Miami Beach Shootings Spur Curfews, Possible Spring Break Cancellation: Officials


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Florida officials have enacted curfews and are weighing the possible cancellation of spring break festivities following a pair of deadly shootings and general chaos on Miami Beach from Friday into Sunday, authorities say.

Officials imposed the new restrictions after two shootings occurred Friday night and early Sunday, leaving two people dead. This marks the third consecutive year officials have placed emergency restrictions on Miami Beach during spring break due to mayhem and unruly behavior.

Miami Beach issued a curfew which started March 19, according to a press release from city officials. The curfew ran from Sunday at 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday. The city will also put in place “separate emergency measures” to mitigate mayhem starting March 23 and lasting through March 27, according to the release.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the violence and crowd type that comes with hosting spring break events in the city make continuing the festivities undesirable.

“We haven’t asked for spring break in our city. We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, brings too much disorder and is simply too difficult to police,” Gelber told the outlet, adding the two weekend shootings involved people who were visiting the city.

“While most may come here to enjoy the amenities of Miami Beach, the overwhelming volume of visitors, a few that come with bad intentions in the presence of guns creates a wholly intolerable situation,” he said in a statement. “The volume of people in our city, the unruly nature of too many, and the presence of guns has created a peril that cannot go unchecked. It is clear that even an unprecedented police presence could not prevent these incidents from occurring.”

A committee will assemble to discuss which measures to enact post-March 20. City officials remarked on the “significant challenges” posed to law enforcement in the form of “massive crowds,” “extreme traffic” and shootings in a separate statement March 19.

The curfew mostly affects the South Beach portion of the city. Businesses have been ordered to close by 11:59 p.m., and are required to admit customers in a fashion which would allow them to leave the premises by that time. The curfew has a carveout for delivery drivers, while banning pickup for products such as takeout food, according to the press release. Roads may be obstructed or rerouted to prevent access to the “curfew area.”