The predictable onslaught of illegal Mission District fireworks displays on July 4th turned into a hour-long melee between police and various skateboarders and sideshow aficionados, though the scene did not get as violent as last year’s Independence Day hullabaloo.  

With apologies to Chinatown and Daly City, one of the biggest epicenters of illegal Bay Area July 4 fireworks displays is San Francisco's Mission District. Last year’s revelry brought hostile confrontations with police, plus there was a mass shooting in the Mission District just three and a half weeks ago, so law enforcement presence in the neighborhood was stepped up. And apparently the boys in blue busted out riot gear for the occasion, as Mission Local has pictures and video of a July 4 skirmish at 25th and Harrison Streets where police dispersed a rowdy crowd, with most of the heavy conflict coming between midnight and 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Per Mission Local, there were “sizable crowds” at 25th and Harrison Streets, “lighting fireworks and holding sideshows.” That outlet details that there was a fight between two women which was quickly broken up, and some sort of boxing match between two shirtless men with boxing gloves. Mission Local describes the gathering as “rowdy but largely peaceful before the police intervention,” though police may define “largely peaceful” a little differently. And reportedly just before midnight, police declared the gathering to be an unlawful assembly.

“I am Captain Harvey, a police officer of San Francisco,”one officer, presumably Mission District station Captain Thomas Harvey, is quoted shouting on a police siren “I hereby declare this an unlawful assembly.”

The open-container crowd continued to shoot off cherry bombs and fireworks, but a phalanx of officers did manage to disperse the crowd block-by-block. You’ll notice they had riot helmets and batons, and one attendee told Mission Local he suffered an injury when he got “a baton in the back of my knee.” Though we do not currently have any reports of arrests or serious injury.  

By 1 a.m., police had managed to clear most of the crowds.

The above numbers are from last year’s July 4, we have not seen SF Fire incident numbers posted yet for this year's Fourth. (Though we do know there was one coastal rescue early Tuesday evening.) But considering last year’s Mission District July 4 chaos saw fires lit in the the street and SFPD claims that “12 officers were injured,” this year’s proceedings appear to be less violent than the late-night Mission District Independence Day confrontations from  2022.

Related: SFPD Says 12 Officers Injured Amid Hostile July 4th Crowd In Mission [SFist]

Image: @SFFDPIO via Twitter