The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has confirmed that two of its officers attended a party celebrating first responders last week that has been followed on social media, where images of the gathering at the Sassafras Saloon in Los Angeles have circulated.
According to CNN, dozens were seen at the gathering on Friday.
Many of those in attendance didn’t wear face coverings or practice social distancing guidelines, the news network reported.
The company that owns the bar, 1933 Group, told CNN that the person who rented the spot for the party hoped to “honor a group of first responders.”
At least 100 law enforcement personnel were said to be involved with the affair, a source familiar with the plans for the event told the outlet.
The LAPD confirmed to USA Today that two of its officers attended. People were reportedly admitted to the event through a back entrance of the business.
A person outside the spot the night of the event told CNN that everyone in attendance was “either family or works at the same place so that’s why we don’t have Covid concerns.”
“They micro-group or whatever with each other and everyone’s been tested and everything. That’s why we all know that everyone in there is cool,” he continued.
The report comes as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California has surpassed 524,000 cases, according to the latest state health data, which also shows more than 9,700 people in the state have died from the disease.
In an effort to curb spread of the disease, which has killed tens of thousands in the country in a matter of months, California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia’s reported decline in infection rate may not be accurate, official says California: Dual threats of wildfire and COVID-19 underscore need for prevention The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association – Progress slow on coronavirus bill MORE (D) ordered indoor operations to close for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other businesses, while also mandating all bar operations shut down temporarily on July 13.
He also ordered all residents to wear face coverings back in June to help slow the spread, saying then that the precaution is “critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”
In some places in California, including West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, officials said last month that residents could also face fines for not wearing a mask in public, according to CNN.
The 1933 Group told the network that it “unequivocally [does] not condone this behavior and [has] no intention of agreeing to additional private events, charitable or otherwise, until the state allows.”
While the 1933 Group said it would not disclose the identity of the host of the event, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department denied hosting the party in a statement on Facebook after facing allegations that some of its employees had attended the event.
It also said in the statement on Facebook that individuals that were identified in footage of the event that surfaced “are not employees of the Sheriff’s Department.”
“As soon as we became aware of allegations of deputies attending a party in violation of health orders, we initiated an inquiry in an attempt to validate the information or misinformation. If further details are discovered and action is warranted, we will take appropriate administrative action,” the office added.