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Miami Beach Spring Breakers Party After Curfew, Police Deploy Pepper Balls



There were chaotic scenes in Miami Beach, Florida, on Saturday night as police worked to enforce an emergency curfew, imposed in a bid to curtail hard-partying spring break crowds.

At a news conference on Saturday, Miami Beach officials declared a state of emergency and announced an 8 p.m. curfew. Mayor Dan Gelber said police officers were struggling to contain the number of spring breakers that have arrived in the city despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Hours later, videos posted on social media showed those spring breakers continue partying well after the curfew kicked in.

“30 minutes after curfew Spring Break crowds thinning but Ocean Ave is still packed,” CBS 4 reporter Bobeth Yates wrote alongside a video posted on Twitter.

30 minutes after curfew Spring Break crowds thinning but Ocean Ave is still packed. Full details on @CBSMiami after the game.

— Bobeth (@bobethyates) March 21, 2021

Miami Beach Police reportedly deployed SWAT teams to block roads and disperse the crowds of revelers.

But some defiantly continued partying, with one video on social media showing a person twerking on a car and another showing a man throwing money into a crowd of people.

Freelance reporter Francisco Alvarado, on assignment for The Daily Beast, tweeted that police fired pepper balls into the crowd shortly before 9 p.m., triggering a stampede.

Local news station WPLG also reported that pepper balls were fired into the crowds after several attempts by police to disperse people.

A few minutes before the 9 pm curfew, a young man began making it rain and then police fired pepper balls, creating a stampede. #miamibeachspringbreak on assignment for @thedailybeast

— francisco alvarado (@thefrankness) March 21, 2021

Money throwing

— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) March 21, 2021

At around 9.40 p.m., Miami Beach Police tweeted a photo of a section of Ocean Drive to show the area had been cleared.

“An aerial view from Ocean Drive and 8 Street after officers began dispersing crowds due to the 8PM curfew in the Miami Beach Entertainment District,” the department wrote.

Miami Beach Police have been contacted for additional comment.

The curfew and road closures in the city’s entertainment district will stay in place for 72 hours, Gelber said at Saturday’s news conference.

However, Interim City Manager Raul Aguila told the Miami Herald that he recommends keeping the rules in place through at least April 12 or the end of spring break.

The curfew affects Miami Beach’s entertainment district—Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue and Española Way, from 5th to 16th Street. No pedestrians or vehicles will be allowed to enter the restricted area after 8 p.m. and sidewalk cafes, beaches and public areas must close.

A countywide curfew is also in place from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

More than 100 arrests were made last weekend after brawls broke out among rowdy spring break crowds. Miami Beach Police said they used pepper-spray balls to disperse crowds of people who were “disorderly and surrounding officers.”

People enjoy themselves along Ocean Drive on March 19, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images



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