The city of Miami Beach is implementing a curfew after two shootings in the area, in what is slowly becoming an annual state of emergency over unruly crowd situations.
For the past three years, the city of Miami Beach has enacted emergency measures in March as vacationing crowds draw “dangerous and illegal conduct.” A curfew was announced Sunday by the city manager, beginning at 11:59 p.m. through 6 a.m. Monday morning.
A special commission meeting will be held on Monday afternoon to discuss enacting similar measures into next weekend, the city said.
Miami Beach Police Department responded to two deadly shootings over the weekend. The first happened on Friday night at 10:41 p.m. near 7 Street and Ocean Drive, where two men were found with gunshot wounds.
One man died after being taken to a hospital and the other was in critical condition. Police said Saturday that a suspect had been taken into custody.
A second shooting occurred Sunday morning at 3:29 a.m., this time closer to 11 street and Ocean Drive, according to police. A suspect was detained but one man was killed in the incident.
The two shootings appear to be unrelated, isolated incidents, according to police.
In March 2021, unruly spring break crowds were blamed for brawls that had to be broken up by police and prompted the first state of emergency.
Around the same weekend in March last year, Miami Beach implemented its second emergency state after five bystanders were hospitalized in two random shootings. Mayor Dan Gelber held a press conference calling the rowdy tourist behavior “unacceptable.”
“We don’t want spring break here … but they keep coming,” Gelber said last year. “People keep coming here in large numbers, such large numbers that it creates an almost impossible situation for our police.”
Gelber noted in 2021 that he did not believe the surge of visitors were typical spring break demographics, as the tourists causing issues are not the college coeds normally associated with the vacation week.
At the time, he said he believed Florida’s lack of Covid-19 restrictions was likely a major factor in driving people to the area.
Sunday’s state of emergency order did not explicitly reference spring break as the cause of “unruly crowds,” but it is roughly the exact same date as the prior two years’ orders.
Essential services and food delivery will still be allowed to operate Sunday after the curfew hours, but businesses must admit their last guests with enough time for them to leave before curfew.
Alcohol sales will be prohibited for off-premises consumption in the curfew area after 6 p.m., according to the city order.
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