MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Major changes have been announced in Miami Beach in an attempt to control the rowdy Spring Break crowds.
After multiple attempts to disperse the crowd Saturday night, pepper balls were fired across South Beach as police attempted to impose a curfew at 8 p.m.
All roads leading to Miami Beach will remain closed from 10 p.m. Until 6 a.m. M., With the exception of the residents, workers and guests of the hotel.
On Sunday night, the crowd gathered again on Ocean Drive.
The party then moved to various side streets, where people were seen dancing on top of cars, some of which were left with cracked windshields and other damage.
Champagne bottles were also left on top of the vehicles, along with a large amount of trash throughout the area.
Some local black leaders are critical of the city of Miami Beach because of how severe the crackdown on spring breakers has been. They believe it has to do with the race of many of the visitors.
Miami-Dade NAACP President Daniella Pierre argues that the city’s heightened police presence and aggressive unannounced curfew enforcement to visitors sends an unwelcoming message and only increases tensions.
“They find a strong police presence, right, they find street closures. They find closed parking lots, ”said Pierre. “What are you talking about, is it a crime or is it a culture?”
Miami Beach Police Chief Rick Clements told Local 10 News that the atmosphere this year is different, and crowds have challenged officers trying to make arrests.
“Covid has had people down for quite some time, over a year,” he said. “I think they come here to relax a little bit, but I think they are also pushing the tactic of obeying the rules.”
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the app is all about public safety.
“Just watch the videos,” Gelber said. “We are not targeting a group of people. We are targeting behavior. “
Videos from the past few days have shown fights and property damage, prompting some businesses to close over safety concerns.
“We still have the right to go to Miami Beach and we still have the right to be treated fairly,” Pierre said.
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