On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City announced the creation of a multi-agency crackdown on illegal fireworks. ABC7NY reports this comes after more residents have been seen (and heard) shooting fireworks within neighborhoods across New York City.
The day prior (June 23) to Mayor de Blasio’s announcement, a video surfaced online showing two males throwing a firework at a 66-yea-old homeless man while he was asleep. After they threw the firework, it exploded. Now, while the man is in stable condition, the police are investigating the incident and have offered $2500 reward to anyone that could help lead them to an arrest.
Just this month alone, over 13,000 complaints have been made to the city involving illegal fireworks, which is extremely high compared to this time last year at just 32.
“It’s more than we’ve ever seen it,” Bill de Blasio said. “Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance. 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.”
The city’s police commissioner Dermot Shea added,
“For any number of reasons, the use of illegal firework has skyrocketed this year, and that has damaged the quality of life in our neighborhoods. The NYPD will continue to work closely with our city partners to address this dangerous issue.”
The new task force will consist of 10 police officers from the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, 12 FDNY Fire Marshals, and 20 members of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Reports state that the force will look to go after suppliers, distributors, and people in possession of large amounts of illegal fireworks by conducting investigations within the surrounding areas of New York City to create disruption amongst the supply chains.