The reactions to last night’s fireworks were overwhelming on Nextdoor, Facebook and in emails to me. Perhaps the saddest was an email about a dog that died of fright from fireworks explosions. Following are samples of the emails I received.
- Dear Mayor Butt, An 11-year-old dog I have been boarding died tonight as a result of the fireworks explosions in the war zone that is Richmond. She panted and whined for 90 minutes straight, then lay down. I thought she was asleep. She was dead. (Her name was Bella. She was an Italian mastiff. Her owner is in Honduras.) No, you’re not responsible, of course, as I suggested earlier. But I thought you should know.
- Good evening Mayor Butt, I am writing this on the evening of July 4. The fireworks are out of control. They are terrifying to the animals and unnerving for most people as they sound like bombs going off. I have almost become numb to them over the year except tonight I actually became terrified. My neighbor was lighting off some pretty elaborate fireworks- bottle rockets, M80’s and other twisty ground ones which were bouncing from one street curb to the opposite side curb. When I asked him to please stop because of the thick pile of pine needles in the curb citing a serious fire hazard, I was laughed at, ridiculed and threatened. His wife called me a Karen and they were filming me as they were taunting me. This is insane. Absolutely insane. I was friendly and non threatening but simply citing the facts and potential danger. The threat of a firestorm similar to the one in Santa Rosa is simply one spark away from happening here. I beg you, the neighbors beg you, the surrounding city’s neighbors beg you, the animals beg you to take a stand . PLEASE DO SOMETHING. PLEASE TAKE SERIOUS ACTION TO STOP THIS BEFORE A SERIOUS TRAGEDY OCCURS. THE FIREWORKS ARE YEAR ROUND BUT ARE ESPECIALLY TERRIBLE ON THE 4th. Within 30 minutes of driving around this afternoon, I found the addresses of three groups setting off illegal fireworks. I called the non emergency phone number and gave the addresses. Tonight after the incident at the corner of Grant and 29th, I called 911 to report it. The dispatcher said they would call a unit. We watched bottle rocket after bottle rocket go off, next to the pine tree waiting for the police to come for hours. The neighbor taunted me saying “he could kill me right now and the police wouldn’t come! Why would they come for fireworks? This is fucking RICHMOND!” This is his exact quote. I used to be proud of living in RICHMOND. I have always defended RICHMOND. Now I am just embarrassed to live here. Sad and embarrassed.
- Hello, I’m reaching out regarding a complain of illegal fireworks at 2811 Leeds Ct. Richmond. Police officers were said to be coming out to the scene. I was told there was some rewards program for these sorts of reports. Please advise on the proper steps.
- No police response!!!!!
- So we have been told to tell the police specific people shooting fireworks So I reported a specific white Male with three white women at 769 7th which was shooting projectile fireworks at my house and no one came
Police Chief Bisa French, posted: “Yes I am working and they are all over the city. We are completely outnumbered.”
For a video, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_W5KRz5Oks.