David Fischer, Associated Press, March 21, 2022
City of Miami Beach officials declared a state of emergency on Monday and an upcoming curfew, bidding to curb violent incidents at spring break that saw five people wounded in two separate shootings.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and City Manager Alina Hudak announced the emergency order at an afternoon news conference. It includes a curfew for the South Beach area that starts early Thursday after midnight and runs through the weekend.
The mayor said about 100 guns have been seized over the past four weeks, and several police officers have been injured while controlling the crowds.
Gelber noted that the five people were shot over the weekend despite 371 police officers being deployed.
At the urging of some residents, city officials have been working in recent years to crack down on unruly behavior in South Beach. But efforts to curb excessive drinking and violence have raised complaints about racism, classism and business practices.
More than 1,000 people were arrested last March when the city imposed an 8 p.m. curfew. Authorities at the time sent military-style vehicles to disperse predominantly Black crowds with rubber bullets, prompting criticism from Black activists.