First night of Miami Beach curfew appears to have tamped down spring break violence

Miami Beach Spring Break 2021
Two shootings over the weekend prompted the emergency declaration and a special City Commission meeting about extending the state of emergency further.

Miami Beach’s emergency declaration and curfew Sunday night appears to have put a lid on the deadly violence and disorder that marred the first part of the weekend on the barrier island.

The curfew was announced Sunday afternoon after two fatal shootings, one Friday and another Sunday morning, according to a city news release. The city has been struggling to control massive crowds that have converged in the area’s entertainment zone for the annual rite of spring break.

The curfew was in force starting at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, going until 6 a.m. Monday. The shutdown is expected to be reinstituted in anticipation of next weekend, as Spring Break continues.

Sunday night’s drizzle was credited with helping to tamp down the unruly action, according to a report from Joey Flechas, a reporter at the Miami Herald, who also noted there were some arrests. Officials from the Miami Beach police could not be reached Monday morning. Some footage from Twitter showed revelers jumping on unoccupied cars, but no fatalities have yet been reported.

“As a few raindrops start to fall, lots of folks going home,” Flechas reported as the curfew was announced.

It’s the third year that the barrier island has been faced with gridlock, stampedes, injuries and violence — and instituted curfews to get control. This is happening despite “a vast and highly visible police officer presence in the city,” according to the emergency declaration.

“It is necessary and the mostly narrowly tailored approach … to prevent the migration of massive crowds from the Ocean Drive area into the surrounding residential areas,” the emergency declaration says.

City Manager Alina Hudak called a special City Commission meeting for 4 p.m. Monday to discuss what specific steps will be taken beyond Monday to “mitigate dangerous and illegal conduct.”

Business within the declared emergency area was closed before midnight. The area is bounded by 23rd Street and Dade Boulevard to the north, Government Cut (a man-made channel) to the south, Biscayne Bay on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

Hotels in the affected areas could serve only guests and were not allowed to admit more people after the 11:59 p.m. cutoff time.

Two fatal shootings have rocked Ocean Drive as vast Spring Break crowds have converged on the core area, according to the Miami Herald. The first shooting, that also involved another wounded, was at 10:30 p.m. Friday on Ocean Drive. And the second one was at 3:30 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of 11th Street and Ocean Drive, the Herald reported.

Restaurants could operate after curfew for delivery only, according to the order; but takeout business was prohibited, the order says. The curfew didn’t apply to emergency services, people going to and from work, and residents and hotel guests requiring access to their homes and hotels.

The city has faced accusations of racism in the past as it has tried to cope with the crowds of young people celebrating spring break. One incident in 2021 involved SWAT team vehicles firing pepper spray balls to disperse crowds that critics called heavy-handed and argued wouldn’t have happened had the crowds been mostly White.

“Many of the visitors to the City during March are under the influence of alcoholic beverages and have demonstrated a blatant disregard for the rule of law,” the emergency declaration issued Sunday reads.

The two fatalities occurred even though law enforcement in the area has impounded more than 70 firearms and arrested 322 people between Feb. 27 and Sunday, the city said in the emergency declaration.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Earl Pitts American

    March 19, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    Since the actual shooters were not called out as raicest heres what we know with 100% certanity:
    It was a B on B crime.
    You must develop these kinds of “media interpertation skills” in todays woke drivin media reporting.
    So there you have it America Earl Pitts American just gave you 100% more facts than the rambeling nonsensencial artical above.
    You are welcome America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Elliott Offen

      March 20, 2023 at 10:40 am

      You should take an english grammar and composition course before you can be taken seriously posting on the internet.

    • Don’t Look Up

      March 20, 2023 at 12:35 pm

      Rambling….that would be your post.

  • It's Complicated

    March 20, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    Tallahassee experienced similar problems with FAMU Homecoming events. The vast majority of troublemakers were NOT FAMU students or Alumni, nor were they students at any institution of higher learning. The troublemakers are effectively interlopers who travel from other communities (or urban Tallahassee) to venture into campus events and parties and display zero decorum or civil behavior. The people who end up getting shot or stabbed are the FAMU students who dare to speak up or intervene, or those who are hit from the mindless random shooting.

    Most of the troublemakers at these Spring Break venues are not college students. Same was true when Panama City had huge issues with Spring Breakers.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    March 21, 2023 at 8:14 am

    Earl Pitts is a good parrot, squawking obediently, and incoherently 🦜😂

  • maritza

    March 22, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    Look at the news video. These were not students. And the media will never comment on the demographic involved. This looked liked a targeted shooting. The victim was shot at point blank range by the perp. Both of the same demographic.

Comments are closed.


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