De Blasio announces crackdown on illegal fireworks after protest outside mayor's mansion

De Blasio announces crackdown on illegal fireworks after protest outside mayor's mansion
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New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioCuomo calls on NYPD to 'step up' in enforcing coronavirus regulations at bars Feehery: Weak mayors destroy America's great cities Dozens of state, local health leaders fired or resigned amid pandemic: report MORE (D) announced a task force Tuesday aimed at cracking down on illegal fireworks after city residents have registered thousands of complaints.

“We have concerns about this from all over the city, this is a real problem. It is not just a quality of life problem and noise problem, and it is certainly that … but it can also be dangerous,” the mayor said Tuesday at a press conference

The task force will include members of the New York Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Fire Department of the City of New York.  

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De Blasio announced the effort after a drive-by protest the night before outside Gracie Mansion. Video footage of the protest shows cars aggressively honking horns outside the mayor’s residence.

New York has gotten more than 13,000 complaints involving illegal fireworks this month, ABC 7 reported

Video from about 4 a.m. Monday shows one of the incidents, in which two men are seen throwing a firework at a 66-year-old homeless man who was sleeping before the firework explodes, according to ABC News. 

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The police department said it is investigating the situation and the man is reportedly in stable condition. 

“This is an issue we can confront,” de Blasio said. “It’s not entirely new, it’s more than we've ever seen it and earlier, but not entirely new.”

He said the task force aims to head to the root cause of the issue by finding the suppliers of the illegal fireworks, both in New York and in surrounding states from which the fireworks are flowing into the city. 

The fire department will also lead a public safety campaign as part of the effort to end illegal fireworks use.