Miami Beach calls in SWAT to enforce temporary curfew

David Matthews, New York Daily News
·2 min read

The city of Miami has been nearly overrun by spring breakers. After imposing a curfew, the city called in its SWAT teams to get the rowdy revelers to go somewhere else.

The city’s 8 p.m. curfew went into effect Saturday night at 8 p.m. and is set to expire Tuesday night. Three bridges that feed into South Beach had also been shut down overnight to stop new partiers from arriving, too.

Prior to declaring a state of emergency over the situation, Miami Beach law reported hundreds of arrests for people fighting, being drunk in public and other offenses. However, Saturday night, SWAT officers were called in to break up an extremely crowded street party and enforce the curfew, firing pepper balls into the mostly maskless crowd and in turn causing a stampede as the people fled.

The crowd was thinned out relatively quickly, dispersing to other neighborhoods, but it is unknown how many people were injured or arrested.

Prior to declaring the state of emergency, Miami Beach mayor Dan Gelber chided the spring breakers and tourists.

“I love that this is a beautiful place, that people come here to gather and enjoy our weather and our beaches,” Gelber said. “But right now, it has become too challenging in the tourism industry to continue that way.”

The influx of tourists came days after Florida governor Ron DeSantis declared the state an “oasis of freedom” and touted the full re-opening of businesses despite the ongoing pandemic which has killed more than 32,000 Sunshine State residents.

“If you’re coming here because you’ve been pent up and you want to let loose, you think anything goes, please don’t come here,” Gelber told CNN. “We have extra police everywhere, we’re going to arrest people, and we have been. We’re going to keep order.”

“If you’re coming here to go crazy, go somewhere else. We don’t want you,” Gelber said.