Out-of-control fireworks are another bad sign for NYC
Illegal fireworks are going off every night, all across the city, at levels normally seen only on July 4. If this is the “new normal,” it’ll be one more sign that the city is spiralling downward.
It’s not as scary as the spike in shootings, but it’s bigger: 311 logged an astounding 8,967 fireworks complaints in the first three weeks of June — vs. just 28 in the same 21 days last year.
Central Brooklyn and Upper Manhattan host the worst hot-spots, but predawn explosions are everywhere.
And it’s a telling sign of disorder: People need to sleep, and fireworks pose genuine risks of causing fires, too.
New Jersey legalized many fireworks last year, so they’re even easier to get. But that’s surely not the main cause.
Partly it’s the lockdown, which gave us all cabin fever and left many hands idle — especially young people’s. Plus, the protests have generated a general air of anarchy, or at least of defiance of authority.
But the leadership response is telling. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams urged residents to approach the culprits themselves, rather than ring 311 or 911 and risk a police confrontation. At 2 a.m.?
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams wants the cops out of it, too. He urges the NYPD to focus on the suppliers, not on the those actually disturbing the peace. Then again, imagining a “collective community” response is his go-to answer.
A spokesman for the Manhattan DA says there haven’t been any large fireworks seizures in the borough — and all offenses would be no-bail these days, anyway.
The NYPD, all too tellingly, didn’t get back to us: With homicides up as well as shootings, and the politicians still focused on appeasing the protesters, we fear high command is scrambling on too many fronts.
Neither Adams nor Williams is completely wrong: No one wants to send cops after foolish kids, especially not right now.
But the message to quit it has to go out somehow, or small lawlessness will bring bigger infractions all too quickly — and in the communities that can least afford it.
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