Miami Beach declares state of emergency and sets curfew due to Spring Breakers

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A couple of weeks ago, we heard the mayor of Miami Beach warning college students not to take advantage of low airfares and accommodation to come to his city for Spring Break. He cited the fact that the new variants were spreading and that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Things are even worse in Florida because of their despicable governor, Ron DeSantis, not having a mask mandate and making it impossible for local governments to set fines enforcing mandates or capacity restrictions. It’s a mess, and as we’re seeing in Miami Beach it’s a tragedy in the making. There are so many young people gathering in the streets that they’ve set a state of emergency along with a curfew of 8pm. Police have been using pepper bombs to disperse people and are making arrests. So far injuries have been minor, but it sounds dangerous for everyone and like it could have easily gone sideways this weekend.

As curfew struck and police moved to clear Miami Beach’s iconic Ocean Drive on Saturday, throngs of revelers stood shoulder to shoulder, packing the street. In footage captured by local media, people danced on top of cars, some clutching liquor bottles. One man threw out fistfuls of cash.

Then, with sirens blaring and the sound of pepper balls being fired, those in the crowd began to run, briefly causing a stampede.

The chaotic scene played out the first night police enforced a curfew in response to an “overwhelming” volume of spring break visitors. City officials had declared a state of emergency earlier that day, pointing to several instances in which crowds of partyers turned disruptive and violent.

During an emergency meeting on Sunday, city commissioners voted to extend emergency orders imposing an 8 p.m. curfew in the entertainment district and limiting access to causeways leading to the island city. The measures are now set to continue Thursday to Sunday until April 11, the end of the spring break period.

“I have personally had trouble even sleeping at night, worrying about what’s going to happen in the city,” Mayor Dan Gelber said. “And that shouldn’t be the state of any mayor or any commissioner or any manager or any police chief.”

[From The Washington Post]

Many of the young people are Black, which makes these punitive actions questionable. I don’t think anyone should be partying and gathering in large crowds at this time, but Florida set up this perfect storm. You know the response would be different if the majority of partiers were white. There’s no answer to this except to point to DeSantis and his utter sh-tshow leadership. While vaccines are available so many people are still waiting for them. Of course young people just want to party and hang out. It’s up to the people in power to set restrictions, not to welcome them with open arms and then pepper spray and arrest them when it inevitably gets out of hand. This country is f’ed up on so many levels. I just hope that the situation calms down and that there aren’t any more scenes like this in Miami Beach.

Florida is now the third state to have over 2 million coronavirus infections.

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38 Responses to “Miami Beach declares state of emergency and sets curfew due to Spring Breakers”

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  1. LauraGen says:

    Listen, I’m black. I’ve seen the videos from Miami of black folks getting into fights, shooting each other in the streets, creating a mess at restaurants and then running away from the bill, women twerking in the middle of the street in traffic – these people have no home training. This isnt just youths having fun. They shouldn’t be allowed in public. I welcome whatever happens to them.

    • Janey says:

      Co sign. But I would put this behavior in the same bucket as the white idiots who riot after State U’s “big win” (insert sport). Idiots. All of them.

      • ME says:

        Idiots come in all skin colors.

        I was watching a news story yesterday saying Hawaii has seen a huge uptick in visitors the last few weeks. I feel so sorry for anyone who lives in Hawaii right now.

      • Bean says:

        People in Hawaii are getting vaccinated left right and center. Which I think is great

    • Scotchy says:

      This black woman cosigns as well. It’s absolutely mind boggling the lack of awareness and care for anyone else. Ugh.

    • Original Jenns says:

      Yes. I’m sorry. While it may be true that white partiers would be handled differently, the problem is the same. Whatever race, the disrespect and ignorance should be the focus. This is a pandemic. I am reacting to this the same way I would respond to the white Karens and Chads terrorizing everyone with their anti-masks parades and wedding parties. I’m not going soft on situation just because it’s people of color. I support my people of color just as I support my women. But not blindly. These are a-holes and they need to be stopped.

  2. Evenstar says:

    Florida native here, this is beyond just young people having fun. A lot of these people look WAY older than 18-22. A bunch of restaurants voluntarily closed due to the crime uptick and their employees and other patrons getting assaulted, plus stampedes being caused by shootings. I blame DeSantis for putting a target on Florida as “open for business,” but these are serious crimes putting others in danger. I hope everything calms down.

    • LillyfromLillooet says:

      +1
      This has an edge to it. These are not late adolescents basking in the sun after tough final exams. I think folks are sick and fed up with restrictions and when a public official opens things up like this, people are using it to vent.

      • Traveler says:

        Frankly, I don’t care how sick people are of being cooped up. It is no excuse for this behavior. No one is entitled to vent this way.

    • Amy Too says:

      My 50+ year old parents are in Florida right now on vacation. They both work full time, did not take time off to quarantine before they went, flew the 1,500 miles to get there and will fly home, and will not be quarantining when they get home. My mom didn’t even know that was a thing people should do before or after traveling. She has at least been vaccinated, but we don’t know if vaccines keep anyone from spreading covid. My dad hasn’t been vaccinated at all! They asked me to drive them to the airport and back. I was like “absolutely not, I’m not participating in your covid tour of America.”

      We’re so close to seeing the end of this with people continuing to get vaccinated at a pretty good pace. They couldn’t wait a few extra months? Or if they HAD TO vacation, couldn’t they have gone somewhere within our state that they could drive to vs flying? Stay in an individual cabin vs a big resort hotel? Plan activities where you can actually wear a mask—swimming at the beach and the swimming pool aren’t really maskable activities. I’m so mad at them right now. And they were shocked that I wasn’t super excited for them and didn’t want to hear all the details. We haven’t seen them without masks or for longer than 30 minutes socially distanced in about a year. We missed Christmas and birthdays and thanksgiving to be safe. They are “desperate” to have my son come sleep over at their house again and don’t understand why I keep saying no. “But we’re SO SAFE! We do everything we’re supposed to. We wear our masks all the time.” Except for when they sent me pictures over the holidays of them posing maskless with various family members and friends who “just stopped by.” I have photographic proof that they’re not masking consistently and THEY ARE IN FLORIDA ON PURPOSE RIGHT NOW, and yet I’m the unreasonable one for wanting to protect my family??

      • Em says:

        Thank you for not being afraid to call out your own relatives for their bad behavior. This is ‘black sheep’ behavior, but you know what, lets be black sheep then. Proud of you for using your damn brain.

      • iconoclast59 says:

        I have 2 co-workers whose parents infected their entire households. Exhibit A: Dad went to his sister’s funeral; the kids dropped him off to minimize social contact. But that also meant they weren’t able to keep an eye on HIS behavior, and yes, he brought COVID home and infected the entire family of 4, including Mom who has end-stage heart disease. Exhibit B: A co-worker told me just today both his parents got COVID, even though they “hardly go anywhere.” Co-worker lives in a different state and doesn’t know what Mom and Dad are or are not doing. Dad was in the hospital for 7 weeks, because he developed blood clots and one of them caused a stroke. He’s back home now, 50 lbs lighter (!) — who knows what kind of long-term effects he’ll have.

        The sad thing is how unsurprised I am at this. I’ve seen how Americans have become increasingly addicted to instant gratification over the past few decades; nobody wants to wait, nobody wants to be inconvenienced even in the slightest. Even if it literally kills them.

  3. Oh_Hey says:

    Having lived in the Miami Area right near the beach – this is some mix of par for the course and the worst of the worst mixing due to the pandemic. People routinely used to come for spring break and wreck the city on top of the pre-existing fools wrecking Florida. The pandemic and being under restriction has thrown high octane gas on that.

  4. Merricat says:

    I feel terrible for the mayor, trying to cope with the fallout from having an idiot governor.

    • Traveler says:

      I do too. What a thankless job.
      I also feel very sorry for the police who had to deal with it.

  5. Meghan says:

    I’m in downtown Memphis and while not as extreme as Miami it has been more insane than I thought it would be. We were at 90% occupancy on Saturday night and the local guests absolutely destroyed the rooms. One left used diapers all throughout the room and smeared stuff every where, weed all over the floor, vomit on everything. It’s disgusting. There was so much unanticipated traffic that the cops started blocking off side streets. It’s a mess and we are getting mostly adults, not college kids.

    I don’t care what people spend their stimulus on and I am all for having a nice staycation or driving a couple of hours to my property but at least respect the place you’re staying in.

    • Betsy says:

      Gawdddd why are people so disgusting? I’ve only been to Memphis twice for like ten minutes, but it was a very nice city.

  6. Nikki says:

    People of college age are not children, and their outrageous behavior should not be tolerated, no matter their race or ethnicity. Very selfish to be destructive, and willing to bring a Covid variant back to their home states. Plenty of other young people are dealing with depression, frustration, or isolation. They are not all choosing to behave like this however.

    • Traveler says:

      I couldn’t agree more.
      All I can say is “What the hell is wrong with some people?! Is there literally no respect for anyone/anything other than yourself? What has to be fundamentally missing in a person’s character to lack common decency?
      I don’t care how pent up the pandemic made you feel. I think we are living through an epidemic of extreme self-entitlement as it is and the pandemic just exacerbated this behavior.

  7. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

    I went to the Daytona beach area for one night last week and there are so many people there from out of state, many not wearing masks inside. Daytona was completely unprepared for the number of people who showed up for spring break and Bike Week 2 weeks ago. Many of the convenience stores are cleaned out of food and booze. I walked into one shop and walked back out after I saw 2 separate groups of Wisconsinites in a tiny space without masks. We’re grateful for your tourism dollars, just please have the decency to take basic precautions to keep the people who have to work in tourism safe.

  8. nutella toast says:

    I lived in Miami for 20 years (just recently moved) and there’s a website, “Only In Dade” for a reason. Miami prides itself on independence, “everything goes”, your crazy CAN happen here, and no boundaries…it’s known for it, and even the residents embrace it, and it can be a lot of fun when you don’t want to be told what to do. But you can’t have it both ways.

  9. Veronica S. says:

    I don’t know how much of this is honestly just a race issue, given that Miami itself is pretty ethnically mixed and considering other factors at play. A lot of people just spent a year isolated indoors and literally have lost all sense of basic social behavior. I don’t think that’s something a lot of people are thinking about, but when I picked up a second job in retail a few months back, I was shocked to realize I had to “practice” being a social human again. It took awhile for me to start talking more and being outgoing again. Consider, too, how mentally stressful and traumatizing this was for a lot of people, so a lot of us aren’t firing on all cylinders. I can imagine it’s far worse when you mix drugs or alcohol into it and causing people to lose their inhibitions.

    • ME says:

      I highly doubt any of these morons on Spring Break were ever following lockdown/quarantine rules to begin with. They were probably always socializing, having parties, and just not giving a f*ck. I really don’t believe these were lockdown abiding folks who just went “crazy” after a year.

  10. Willow says:

    I think we are going to see more of this. I didn’t realize how depressed this whole situation had made me until I got the first shot last week and suddenly I felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. I was full of energy, talking a mile a minute, wondering why I was so happy. We are 100% open here but still with masks. So weird and loud everywhere. Most people will get this crazed giddy energy out safely, but yeah, there is going to be lots of unnecessary idiocy, especially in places with idiot governors (sorry Florida and Texas).

    • H says:

      I got my first shot two weeks ago, 21 more days until shot number two. After that, will I be running to Miami to party? Heck no, I just want to hug my mom. These idiots deserve to be arrested.

  11. TeamMeg says:

    My sister lives in Florida and I’m very concerned about the lax restrictions there. According to today’s statistics, their Covid mortality rate (per 100,000) is relatively lower than many other states, such as New York and Rhode Island, but they have a very large population so many, many more people have died. :(

    https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/us-coronavirus-deaths-by-state-july-1.html

    • Kelly Sunshine says:

      Canadian here, but I heard on the news that there may be an investigation in to Florida’s reporting of Covid deaths. Like they’re suspiciously low?

      • TeamMeg says:

        That would make sense. Especially with all the seniors down there… unless maybe the humidity is protective? At least my sister is still working remotely most of the time. But she says everyone goes out “all the time” to crowded bars, etc. Does not seem safe.

  12. Kat says:

    “ Many of the young people are Black, which makes these punitive actions questionable”

    Miami is a really diverse place & black people aren’t a monolith. You shouldn’t give these idiots down there a pass why there’s millions other black ppl that Aren’t like that. This isn’t a race issue. This is a selfishness issue.

    • OriginalLeigh says:

      As a South Florida resident, I can tell you that there is a lot of anti-black racism in Miami and a long history of the police treating black people differently.

      That said, I can’t defend the behavior I’ve seen in the footage of people “partying” on the beach over the past week. They are completely out of control and they need to stop.

  13. Snuffles says:

    Man, my Mom trying to talk me into going to Florida for Christmas and I told her HELL NAH! That place is a Petri dish filled with morons.

  14. Case says:

    I don’t know what limitations there are, if any, but I wish Biden would throw up his hands and say “you know what? Letting states decide what’s right for them is putting all of us in danger and slowing the progress we’re making by getting folks vaccinated. National lockdown and mask mandate time.”

    This just shouldn’t be happening.

  15. Jessica says:

    I live on the west coast of Florida, almost directly across the state from Miami and I hate seeing the out of state plates everywhere. It’s like everyone decided the pandemic is over just cause they got bored. I have been housebound for over a year, doing my part to flatten the curve, only going out for supplies or certain socially distant activities… but Publix and Target are getting more and more crowded with snowbirds and tourists and half of them aren’t wearing masks, none of them are attempting distance, I’m ready to flip out! I get that it’s been a long year and people want to relax, but guess what? I also haven’t taken a vacation in a year, but I care about other people and don’t want to inadvertently infect someone. Just cause I live in FL, I don’t deserve the same consideration? And Ron DeathSantis is a POS, we don’t even know what the actual numbers in FL are. I know the tourists and snowbirds are the reason I don’t pay state income tax but… it’s hard to be ok with that after this.

    • Case says:

      It’s exhausting. Most of the people who keep complaining about “we can’t keep LIVING LIKE THIS” are the ones who are going out everywhere, vacationing, and living life normally yet still finding ways to moan. And they’ve trapped those of us who care and have medical issues in the process.

  16. Izzy says:

    Any of these fools who get sick, deserve it. I feel badly for the people back in their home states who will end up having to deal with surges in variant cases.

  17. J ferber says:

    Kelly Sunshine, absolutely this. As a state more populous than New York it’s just not possible they’ve been hovering around the 30,000 person death count for months. De Santis is definitely lying about the numbers and no one calls him out for it. He’s a disgrace. And he wants to be the next president!

  18. Sparrow says:

    I live in Puerto Rico and for weeks we’ve been dealing with unruly and violent tourists and we have thorough and strict rules: national mask mandate, fines for not wearing them, capacity restrictions, you name it. Locals follow it and that’s why things are improving slowly here, but with stupidly cheap flights and tourists of all walks of life coming down and partying like no tomorrow they’ve been making life miserable for a lot of people. Cops and locals are overwhelmed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/12/puerto-rico-tourists-aggressive-behavior-coronavirus

  19. Jonsey 0916 says:

    I was there in Miami Beach for an elopement this past weekend. 90% of the folks acting nuts were NOT college students “Spring Breakers”. Grown rude ridiculous adults. It was very uncomfortable there.