After a week of social disturbances in South Beach, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber declared a state of emergency on Saturday. By Sunday evening, unruly spring break crowds continued to wreak havoc in the area’s entertainment district, forcing the mayor and city leaders to extend curfews and close roadways through April 12, according to Miami Herald.
South Beach’s entertainment districts have been flooded with not the typical spring break crowd of drunk college students using their student loans to party but adults letting loose after a year of strict social distancing. Perhaps these adults are ‘balling out’ with their stimmy checks.
On Saturday, Miami Beach officials established an 8 p.m. curfew through 6 a.m., forcing local businesses to shutter operations during curfew hours. Police officers employed numerous crowd-controlling measures to disperse massive crowds on Saturday night, including the use of pepper balls.
Gelber, who announced Sunday’s emergency commission meeting, said massive crowds had swarmed South Beach, transforming it into a “tinder over the last couple of weeks.”
“It has felt at times like our city isn’t safe,” he said.
The commission on Sunday extended curfews through April 12 and will soon enforce street closures.
“When hundreds of people are running through the streets panicked, you realize that’s not something that a police force can control,” Gelber said.
On Sunday night, thousands once against defied curfew. Allegations of racism caused police to be more hands-off than Saturday night.
“These aren’t your typical spring breakers,” interim City Manager Raul Aguila told the Miami Herald.
Here are some of the scenes from Sunday night:
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) March 22, 2021
Why would they make that decision? Seems harsh 🤷🏻♂️🤣 pic.twitter.com/GvTc1HjFh3
— Charlie Fernandez (@osbrany) March 21, 2021
In recent weeks, South Beach transformed into a chaotic party zone. Miami Beach police have made over 1,000 arrests, and at least five officers have been hurt during several confrontations with drunk partygoers.