Oakland Residents Fed Up With Illegal Fireworks | NBC Bay Area
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Oakland Residents Fed Up With Illegal Fireworks

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    People in Oakland are angry and frustrated over law enforcement’s inability to stop the illegal fireworks celebrations. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Wednesday, July 5, 2017)

    People in Oakland are angry and frustrated over law enforcement’s inability to stop the illegal fireworks celebrations.

    One man says if he didn’t speak out, there would never be change. He is demanding change because he wants the illegal activity to stop before someone is hurt or killed.

    On Tuesday night, dozens of illegal fireworks displays lit up the night sky in Oakland, a lot of it happening in one East Oakland neighborhood.

    "They were ghost riding, they’re burning rubber and setting off illegal fireworks," the man said.

    He called 911.

    "They said they were going to send a police officer," he said. "I said send more because there’s about 500 people in the neighborhood."

    Cellphone video showed fireworks being launched in an area known as Jingletown. The man said many of them are gang members and heavily armed.

    "Nobody showing up to do anything about it," he said. "It gets dangerous and more dangerous."

    City Councilman Noel Gallo said illegal fireworks in East Oakland are not new, but this year, it went to a whole different level.

    "My neighbors became upset, calling, emailing because they thought that Oakland was not responsive in anyway," Gallo said.

    oakland police said they responded to more than 125 calls and dispatched about 100 officers to address illegal fireworks and gunfire.

    The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office handed out eight citations for illegal fireworks activity, took 130 complaints and siezed 50 pounds of product.

    Gallo said he’s wants law enforcement to be more responsive.

    "At the end of the day, if they can’t respond, perhaps we need to call the National Guard out," Gallo said. "What are you going to do? Do you stay silent and become a victim or do you at least speak up for the public knows? I’m speaking up."

    Gallo said he will be pushing for legislation to stop the sell of legal fireworks in all of Alameda County. Even though he admits the safe and sane fireworks are not the problem, he believes that would be a start.

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