Fabian Basabe drags hometown Mayor over violent spring break scene

The City Commission opted not to impose another curfew after fatal shootings.

Miami Beach Republican Rep. Fabian Basabe dragged his hometown Mayor for not asking for the state’s help stopping the “violent outrage and multiple murders” there during spring break.

A state of emergency for Miami Beach’s entertainment district was declared Sunday, with a curfew imposed starting at 11:59 p.m. and continuing until 6 a.m. the next day. That followed two fatal shootings, one on Friday night and another early Sunday.

A special City Commission meeting Monday ended in a split vote, 4-3, with Commissioners opting against instituting another such measure in anticipation of this coming weekend.

Another crush of spring revelers is expected. And the unruly scene has become all too familiar, Basabe said.

“This issue continues to roll over year after year; and our citizens need results, not repeated grandstanding,” Basabe said in a prepared statement. He added that Mayor Dan Gelber “should have stepped up by asking for appropriate and obtainable funding to secure necessary state appropriations to enhance Miami Beach’s public safety.”

But Gelber said this is the first he’s heard of the state’s offer of help.

I have no earthly idea why any of this discussion is through the media — when someone wants to really help, they usually just call me or the Manager up as other Mayors and public officials regularly do,” said Gelber, who was elected in a nonpartisan race, but served as a Democrat in the state Senate.

The violence happened within sight of law enforcement stationed in the area. Between Feb. 27 and Sunday, law enforcement in the area impounded more than 70 firearms and arrested 322 people, the city said in the emergency declaration.

Basabe said he believes more curfews are not the solution to the problem. He predicts businesses will sue the city if more curfews are imposed.

“The problem lies on the very stage the city builds but has failed to enforce for these very bad actors,” he wrote in an email.

Gelber says the city is doing all it can, and has called on county resources to help.

“Anybody driving around realizes that we have an enormous deployment of policing,” he said.


Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

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].


  • just sayin

    March 22, 2023 at 10:16 am

    Gelber is absolutely right on this issue. Basabe is just trying to score some cheap points.

    • Chris

      March 22, 2023 at 11:46 pm

      Also, Dan Gilbert has been in politics now for two generations. He understands how appropriations work and the rules of the game. He’s definitely a champion of deflection.

  • Chris

    March 22, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    Incompetent Dan Gelber doesn’t care about the residents or business owners of Miami Beach… year after year MB faces the exact same problems and he could’ve been proactive about this issue but once again Gelber let it happen. Can’t wait for him to retire from politics.
    Keep up the good work Mr. Basabe, taking action quickly and exposing the rats from this city that’s being penalized long enough.

Comments are closed.


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