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Photos: Cinco de Mayo crowds draw San Jose police amid coronavirus pandemic

Hundreds of cars filed into the Mi Pueblo Plaza waving Mexican flags and causing a traffic jam in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Few wore masks and not many practiced social distancing despite community leaders urging any celebrants to mark the holiday virtually.

“Actions like this don’t help in that regard whatsoever,” said Carlos Diaz, vice president of the Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association and founder of the Alum Rock Business Network.

Once cars started to do burnouts in the parking lot the San Jose Police Department came in and cleared the parking lot at Story and King roads. At least one man, from Sunnyvale, was detained but released after a short time.

Before the celebrations, San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia said that any police action would focus on public safety from crowds rather than to enforce social distancing rules or mask requirements.

Meanwhile in downtown San Jose, cars created gridlock on East Santa Clara Street after 8 p.m. that it looked worse than rush hour, with many cars having to sit through multiple lights. Police eventually shut down several streets, including both east and west traffic rerouted on South Fourth Street.

At least one man was detained after doing a doughnut at East Santa Clara and South Third streets. He was released but his car was towed.

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