Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has declared a curfew following two fatal shootings over the weekend. In a video message to residents, Gelber announced that the curfew will start at 11:59 pm on Sunday and will last until 6:00 am on Monday. The mayor is expected to impose an additional curfew from Thursday through next Monday, March 27th. The shootings took place on Ocean Drive, a popular destination for spring breakers and out-of-city visitors.
Gelber stated that the high volume of visitors during spring break creates a "wholly intolerable situation," and that the "unruly nature of too many" in the presence of guns has led to a "peril that cannot go unchecked." The latest shooting occurred on Sunday morning, and Miami Beach police confirmed on Twitter that it was a "targeted and isolated" incident. Another shooting on Friday night left one person dead and another in critical condition. Both shootings involved visitors to Miami Beach and did not involve residents.
Miami Beach has long been a popular spring break destination among college students, and officials have previously enacted emergency powers to control the large crowds. The curfew requires businesses to close by midnight, but hotels can still remain open as long as they are only operating with guests staying at their business. The curfew will not apply to people traveling to and from work or residents of the city going to or from their homes.
Gelber has stated that even an unprecedented police presence could not prevent these incidents from occurring. He cited "excessively large and unruly crowds" as the reason for the implementing the curfew. Miami Beach has seen a significant increase in visitors over the last three weeks, which has created a "peril that cannot go unchecked."
Last year, the city imposed a midnight curfew during the same period after shootings on Ocean Drive. Gelber has been clear that Miami Beach does not want spring break in the city, as it is too rowdy and brings too much disorder, making it too difficult to police.