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.”
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.”
- People chose to descend to Florida, specifically, due to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent comments in which he called Florida an “oasis of freedom,” BBC News reports.
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.
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.