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Miami was in chaos over the weekend

Miami police officials warned local residents that the recent partying and chaos could be a threat to public safety

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A man stands on a car as crowds defiantly gather in the street while a speaker blasts music an hour past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday, March 21, 2021. An 8 p.m. curfew has been extended in Miami Beach after law enforcement worked to contain unruly crowds of spring break tourists.

A man stands on a car as crowds defiantly gather in the street while a speaker blasts music an hour past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday, March 21, 2021. An 8 p.m. curfew has been extended in Miami Beach after law enforcement worked to contain unruly crowds of spring break tourists.

Daniel A. Varela, Miami Herald via Associated Press

Miamiwas in chaos over the weekend during spring break, causing concern among police officials about the safety of the city’s residents.

What happened

There were more than 1,000 arrests in Miami Beach over the weekend as spring breakers flocked to the city for some COVID-19 pandemic partying, The Associated Press reports.

  • Many of the arrests were of people from out of state, who came to the city “to engage in lawlessness and an ‘anything goes’ party attitude,” City Manager Raul Aguila told the AP.

Police officials told The Associated Press that “the unruly spring break crowd gathering by the thousands, fighting in the streets, destroying restaurant property and refusing to wear masks has become a serious threat to public safety.”

Context

BBC News reports people flocked to Florida over the weekend to celebrate spring break, which “is a holiday period for schools and universities in the U.S. that usually takes place in March or April. It attracts thousands of students to Florida and other warm-weather destinations around the country.”

In this image taken from video, SWAT officers in bulletproof vests disperse pepper spray balls on Saturday evening, March 20, 2021, to break up rowdy, spring break crowds that descended on Miami’s South Beach by the thousands, trashing restaurants and flooding the streets without masks or social distancing despite COVID-19 restrictions.

In this image taken from video, SWAT officers in bulletproof vests disperse pepper spray balls on Saturday evening, March 20, 2021, to break up rowdy, spring break crowds that descended on Miami’s South Beach by the thousands, trashing restaurants and flooding the streets without masks or social distancing despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Associated Press

A man is arrested while out a few hours past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday, March 21, 2021. Miami Beach commissioners voted unanimously Sunday to extend the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew Thursday through Sunday in the South Beach entertainment district until at least April 12, effectively shutting down a spring break hot spot in one of the few states fully open during the pandemic.

A man is arrested while out a few hours past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday, March 21, 2021. Miami Beach commissioners voted unanimously Sunday to extend the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew Thursday through Sunday in the South Beach entertainment district until at least April 12, effectively shutting down a spring break hot spot in one of the few states fully open during the pandemic.

Associated Press

More chaos

Miami Beach Police had to crack down on out-of-control partiers, too. The police fired pepper balls into the crowds, which became “more than we can handle,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, according to CNN.

  • “Too many are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure,” Gelber told CNN.

People stayed in the streets long past the 8 p.m. curfew, which led to police using the pepper balls on the mostly maskless crowd, according to CNN.

What’s next?

In response, officials extended the curfew in Miami (currently set at 8 p.m. EST) for another week. There’s a chance it might extend into April, too. The curfew is meant to force restaurants to stop serving food, which could hopefully stop some of the crowd gathering, per the AP.