As complaints of illegal fireworks continue to soar, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced formation of a task force to target the “root” — sellers and distributors — rather than sending the police after those setting them off.
There would be an education campaign and sting operations inside and outside the city to “go disrupt and work to cut off that supply,” he said at his daily news conference.
“We want to go after the big fish,” he said.
His announcement came the morning after a late-night protest at Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, at which demonstrators fed up over the city’s approach to all-night fireworks honked their horns in unison.
“If we cannot sleep, we will not let the mayor sleep,” Councilman Chaim Deutsch said with about 250 vehicles nearby, according to the news outlet Hamodia.
More fireworks have gone off since protests of George Floyd’s death began in late May. Video on social media has shown NYPD cops driving through — and away — as a hail of people set off fireworks.
De Blasio said a task force to combat fireworks sales would consist of 10 officers from NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau, 12 FDNY fire marshals and 20 members of the city sheriff’s department.