MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Several videos filmed by witnesses in South Beach Tuesday morning show a chaotic scene outside Voodoo Lounge on Ocean Drive, followed by two gunshots.
According to a Miami Beach police report, two people were denied entry for not having identification. They “became belligerent and aggressive....and engaged in a physical fight,” wrote the officer on scene.
Police said one person began spraying a chemical like pepper spray. Another produced a firearm and discharged two rounds in the air.
No one was struck. No arrests have been made.
Reports and videos on social media of lawlessness were a topic of discussion at Monday’s Miami Beach City commission meeting.
Commissioner David Richardson said operators of businesses in the entertainment district told him the chaos seemed worse than ever.
Police chief Rick Clements said his officers are getting pushback from crowds when trying to enforce the rules.
“He’s right. This has been the most difficult environment that I’ve had to deal with in thirty years,” Clements said.
On Tuesday, Richardson said closing Ocean Drive to promote social distancing has had unintended consequences.
“Sadly, what’s happened is, people are using this as an open air club. We’ve got to change that,” Richardson said.
Voodoo Lounge was shut down for violating the city’s COVID emergency measures.
Richardson said many options are on the table, including instituting a curfew for the entertainment district.
“Everyone is absolutely welcome in South Beach and Miami Beach if you are here to obey the laws and have fun. If you are not here to obey the laws, then we don’t want you here. You’re not welcome,” Richardson said.