According to a local blogger, on July 4, 2012, hundreds of Hyde Park residents' lives were endangered by an illegal fireworks show -- a show the Chicago Police Department completely ignored.
A July 5, 2012 article posted by Chicago Pop at Hyde Park Progress, claims illegal, professional-grade fireworks were detonated in a grassy area of Harold Washington Park at 5200 South Hyde Park Boulevard, on the city's South Side.
Some of the explosives were so power, they not only left large patches of scorched grass, they actually require a federal license to own and operate them.
When Hyde Park Progress contacted 4th Ward Alderman Willie D. Burns' office to inquire if permits had been issued for the Harold Washington Park fireworks display... the alderman's office reportedly said they were virtually certain the fireworks were illegal.
"For approximately half an hour, the safety of hundreds of people on the lakefront and dozens of passing motorists was endangered by a barrage of powerful, professional-grade pyrotechnics shot off directly over their heads," said Chicago Pop.
Pop also accused the CPD of ignoring concerned citizens' repeated 911 calls. In this criticism, Hyde Park is not alone.
While monitoring the police scanner during Independence Day, Chicago News Report heard several North Side police officers instruct dispatch operators to basically ignore any anonymous calls complaining about fireworks.
The police would only respond if the 911 caller wanted to speak to an officer, said the directive.
But... what if illegal fireworks were set-off right in front of a cop? Would the perpetrators be arrested or fined?
Well, according to a video shot in Chicago's West Town neighborhood, the answer is, no.
The narrative attached to a YouTube video entitled, Private Chicago Fireworks Show, boasts that Chicago police officers were not only present when explosives were launched dangerously close to power lines, the cops gave the offenders 5 minutes to wrap up their entertainment.
The video description also seems to suggest the cops were paid to look the other way.
"We had our little ahem... private show =$ ....with the cops sitting nearby enjoying it too! This was the semi-finale, of course after the cops giving us a 5-minute warning of the "Noise ordinance" However, no big deal for the possession of kick ass EXPLOSIVES!!" said YouTube user Diloca25.
Now... realistically, with all the extreme madness that went down on July 4th, the CPD had to use their manpower wisely and it's not their fault the city refuses to hire enough officers to adequately police this zoo of a city.
However, we're just glad no innocent bystanders were injured by these overlooked, illegal fireworks.
Photo credit: HydeParkProgress.blogspot.com