Citizen complaint of the day: Probably asking too much for people who set off fireworks to clean up after themselves

A disgusted citizen files a complaint about the post-Fourth condition of Walker Playground off Norfolk Street in Mattapan:

Fireworks reminants all over basketball and park. Courts damaged. Litter everywhere.



Free tagging: 


At least they went to the playground

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On my street in Dorchester the idiots set up their launch pad in the middle of a narrow street, just a couple of feet from cars, and a couple of more feet from houses. And then they got pissed because someone called the police.
And yeah, the street is a mess this morning.Of course the idiots didn't clean up their mess.

I have the same problem. We

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I have the same problem. We live on a side street that is the perfect place to "hide" if you are looking to set off fire works. Most of the houses on the street are owner occupied but some are quick turn over rentals. I am personally in a rental but in a house where they do not turn over as much and have been here for years. Every couple of years some nitwit friend of someone in one of the quick turn over houses decides they are going to take the street over for their fire work display. With so many seniors on the street it normally falls to me to go out as they start to set things off to inform them they need to go away. I am very polite but firm and they always push back. Tell me the police won't come just for that and there is nothing I can do. I look at the house they came out of and begin naming off code violations. Cars parked too close to the house. I could call and get all the neighbors to call the city every day to complain. Normally this is responded to with vague threats of violence. I respond that there are 20 old ladies with their fingers on 911 looking out their windows as we speak, 3 of them already called 911. You even breath in my direction the other 17 will dial. Yes, the paranoid old men all have their security cameras trained on us right now as well. I also suspect that the millenials in the apartment complex are Facebook living us too or snapchatting or whatever it is they do.

They get the hint, move a few streets over to a park and set them off there.

I do not understand it. We are so close to a massive fireworks show that is easy to see from a million directions. Why go through all the trouble to get fireworks to set off in my front yard?

Safety be damned

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The alleged perps on my street set off the fireworks on the street directly in front of their own friggin house which is owner occupied. They let their 5 year old kid light them. Aside from not caring about the safety of their young child, they could have taken it to the park, which is literally at the end of the street. After the police shut them down, they just moved the show a few houses down the street, closer to, but not in the park.


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"I respond that there are 20 old ladies with their fingers on 911 looking out their windows as we speak, 3 of them already called 911. You even breath in my direction the other 17 will dial." Lol!!

It's possible I watched a

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It's possible I watched a little too much Get Smart in my younger days

I use to love that show!

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That, and there was some other show that came on after it that I can't remember. Damn I'm getting old lol.

Not Dakota, but close

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I dont live on Dakota Scauma, but close enough to experience the sight and sound of the show from what I assumed was the playground of the Marshall School or whatever they call it today. And you're right, it rivals most town fireworks I've seen. And unlike the Esplandade, it 's an all night show that doesn't seem to stop until 2 or 3 in the morning.
The fireworks on my street weren't as big but pretty scary just 4 houses away. My house was shaking. I didnt call the cops, but someone else did. They set up their fireworks in the middle of the street with cars, houses, a lots of kids right there.

Causing a fire in Brighton

Last year I was living on Comm Ave. in Brighton. One night (not even the night of the Fourth, mind you) at around 3:00 AM, someone shot off a couple of fireworks from the B line tracks. As if that wasn't bad enough, they obviously didn't set it up correctly, because in addition to waking me up one of the rockets launched into some bushes across the street and started a brush fire. I called 911 to put the fire out, and when the police showed up they basically said there was nothing they could do.

Thank goodness there were no buildings on the other side of the street and nothing was in any immediate danger, but I was amazed that people could be so foolish.


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Mattapan has been nothing but fireworks going off from 6:30-7pm until past midnight every single day for the last month. I dunno what the cops do around here, I am pretty sure fireworks are illegal in MA.

Late night fireworks

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In my East Boston neighborhood last night someone was setting of fireworks from 9:30 PM to about 4 AM. It was daylight when they finally stopped.I seem tor recall they did it last year also. I'm not really sure of the reason for going on that long or how this celebrates July 4. You would think the perpetrator would get bored if nothing else. I wonder what kind of thrill they get out of doing it so late at night and so early in the morning and for such a long stretch of time.

The couple of weeks after

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The couple of weeks after July 4th always suck because these slobs always light off fireworks late on weekday nights. Hopefully the BPD makes some arrests. Yet another reason to put a toll on cars coming in from NH.


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What to cars coming from NH have to do w/people lighting off fireworks in Mattapan?


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Think and you will have your answer

AG Healey to send threatening

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AG Healey to send threatening letters to and file suit against NH fireworks dealers for selling to MA residents in 3...2..

She can't

She knows there's no legal standing to force one state to regulate sales to another state's residents. It's also not illegal for MA residents to use fireworks in NH.


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We should place a toll on all cars coming from NH because a few people drive there to buy them?

Mostly wrong

It's also not illegal for MA residents to use fireworks in NH.

If you use them on property you own there, yes. Otherwise, mostly no.

2) Shall only be used on private property which
you own, or have written permission from the
land owner, or be in the owner’s presence

You also have to be 21. If you read the linked brochure, you'll learn that lots of common fireworks are illegal in NH, including bottle rockets, cherry bombs, and M-80s. The latter two and similar explosives are banned by federal law.

A lot of NH towns require permits as well though,

even on private property.

I believe Massachusetts towns by state statute can allow drinking in public, but 100% of them have local ordinances against it.

(I say this because a friend of mine has a place in NH and the cops have come by when fireworks have been lit off and they say you need a permit from the town/fire chief)

Yet another stupid remark

Yet another reason to put a toll on cars coming in from NH.

Yet another stupid remark about a topic that has nothing to do with cars.

Someone should start a bus

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Someone should start a bus line from Boston to the nearest NH fireworks store. Why should car-free people have a hard time? Maybe we can reduce some traffic while we're at it.

Maybe if BPD showed up and

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Maybe if BPD showed up and did something when all the 911 calls were made complaining of illegal fireworks then this wouldn't be such a horrible mess. I had rockets hitting my windows in South Boston and nothing was done.

Busy Night

One would expect the 4th to be one of the busiest nights for BPD with constant calls for high priority matters (fights, medical emergencies, drunks, car accidents, etc) plus all the resources that are devoted to the esplanade. The fact they don't send officers to respond to reports of fireworks isn't too surprising. There are only so many officers.

There was a disturbing number

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There was a disturbing number of people shot this holiday weekend.

But this person wants the BPD to put that on that back burner so they can deal with the fireworks on their street.

Let's not forget another

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Let's not forget another important fact: the courts want NOTHING to do with cases involving people possessing fireworks. They're willing to dismiss possession of heroin/trespassing/disorderly conduct so I'd assume fireworks are a waste of their time as well.

Normally this is the sort of

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Normally this is the sort of thing that would annoy me, but in this case, it may actually be better that the city is tasked with cleaning this up.

I'd rather these used fireworks spend the night in an open playground, than be thrown in garbage cans or dumpsters to potentially start a massive fire in a residential area.

Great idea: you should

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Great idea: you should totally volunteer with the city to clean up fireworks debris!


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O'Day Park in the South End had professional looking fireworks from 9:00pm until 2:00am. Called the police and they said that they had hundreds of calls and didn't have the "manpower" to respond. Might as well just make fireworks legal in Massachusetts at this point since no one does anything to stop them.

I know there are illegal fireworks every year, but is it worse this year or is it just my imagination?


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Yes this is an ongoing issue in Chelsea too. It happens year after year. Last night they started around 6pm and went until after midnight (or until I no longer cared and the sleeping pill took over).

Every year we complain... this year, stupidity started a fire a few houses down in a tree. Next day, they were shooting again. People don't get it. Nor do the cops really care. We get told by CPD to just deal with it because they don't have enough manpower to deal with all the calls.

I understand that they are illegal but much like the seat belt law.. little is done to enforce it. I agree that legalization would actually HELP the situation better. Maybe have supervised (with PD and FD folks) firework area for people to shoot them off safely...

"Not enough manpower"

How many men does it take to show up, confiscate the contraband fireworks and send the idiots home? One? Two? We've clearly come a long way since the days of "One riot, one ranger." I guess it needs an Interagency Task Force.


There are only so many cops. If they get 10 calls and only have 9 officers available, at least one call is going to be delayed.

Fireworks bug me too but I don't expect the police to be everywhere. Go yell at the idiots yourself.

Let me tell you what happens on a "fireworks" call.

I'd say about 80-90% of the time the person who calls to complain about fireworks has no clue where the fireworks come from, they just hear them. Still a legitimate complaint, but very difficult, if not impossible for the police to find out where they are coming from (also, when people with fireworks see a police car, they will usually put the fireworks away and leave/run anyway)

Now for the 10-20% of complaints where someone actually sees the people lighting off fireworks (person calls and says they see 30 people in a park lighting off fireworks), you will usually get the same response (people scatter/run/leave when the cops show up).

Now you basically have a situation where cops are deciding whether they have probable cause to stop someone with a bag in a place where probably only 1 person in a group even has the fireworks, and there is a 100% chance they aren't going to stop for the police anyway. For those in the group that were just there watching, they aren't going anywhere, and they aren't listening to the police because they don't listen to the police when they actually do something wrong, they really aren't going to listen now because they actually didn't do anything wrong. Almost impossible for the police officer who shows up to actually see someone lighting the fireworks off, and if they do, see above (person runs, leaves, etc)

The underlying issue of course is minority children committing a misdemeanor nuisance crime that community policing 101 tells you not to waste any energy on as a police force.

THIS ^^^^

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This is exactly it. Except I know where they are being shot off when I call. But Pete is 100% correct. People scatter the minute the PD show up.. so its a useless call. And people shoot them off in a manner so there's long enough pauses between launches that its hard to tell if there will be more or not.

the cops would end up ripping a scene from the Keystone Cops if they tried to chase firework people.

I"ll call once or twice but I don't anticipate anything being done. The only time I get mad is when its super close by and they aren't being smart (or safe) about it and just shooting them off into the canopy of trees.


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If they cops routinely patrol the parks on July 4, it isn't useless - it is disruptive enough that maybe the twits will knock it off.

Lets see

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What would you rather the cops do?

Wait around for fireworks that MIGHT happen?


Be in foot elsewhere to catch a shooter?

Your choice. You decide whats more important to you.................

Charge a fee and try and minimize / control the occurance

The city should sell fire work permits and include the cost for a fireman to oversee them.....realistically they can't stop the practice and enough residents support it that controlling it seems more realistic....would be similar to a commercial welding permit for welding inside a building....although this would all change if there was a large fire or deaths from fireworks....


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So right now people are lighting off illegal fireworks without any significant repercussions (aside from the occasional finger getting blown off), but we should now make them get a permit? Sure, that will work.

I worked with an Officer who tore up fireworks calls on 4th

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I worked a couple of July 4ths with a good officer, dispatcher and military veteran who would shred and delete any fireworks calls on the 4th, believing them to be nonsense. Pete can update me but when I was on, fireworks use/possession did not have a right of arrest unless (like all misdemeanors) a breach of the peace occurred in officer's presence.

They might have to ask too many questions

Like, where people got their fireworks and that would lead to things they didn't want to deal with. Such as the uniformed boston cop who stood watch over the transactions in the school yard in the North End.

Deleting and shredding 911

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Deleting and shredding 911 calls of any kind? Illegal and a dangerous precedent.

The Sergeant wasn't pleased

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These weren't 911 calls or even high priority, just noise complaints about fireworks on the 4th but I agree, a dangerous precedent. It seems like fireworks were everywhere 30-40 years ago, perhaps less so now. The Sergeant, who was a World War II vet wasn't pleased and had a chat with the dispatcher, who was a Vietnam Vet and maybe had a little PTSD. He started dispatching the fireworks calls after their discussion.

Swirly, if I recall, young fireworks buyers were frequently robbed or "jumped" in the North End and Haymarket. It wasn't unusual for a friend to come back empty handed with a black eye and no money.

This also sounds a little fishy to me

What actually took place?

Did they shred them first then delete them or did they delete them first then shred them?

Who actually did the shredding and did the deleting? Was it the Philippine dispatcher with a touch of the ol' PTSD doing the shredding or was it the the Reagan National Airport Passport Stamper who did the deleting? Knowing the actual actors and their sequence of operation helps to clarify what actually occurred.

More importantly, just exactly how many non-911 calls were shredded and deleted - hundreds, thousands or millions? And how long did callers have to wait before a complaint met its untimely demise - seconds, minutes or hours?

By the way, when all the shredding and deleting was going on - were you on patrol or just hanging out at the precinct waiting for your penniless friends with blackened eyes to arrive sans fireworks?

Interesting law

MGL 148 s.39 is one of the few misdemeanors that has no breach of the peace element for arrest, so basically it is a summons for anyone who possesses or "causes to explode" a firework.

Of course anyone lighting of fireworks would satisfy a disorderly conduct violation so you would need an additional charge.

Residents need to

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stock up on water balloons for the 4th of July. When anyone starts lighting off fireworks near your house, launch the water balloons. Alternatively, get out your hose and start spraying.