TRENTON, N.J. – As Long Branch braces for another potential pop-up party on June 19, local lawmakers are calling on law enforcement and local and state officials to proactively prevent thousands of disruptive revelers from creating a public safety problem.
Monmouth County Assemblywomen Kim Eulner and Marilyn Piperno say the advanced warning of a pop-up party provided to officials through social media warrants a proactive response. On TikTok and other platforms, partygoers are being encouraged to bring their own weed and liquor to Point Pleasant Beach on June 18 and Long Branch on June 19.
“We can’t take the wait-and-see approach. We need prepare and empower county and local law enforcement before a mob takes over the town,” Eulner said. “We have an obligation to protect our law-abiding tourists, residents, local businesses, homes and community streets from the destruction, chaos and underage drugs and alcohol that these parties welcome.”
On May 21, an estimated 5,000 people arrived in Long Branch looking to party. Overwhelmed by the mob, local police deployed a flash bang and smoke to disperse the crowds. The night ended with more than a dozen arrests, a 9 p.m. curfew, business closures, littered streets and vandalism.
“Young people are emboldened by police reforms and it is threatening the security of our shore towns,” Piperno said. “New Jersey law handcuffs our law enforcement officers to the detriment of public safety. Minors drinking alcohol or doing drugs and the organizers of these parties must be held accountable and face legal consequences for their recklessness.”
The lawmakers are working with Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden to revise the state statute that charges law enforcement officers with the crime of official deprivation of civil rights for certain encounters involving the underage consumption of marijuana and alcohol.