San Jose Police received multiple calls about a dangerous side show downtown Saturday but could not respond. (Photo: NBC Bay Area screen shot) -

San Jose Police received multiple calls about a dangerous side show downtown Saturday but could not respond. (Photo: NBC Bay Area screen shot)

The San Jose (CA) Police Department is being slammed for its failure to respond to a street racing "side show" on downtown streets Saturday night. The agency says it didn't have enough officers to effectively respond.

Dozens of cars and hundreds of spectators crowded in for an illegal sideshow that went on for more than an hour. Several neighbors said they called police but no officers ever showed up, NBC Bay Area reports. 

San Jose police confirm they got the calls reporting the side show but say they were so tapped responding to other crimes they didn't have enough officers to respond safely.

“What I can tell you is particularly that night was very busy .We got a lot of calls for service,” said Sgt. Christian Camarillo of SJPD.

Police say because of the possibility that people involved with sideshows may be armed, the department must respond with a large team of officers.

“This is not the type of event where you are sending two officers to clear out the intersection. It must be a coordinated effort involving 12, 14  or 20 officers,” said Camarillo. 

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