Miami Beach sets Spring Break curfew after 2 fatal shootings

Miami Beach officials imposed a curfew starting Sunday night during spring break after two fatal shootings and rowdy, chaotic crowds that police struggled to control.

The city said in a news release that the curfew would run from 11:59 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday, with an additional curfew likely to be in place Thursday through next Monday, March 27. The curfew primarily affects South Beach, the most popular party spot for spring breakers.

The statement said the two separate shootings Friday night and early Sunday that left two people dead and “exceedingly large and unruly crowds” led to the decision. The city commission is planning a meeting on Monday to discuss possible new restrictions next week.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a video message posted Sunday that the crowds and the presence of numerous guns have “created a peril that cannot go unchecked” despite the heavy presence of police and many City-sponsored activities to keep people busy.

“We don’t want spring break in our city. We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, it’s too messy, and it’s too hard to control,” Gelber said. .

Crowds walk up and down Ocean Drive during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on March 18, 2023.

The latest shooting occurred around 3:30 a.m. Sunday on Ocean Drive in South Beach, according to Miami Beach police. A man was shot and later died in a hospital, and officers pursued a suspect on foot, police said on Twitter. Their identities have not been revealed, nor any possible charges.

In Friday night’s shooting, one man was killed and another seriously injured, sending crowds rushing in fear from restaurants and clubs onto the streets as gunfire rang out. Police arrested one person at the scene and found four firearms, but no further details were released.

Under the curfew, people must leave businesses by midnight, although hotels can only operate later to serve their customers. The city statement says restaurants can only stay open for delivery and the curfew will not apply to residents, people coming and going from work, emergency services and customers of the city. ‘hotel. Some roads will be closed and guests arriving at the hotel may be required to show proof of reservation.

Last year, the city imposed a midnight curfew following two shootings, also on Ocean Drive. The year before, there had been around 1,000 arrests and dozens of firearms confiscated during a rowdy spring break that led Miami Beach officials to take steps to calm the situation.

USA voanews

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