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Miami-Dade beach openings delayed by protest fallout

Beaches had been scheduled to open Monday, June 1.

Miami-Dade County will no longer open its beaches Monday. Instead, officials will wait to lift countywide curfews before allowing residents near the water.

That could happen as soon as Tuesday.

The curfews were installed in response to protests throughout the weekend. The nation has seen widespread protests — including several instances of violence — in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

A version of those protests hit South Florida on Saturday night as hundreds of protesters gathered peacefully throughout the day.

That changed as night fell. Rioters began infiltrating those protest groups, causing chaos by starting fires and breaking glass storefronts. Some individuals threw projectiles at police. Officers responded by deploying tear gas and rubber bullets.

In response to the unrest, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez instituted a countywide curfew which began at 10 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, the curfew will begin at 9 p.m. and run through 6 a.m.

Miami officials have decided to start their own curfew at 8 p.m. Sunday. It’s unclear how long those curfews will continue, as protests have been running consistently in major cities since last week.

In total, 38 people were arrested Saturday night with regard to the violence and property damage.

The events put a dent in Miami-Dade County’s reopening plans. Broward and Miami-Dade counties joined Phase One of the state’s reopening plan on May 18. Both counties, however, held off on opening beaches. Officials instead opted to wait to see how residents responded to reopening efforts at other locations with those respective counties.

Broward County officials elected to reopen their beaches last Tuesday. Miami-Dade officials said they would push forward the following Monday.

On Sunday, Giménez appeared on WPLG’s “This Week in South Florida” explaining the decision to delay that plan.

“If everything is calm today, then we can take a respite for tomorrow and then hopefully open up on Tuesday,” Giménez said.

“It really all depends on what happens today, what happens tonight. My hope is, and I believe, that today and tonight will be calm and peaceful.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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