MIAMI BEACH, Florida. Spring break comes after Miami Beach declares a state of emergency and imposes a curfew for the third year in a row during the spring break season.
It was a quiet Monday scene after spring break took over the city this weekend.
“The scene from what I saw during the day compared to the night when the curfew was in effect was clearly day and night,” shared Monique Rojas, who visits the city.
The city of Miami Beach imposed a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew for a specific area of the city on Sunday evening.
City officials have said their manager intends to reimpose the curfew on Thursday and through next Monday. It affects businesses, hotels, residents, travelers and garages.
It also bans the sale of alcohol after 6 p.m. and cancels all events scheduled by the city for Miami Beach Live! in Lummus Park.
Those who came for spring break were made aware of the out-of-control behavior that has taken place in the last two weeks.
“She said, ‘Don’t go here, be sure to come here,’” recalls Maurice Townsend, a city dweller who learned about it from a waitress.
“When I saw people here in the daytime, I didn’t feel safe because there were so many of them,” Rojas explained. “I didn’t stay too long because I just wanted to be safe.”
Many, like Michigan resident Edwin Anderson, think curfews are a good idea.
“Hopefully things get a lot safer and we can walk as usual,” he said.
Those who live in Miami Beach, like eight-year-old resident Dennis Burton, don’t think this is the solution.
“They just want to hang out, so they hang out, but if they don’t have a choice, now they’re on the streets,” Burton said, referring to the holidays.
This curfew comes after two shootings took place over the weekend.
Miami Beach Police said the first happened Friday on Ocean Drive. One man died after being wounded, the other is recovering.
But the last shooting took place this Sunday. Video on social media shows police rushing to the scene where two people were shot dead, one of them dead.
The suspects in both cases have been arrested, but the city says enough is enough.
“It was easy for me,” Miami Beach Vice Mayor Steven Miner said. “It just wasn’t safe anymore.”
Miner said illegal activities and unruly behavior are committed by South Florida residents and visitors alike, and the problem continues to arise.
Last year, the restrictions were put in place after five people were injured in shootings.
“People want to come here, but we have created or developed a situation where we cannot control the violence that happens literally two weekends a year. And really, that’s what we need to focus on,” Miner said.
When the Florida 24 network asked the vice mayor why the curfew had not been put in place in advance, he said it was something the board was discussing.
“Of course, a curfew for next weekend is being discussed, but we look forward to next year as well,” Miner said. “Should we impose a curfew in advance, knowing that we will have problems? This has been happening for several years now and we just need to put an end to it.”