Miami Beach commissioners review curfew plans as Spring Break rowdiness continues
Following a messy, violent weekend in Miami Beach, city officials decided on Monday to implement a curfew.
It starts on Thursday evening into Friday, and lasts every night until Monday morning.
The question that was being asked of the Miami Beach City Commission on Tuesday was whether that curfew will last for two weeks in a row.
They voted that, at least for now, the curfew won’t go past this weekend.
Miami Beach Commissioner Steven Meiner believes the curfew is a good start and that the city has to take action.
“There is already talk that we may be sued based on this curfew, so we may just take it week by week, but that will be part of the conversation today at the commission meeting,” said Meiner. “We’ve had five people in the middle of our street shot at this weekend. We have police officers who are getting injured and being put in harm’s way.”
The curfew has led to outrage from business owners, who say it just adds pain to an industry already hurting following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We might as well shut down at this point. Nobody is coming here till 12 o’clock,” said Twist owner Joel Stedman.
As what is expected to be a busy weekend approaches, details are being worked out about causeway closures and in and out of the island, which could be a nightmare for residents.
“Last year when we had to do this, residents had to wait four plus hours to get back into our city. That’s not fair,” said Meiner.
In regard to the enforcement of the curfew, officials say the goal is to disperse the large crowds that they say are creating difficult situations for police officers.
“I’m at my wits end trying to figure out how to deal with this crowd,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements.
According to Miami Beach police, since spring break enforcement started, more than half the citywide arrests are people who live in Miami-Dade County. Of the 636 arrests in the South Beach Entertainment District, 508 of them are locals.