Fireworks are killing pets and terrorizing entire neighborhoods. Change the Enforcement Protocols, Now!!
Dear Honorable Mayor Garcetti and District Attorney Mike Feuer,
It’s time to do something about the illegal fireworks. These fireworks are killing people, terrorizing and killing pets, disturbing the basic quality of a peaceful life that we are entitled to as law abiding citizens and doing irreparable damage to our health and the environment. The dog above died while trying to escape his yard after fireworks exploded in his neighborhood. While this dog was not from Los Angeles, the gruesome image is not without its equal here. (Photo courtesy of Barbar SPCA.)
There has been a terrifying dramatic increase worldwide in the use of professional grade fireworks, which are essentially dynamite blasts, over the last few years, in spite of bans in many cities. Our current laws and policies are simply not up to the task of deterring behavior or enforcing the law in poorer or less educated neighborhoods, especially with the availability of these weapons literally exploding. Strict and rapid response in more affluent cities has erradicated fireworks, so we know it can be done.
The good citizens of Los Angeles are tired of living in fear of our neighbors and the terror and destruction they cause. We are tired of perpetually calling the police to help without any resolution as their hands are tied. We are tired of seeing dogs escape their yards and homes, run in fear for their lives, only to end up hit by cars and dying painfully in the streets or the arms of a stranger. We are tired of our veterans living in silent torture, forced by the blasts to replay their tours of duty in their minds. The arsenic, the heavy metals, and the soot this massive amount of explosives release causes an unhealthy air quality for the entire month of July citywide, which then causes respiratory distress,
cardiovascular disease and cancer. We can no longer stand to watch the critical bird population dwindle as they abandon their nests in fear, leaving eggs untended and their young to die.
We urgently request that the following be done:
1. Allow the fine for setting off fireworks to be attached to the property where they are being discharged if the actual person is not readily identifiable or visible.
2. Lower the burden of proof to allow officers to attach this fine to the property if they have clearly witnessed the fireworks coming from a certain property as opposed to having to see a person light and discharge the firework.
3. Set increasing fines to be levied against repeat offenders.
4. Demand that misdemeanor arrests are made with every citation and that it is no longer the choice of the officer as to whether or not a criminal citation vs. a regular citation will be issued.
5. Allow drones to be used on July 4th to assist officers in their ability to locate and arrest offenders.
6. Do not allow the shipment of fireworks to other parts of the country through California. Many of them find their way into the hands of consumers before they ever leave the state.
7. Create a DESIGNATED app, website and hotline to make reporting easy and fast. The current reporting system is clunky, outdated and ineffective and interferes with other potentially exigent matters.
Thank you so much for your service to this city.
The People of Los Angeles and
The Coalition for a Fireworks Free LA
*to learn more about the supporting research for this petition please visit Fireworksfreela.com