DETROIT – A documentary from Vice showcasing illegal car meetups and stunt driving on Detroit streets garnered hundreds of thousands of views in a matter of days.
Watch the documentary below.
The 13-minute long video features drivers blocking busy intersections to drift and do donuts and burnouts. It comes after two viral videos showed traffic stopped on Lodge Freeway and I-94 while drivers did donuts in the middle of the roadway last year.
It has become a dangerous trend that Detroit Police Chief James Craig has vowed to take seriously, but participants insist the meetups, dubbed Sunday Funday, give Detroiters something to do.
Tee’s Garage owner Tommi Mahone said the impromptu events bring all nationalities together, providing an alternative to violence that has plagued the city.
“These cars, they bring everybody together -- all races, all shapes, all sizes, all colors,” Mahone said. “When people come, it’s all like one big happy family.”
However, Detroit police are not happy with what Craig referred to as a “blatant disregard for public safety” after the takeover on the Lodge.
But the drivers don’t let police stop them.
In the documentary, participants move from location to location as police show up. At one point, drivers are shown doing donuts on I-94. That incident led to an Allen Park resident, Devin Cronk, facing charges.
Mahone said he wasn’t part of the I-94 stunt, but he did acknowledge that there have been incidents and the driving can be dangerous. The documentary showed a clip of a car flipping and catching fire. Other videos showed people being hit by vehicles while trying to film them or standing in the audience.
“I’m not saying I’m the one doing the freeway takeovers or intersection takeovers, but we know it’s dangerous and we know what comes with it," Mahone said. "And that’s why we need a spot. It’s just as simple as that.”
Mahone said he has met with city officials and people from the mayor’s office three or four times to discuss having an area off of the streets where drivers can continue what they are doing without stopping traffic or putting others in danger.
“It sucks it had to get in the limelight the way it did. I wish we could have went around it, but everything happens for a reason,” he said.