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Miami Beach declares curfew over spring break violence


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (NewsNation) — Spring break took a violent turn in Miami Beach, influencing the city to declare a state of emergency and institute a curfew on Sunday.

“We understand because there are people who don’t know how to act,” said KK Love, who was visiting from Memphis.

The curfew expired Monday morning ahead of a special meeting expected to be held by the city to determine additional measures, including a possible new curfew for the coming days.

The decision comes after two deadly shootings over the weekend, one Friday night and the other early Sunday morning. Police have arrested two suspects in both deadly incidents.

“It’s not really safe. It’s really, really dangerous,” Jose Angel Nerr, who works in South Beach said.

The Friday shooting took place in one of the city’s busiest areas, crowded with spring break travelers. One of the victims died and the shooter was detained at the scene.

In addition to the shootings, the city mentioned large and unruly crowds as a contributing factor to the decision.

“I was here for the last couple of nights with seven human stampedes just last night, and three or four of them the night before and then a major shooting down the block with a murder. It’s over the top. I’m done,” owner of Mango’s Tropical Café David Wallack said.

Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency over spring break violence in previous years as well, and earlier this week, a judge approved a change to the city’s alcohol rules, moving last call from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The curfew includes exemptions for essential services, those driving to or from work, guests with a hotel reservation in the covered area and regular business services and deliveries. Businesses in the area will also be allowed to continue delivery services.

All of this happened despite an unprecedented police presence for spring break. Authorities said officers have confiscated 70 firearms in the last three weeks while patrolling. The mayor of Miami Beach Dan Gebler said the crowds are getting out of control and flat-out dangerous.

“We don’t ask for spring break in our city. We don’t ask for spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy. It brings too much disorder. And it’s simply too difficult to police,” Gebler said.