow Looks Like From a Helicopter's Thermal Camera

Gif: KRON 4 News (Twitter)

Police in Oakland, California broke up a series of illegal street drifting sideshows last weekend, with two police officers reportedly injured, close to 100 cars being towed, and at least two people arrested.


A helicopter flying overhead captured thermal video of one of the drifting sideshows which took over a public street. It shows hundreds of cars lined up at an intersection and a crowd looking on as four cars dangerously attempted to drift in the middle. Here’s the clip from local news KRON4 on Twitter:

A second video, via KRON4, claims that one police officer was struck in the face by a flying rock, and another officer suffered injury after being rammed by a car while sitting in their cruiser. Police also reported cars speeding the wrong way down one way streets, and videos from the sideshow also seem to show gunshots being fired into the air.

The California Highway Patrol reported that the off-ramp from southbound I-880 was temporarily shut down until around noon on Sunday due to the sheer amount of cars waiting to be towed.

While the thermal imaging video is interesting, showing the hot trail of rubber being put down by the cars, it’s just another way of looking at a bunch of careless idiots putting lives in danger and being a public nuisance.

The fact that some of these idiots became even more dangerous by throwing rocks, ramming cars and firing weapons just shows how quickly it can all get out of control and become a serious situation. And only two of these assholes were arrested! It’s clear there needs to be a harsher crackdown on shit like this.


Not only does it put innocent lives at risk—one of the sideshow events where gunshots were reported was next to a homeless community—it risks jeopardizing responsible enthusiast organizing who work with local communities and police to host events, like Cars and Coffee.

If you go out in public and do shit like this, you deserve to have your car towed and you deserve to be arrested. Keep it off the street. Find an autocross course, or a drag strip, or a drift course, or do what I did growing up and just meet your friends at a fast food parking lot where you’ll be too busy eating delicious fried food to be a public nuisance.


Take it to the track! You jokers.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


Ash78, voting early and often

I sincerely hope these cars are fully seized and driven around by the police as outreach/event vehicles, but also as a form of public shame for these clowns.

Are we at the point that we need to trade all-night basketball lockins for all-day High Performance Driving Events to keep kids from getting in trouble on the streets?