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Mayor Announces New Multi-Agency Task Force to Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks

(Alexander Kagan, Unsplash)

June 23, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the establishment of a multi-agency task force to crack down on illegal fireworks sales.

The move comes after a spike in illegal fireworks usage that has plagued city neighborhoods in recent weeks.

The new task force will be made up of NYPD Intelligence Bureau officers, FDNY Fire Marshals and members of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the mayor said in a statement Tuesday morning.

It will consist of 42 members who will target the sale and distribution of large quantities of illegal fireworks, the mayor said.

Investigations and sting operations will be conducted inside and outside of the city to disrupt supply chains, he said.

“Illegal fireworks are dangerous and a public nuisance,” de Blasio said.

“We’re cracking down on this activity at the source to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and the ability of our neighbors to get some sleep,” he said.

Residents across the city have been complaining of loud illegal fireworks being set off at all hours during the night and waking them up.

The city’s non-emergency phone line system recorded 11,260 fireworks complaints across the five boroughs from June 1 to June 21, according to official 311 data.

Brooklyn accounted for the highest number of disturbances with 4,588 complaints; followed by Manhattan in second with 3,258 complaints; the Bronx had 1,611 complaints; Queens had 1,368 complaints, and Staten Island had the lowest number of complaints with 435.

Queens has seen a massive jump in 311 complaints this month. There were just 27 fireworks complaints in Queens for the June 1 to June 21 period last year.

Some of the increase can be attributed to the expansion of the 311 system. Residents are now able to file complaints online, as opposed to just being able to call.

The areas in Queens with the highest number of complaints for the first three weeks in June are Far Rockaway, which clocked 100 complaints in the period, followed by Ridgewood at 99, and the Astoria zip code of 11102 that had 71 complaints.

Fireworks are illegal to use, buy, sell or transport in New York City due to their unpredictability and dangerous nature. Some people have been badly injured in recent works due to fireworks.

On Saturday, a 33-year-old man was hospitalized with serious injuries after setting off fireworks from inside his Brooklyn home.

The man was shooting fireworks out of his second-floor window when one bounced off the window and exploded on his chest, the New York Daily News reported.

On Monday morning a homeless man was sleeping on the sidewalk when a suspect threw a lit firework on him which exploded causing burns to the victims back.

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25 Comments

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Sunnyside_gurl

That video is seriously disturbing. Screw an assault charge that’s practically attempted murder. Who’s brilliant idea was that, it seriously needs to stop.

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Remember his first public appearance as mayor?

He was quite late and have the ludicrous excuse of : had a rough night!!!

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Gisele

There are so many online videos of the fireworks. Many even show the location. You do not need a task force. Just admit that you do not want to send the police to certain neighborhoods to stop the fireworks because it may lead to a verbal or physical altercation between law enforcement and the community. With social media we can easily see certain neighborhoods and groups of people feel like they can do and say whatever they want when it comes to interacting with an officer and general public.

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Ron

So listening to protesters cursing and screaming all day and night is fine though.

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They are protesting they police murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck while he screamed "I can't breathe"

They weren’t protesting his murder at night, and the looting was universally condemned.

You don’t have to rant about this on EVERY article.

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Wendy

It’s really annoying, especially late at night. I don’t mind on the actual 4th of July but sheesh, it’s getting out of control! It has to stop!

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Nicholas

Let’s not forget the 55 Shooting’s in the Mix of the fireworks! I am too poor to move out of this city.

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sick of em all

dont have much faith, mayor told us in the old days of the pandemic, just go out, go to the movies, nothing here. Letting mobs run wild, tying police hands. this guys a disgrace.

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Tying police hands?

De Blasio sucks—literally everyone hates him—but tying police hands? When that pig drove a police SUV into a crowd of protestors, I seem to remember de Blasio defending him. He has capitulated to the sociopaths in the NYPD at every opportunity. And letting “mobs” run wild? I assume you are referring to the peaceful protests, which de Blasio responded to with a curfew that only escalated confrontations between protestors and the police?

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Someone should build a border wall

”One time payment” from Mexico? Total lie. You believed it 😂

4 years later… Not a single inch but.

You voted for the president that’s weak on immigration and want us to clean up his his mess?!

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Y'all think Mexico would pay anything for a walk???

Please! If they had money they would be able to afford to pay their own citizens a decent wage and lower property taxes and then the situation would sort itself out!

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Bertha

Great way to put the so called “reassigned” undercover plain clothes cops back into action..all that reform talk was bs!!

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ABoondy

“Illegal fireworks are dangerous and a public nuisance,” de Blasio said.
Umm…no. de blasio is the danger and a public nuisance.

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