Cure Violence groups should respond to fireworks: pols
by Benjamin Fang
Jun 24, 2020 | 3150 views | 0 0 comments | 310 310 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the surge in complaints about illegal fireworks around the city, two Brooklyn lawmakers are calling on the city to allocate more resources to address the issue.

According to reports, more than 1,700 311 complaints about fireworks have been reported in the first two weeks of June. In the past two months, there have been nearly 4,900 311 complaints, with nearly half of them coming from Brooklyn.

According to Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Robert Cornegy, these complaints have been concentrated in the areas of Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Flatbush.

On Sunday, the pair called on the city to deploy “Cure Violence” groups to respond to the fireworks complaints on the ground. They said law enforcement should instead focus on tracking the source of the fireworks and solve how they’re flowing into the city.

“Illegal fireworks aren’t just nuisances, they’re dangerous,” Adams said. “We need solutions that don’t just think outside the box, they destroy the box, engaging community groups to meet people where they are and speak their language.

“As we reevaluate the role of law enforcement in upholding quality of life concerns, we must reenvision out frontline response to these kinds of nonviolent acts,” he added, “using Cure Violence groups and fraternal organizations such as the Vulcan Society and the Guardians Association to communicate with people about the dangers of fireworks.”

According to reports, a teenager in the Bronx was hospitalized after a firework hit him in the chest. Within 24 hours, a 33-year-old man in Crown Heights was also hospitalized after a firework that he set off ricocheted off a window and struck him.

“This is a moment for rethinking and reimagining how we address issues like illegal fireworks,” Cornegy said. “We have the benefit of guidance from Cure Violence and violence interrupter models that prioritize community education and community engagement.

“These times demand that we stop disproportionately leaning on policing and law enforcement,” he added. “Instead, we must conscientiously pursue alternatives.”

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