MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Things have calmed down on the streets of South Beach, since the beginning of March when spring breakers took over the city of Miami.
Police were out in full force working to control spring break crowds for weeks, with Miami Beach declaring a state of emergency and imposing a curfew after five people were shot over a span of two nights.
The City of Miami Beach has implemented a curfew to take effect tonight, Sunday, March 27 beginning at 11:59 p.m. until tomorrow, Monday, March 28 at 6 a.m. to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors.— City of Miami Beach (@MiamiBeachNews) March 28, 2022
For further details:https://t.co/hjSbHO6MtG pic.twitter.com/4UjbYTsSjH
The city also ended all liquor store sales in the same area after 6 p.m.
The midnight cut-off came as a shock to visitors hoping to get the full South Beach experience.
“I mean, it’s obviously disappointing because we were expecting other things when we first booked it,” EJ Maitlind, visiting from Michigan said.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber defended the city’s actions while appearing this week in South Florida.
“In the middle of spring break, despite police, people just were so out of control, that this was just something that happened,” he said.
The decision disappointed some business owners who say the move is hurting their bottom line.
“It’s going to affect everybody in this whole area. We’ve seen this movie before, and you know we dealt with this last year.” Ray Schnitzer of the 11th Street Diner said.
While critics contend the city’s actions have unfairly targeted the mostly African-American crowds that gather here, the mayor says the restrictions were necessary to protect officers, tourists, and residents.
“I don’t think we had a choice and I’m sorry folks are losing money with the post-midnight crowd, but really you can’t balance revenue, resort taxes, against public safety,” he said.
Gelber says, officers, confiscated more than 100 guns over this spring break period and the city has not announced whether it will extend the curfew for this coming weekend.