The city of Miami Beach was declared to be in a state of emergency due to things getting out of control during this year’s spring break. Because of Covid, spring breakers seemed to have taken vengeance. The results of their actions have caused riots, violence, and near death.
Miami Beach has been known for various troubles, but tourists have caused excessive amounts. Stampedes of people violently roamed the streets disturbing shops and restaurants. Two shootings took place over the break that put five people in the hospital.
After the first few days of pandemonium, democratic mayor, Dan Gelber announced a city curfew. It allowed people to only stay out until twelve. Last year, they announced a curfew until 8 pm, and more than 1,000 people were arrested.
Along with the five who were hospitalized, four other officers appeared to be injured trying to clear out crowds.“We just simply cannot have people come to our city and have to worry about being shot,” Gelber stated. “That’s not a way a city can operate.”
Law enforcement reported confiscating 75 guns and booking 161 people. Bay County Sheriff, Tommy Ford, noted, “Each one of these 75 illegal firearms represents a violent armed encounter with law enforcement.”
For Miami’s city being considered “essentially a very small area,” they had 371 officers working over the weekend. People were so vile that they did not care to hide their crimes. Gelber told The Post, “Most of these shootings occurred right in front of them. So it was just seconds before a policeman was there. The idea that you can’t deter this behavior with police presence really is a great concern.” As they were arresting a suspect, he stated, “I only shot because they shot at me first.”
There were multiple reports of fights that broke out throughout the day. Alcohol and drugs were the biggest influences in causing brawls. Bystander Kevin Justinien, 26, told The Post, “Someone was playing music and one of the guys, he was a little drunk, probably too drunk, he was overexcited…He then bumped into one guy and that led to another thing and then boom the fight just started.”
Later, the issue turned into a racial burden. Attorney Stephen Johnson(member of Miami-Dade’s Black Affairs Advisory Board), reported, “The only emergency in Miami Beach is that there were black people there.”
Last year, when people went against the 8 pm curfew, authorities sent military vehicles along with violence. They shot back crowds with rubber bullets trying to get through the activism criticism. In another attempt in trying to disperse the crowds, they stopped all activities for the day. It led to thousands of people having nothing to do and nowhere to go, and just being stranded on the road.
Gelber settled the issue by stating, “The issue this weekend was obviously related to behavior and not a race…We had spring break for three weeks without asking for a curfew, without invoking the emergency powers. We did it the morning after two shootings.”
In trying to end the whole situation, police Chief J.R. Talamantez said, “I know the citizens are frustrated. Trust me, we are frustrated too. The harsh reality is we cannot control who comes to town. But what we can control is what happens to you if you commit a crime in this town. We will hold you accountable.”