NJ lawmakers want proactive plan before June ‘pop-up’ parties
LONG BRANCH — Anticipating more upcoming street parties advertised on social media this month, New Jersey state legislators in two coastal counties said Wednesday that the advance notice given for these gatherings warrants a proactive government plan to keep them under control.
In separate releases, Assemblywomen Kim Eulner and Marilyn Piperno, both R-Tinton Falls, and Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblyman John Catalano and Greg McGuckin, all R-Brick, referenced the May 21 "pop-up" party in Long Branch that was advertised as "BYOLQ" (for liquor) and "BYOW" (weed) and resulted in a curfew that Gov. Phil Murphy said had a deleterious effect on local small businesses.
Eulner and Piperno said similar parties have been advertised, on TikTok and other platforms, in Point Pleasant Beach on June 18, and again in Long Branch on June 19.
Holzapfel, Catalano, and McGuckin are introducing legislation, similar to that backed by Sens. Bob Singer and Joe Pennacchio in 2021, to expand the definition of a "riot" and increase penalties for crimes committed during such a gathering, including the creation of new crime classifications like mob intimidation and "cyber-intimidation by publication."
The trio of Ocean County legislators said their bill is designed to "protect tourists, residents, and businesses at the Jersey Shore."
Just north in Monmouth County, Eulner and Piperno said they are working with county Sheriff Shaun Golden to try and revise a state statute leaving law enforcement officers liable for civil rights violations in encounters involving underage consumption of alcohol and marijuana.
All of the lawmakers are advocating for a more cohesive effort from law enforcement, to prevent a repeat of the unruly events of May 21.