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Miami Beach mayor declares state of emergency - "We don't want spring break in our city"

Miami Beach mayor declares state of emergency – "We don't want spring break in our city"

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber is not a fan of Spring Break. He declared a state of emergency and set a curfew from 11:59 p.m. Sunday night until 6 a.m. Monday. This comes in response to a violent weekend.

On Friday night, a man died and another man was injured in a shooting in South Beach. There was another deadly shooting in Miami Beach early Sunday morning. The city will hold a special commission meeting today at 4 p.m. to discuss further restrictions moving forward.

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

“We don’t ask for spring break in our city. We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, it’s too much disorder and it’s too difficult to police,” Gelber said.

This kind of action taken by the mayor is in keeping with recent years. Last year a midnight curfew was imposed in response to two shootings on Ocean Drive. The year before that, about 1,000 arrests were made and dozens of guns were confiscated during spring break in Miami Beach.

Under this year’s curfew, customers must leave businesses before midnight. Hotels can operate later for guest service. Restaurants can stay open for delivery. Residents going to and from work will not be affected by the curfew, nor will emergency services or hotel guests. Some roads may be closed off. Guests arriving at hotels may have to show proof of their reservations.

Some existing programs for Miami Beach Live! will remain on the schedule, and others will be adjusted.

Mayor Gelber calls the tourist behavior “unacceptable.” In his written statement, the mayor said the crowds of tourists are “excessively large and unruly.’ “Both shootings were between visitors to Miami Beach and did not involve residents,” Mayor Dan Gelber said in a taped video message about the “peril that cannot go unchecked, especially in the evenings.”

This year there was “an unprecedented police presence” but that didn’t stop the violence. Last year the mayor said, “This isn’t your father’s, your mother’s spring break. This is something totally different. We don’t ask for spring break, we don’t promote it, we don’t encourage it, we just endure it, and frankly it’s something we don’t want to endure.”

Good luck to Miami Beach. People are crazy. This is the first spring break since COVID-19 was declared over, though crowds were big last year, too, because Governor DeSantis didn’t bend to the mandates the federal government tried to impose on all states. DeSantis went his own way, realizing a national one-size-fits-all wasn’t the solution. This year a big concern is that college kids are aware of the dangers posed by buying illegal drugs for recreational use during the fentanyl crisis. It’s a dangerous time. Spring break isn’t what it used to be.