Fights snuff firework finale

Firework display in downtown Albany. / Matt Prichard

Thousands of people gathered around the downtown Albany area for a fireworks show that ended with a different kind of finale.

"It wasn't long after the fireworks started that I told them to cut them off until we can get the crowd under control," said Captain Reginald Brown of the Albany Police Department.

Around 10:03 p.m. Captain Reginald Brown called the official cease fire - of fireworks - because of teens involved in fights they believe could be gang-related.

"Several fights had broken out and at that time I made the determination that the crowd had got too large and that officer's safety was at risk as well as the citizens that had attended the fireworks," said Captain Brown.

The Albany Police Department tells us they made the move in order to make sure no one got hurt. While the public understands it was a matter of safety, they say they still can't help but be disappointed.

"It's really sad. Everybody was enjoying the fireworks and it's for the community, to try to bring them together and everything. It's kind of sad," said Marjorie Thomas, a Florida resident who brought her family to visit her sister for the holiday.

Once Captain Brown realized the crowd had used pepper spray or mace on one of his officers, he knew the fireworks had to be put out and he is blaming a lack of parental supervision.

"Parents need to know where their kids are and if they're going to bring them to an event, stay with them so they can be supervised properly," said Captain Brown.

Fox 31 also reached out to the Albany Recreation and Parks Department who coordinated the event but they declined to comment and said they are standing behind the Albany Police Department.

Captain Brown and his team say they are working together to ensure this doesn't happen again during any future events.