Calm returned last Monday to Miami Beach after a weekend in which the police had to rein in an out-of-control crowd that did not respect the rules of prevention of the coronavirus, nor the curfew in force since this Saturday, now extended until April 12.
“It’s quiet today. It must be because of last night’s hangover,” said a man in South Beach, an area that in recent weeks has been the epicenter of disorder mostly by tourists, mostly young people on spring break.
At least one person died from gunshot wounds in one of the incidents involving firearms.
The scuffles with police and incidents have left 1,050 arrests since February 15, 398 of them for felonies, and 102 weapons seized, Ernesto Rodriguez, spokesman for the Miami Beach Police, told EFE on Monday, who clarified that 542 of the arrests are of people from outside Florida.
This morning, Ocean Drive, an iconic street of Miami Beach with art deco buildings and the favorite place of revelry of the so-called “spring breakers”, was quiet.
Through the dirty streets left by weeks of parties, several young people were rolling their suitcases, leaving the city, while others arrived at the iconic Clevelander bar only to find that it was closed.
Since Friday, its owners had announced the temporary closure on the grounds that the city had failed to curb the unruly crowds and that they could not put their employees at risk of illness.
“The problem is that we are in a pandemic,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has said in justifying the curfew and the closures of the city’s access viaducts that have affected residents, businesses and tourists themselves.
Recommendations not to drink or smoke marijuana in public or drive drunk have been ignored by many, as well as the use of masks and the practice of social distance.
Masses and lack of control
Mayor Gelber has repeated ad nauseam that the massive arrival of students, the violent nature of several of them and the pandemic coincided.
The police, for their part, have pointed out that there are thugs who are taking advantage of these crowds to do their misdeeds.
On Monday, the frequent cyclists and joggers on the boulevard along the beach barely spoke indignantly of “the outrages” of the last few weeks.
The curfew, which runs from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Thursday through Sunday, and includes the closure of bars and restaurants in a wide area of South Beach, in the south of Miami Beach, was extended until April 12.
Meanwhile, the closure of the three access viaducts to South Miami Beach Island, MacArthur, Venetian and Julia Tuttle, to prevent the massive influx of people during the weekend, has residents and workers in the area unhappy.
For the past two nights they have had to endure congestion and delays to enter the island.