Their message was summed up by City Councilman Chaim Deutch: “If we can’t sleep, you won’t sleep.”
“We need to send a message that we need to end these chaotic fireworks that [have] been happening across the city,” Deutch said in a statement on Twitter.
Crowds of people gathered outside Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side, many in cars, honking their car horns and chanting.
From June 1 to June 21, the city’s 311 system logged 8,967 fireworks complaints, compared to just 28 the previous year.
De Blasio addressed the issue later Tuesday, saying he would form a law enforcement task force to curb the surge.
“Yes, I hear them, too. We’re taking action on illegal fireworks,” the mayor said on Twitter. “We’ll be cracking down on the out of state suppliers behind this dangerous public nuisance so we can cut it off at the source.”
The task force will be comprised of the NYPD, the FDNY and sheriff’s deputies and will target suppliers, distributors and possessors of the illegal fireworks.
The mayor said they’d be cracking down on the pyrotechnics to ensure safety and “the ability of all our neighbors to get some sleep.”
“For any number of reasons the use of illegal firework has skyrocketed this year and that has damaged the quality of life in our neighborhoods. The NYPD will continue to work closely with our city partners to address this dangerous issue,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
Disturbing video posted by the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association shows someone throwing a firework at a man lying on the street in Harlem. The NYPD said the 66-year-old man was homeless and suffered minor burns, while the suspect and others ran off. Someone could be heard laughing in the background.