“While we have already closed all nightclubs and bars, these large house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the Hills,” Garcetti, a Democrat, said at a press conference.
The consequences of the parties “ripple far beyond” the events, leading to a higher rate of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus spread, the mayor asserted, describing them as unsafe and life-endangering.
“That is why tonight I am authorizing the city to shut off Los Angeles Department of water and power service in the egregious cases in which houses, businesses, and other venues are hosting unpermitted large gatherings,” he said.
Starting Friday night, if police officers respond to a large gathering or party and verify it is occurring, officers will provide notice and initiate a 48-hour process that will end with the property losing access to water and power.
The new order does not target “small and ordinary gatherings,” the mayor stressed, singling out a party of more than 100 people at a mega-mansion on Mulholland Drive that took place on Monday.
Police officers responded to the party but declined to intervene until after a shooting that left one dead and others injured.
Garcetti said dealing with large gatherings is a tough assignment, “which is why we looked for a mechanism that would 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,” he said.
Pressed on whether shutting off power and water to homes was legal, Garcetti said, “You’re breaking the law.”
“This is rooted in strong law. From the City Attorney, we have the opinion. We know we can do this,” he told reporters.
Garcetti in April authorized the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to shut off water and power for so-called non-essential businesses that continued operating despite harsh restrictions that ordered them to shut down.
In March, the department said it would not shut off water or power to residents of Los Angeles.
The agency didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.