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Miami Beach slaps curfew on spring break after shootings

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Revelers dance on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida, March 15, 2022./AFP
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Mar 23, 2022 - 03:13 AM

MIAMI, UNITED STATES — The US city of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency and will impose a curfew this weekend to stem a wave of violence linked to the influx of revellers to Florida for spring break.

The decision comes after two shootings that left five people injured in recent days. City officials will meet Tuesday to finalize the curfew.

“We can’t endure this anymore,” Mayor Dan Gelber said Monday as he announced the decision.

“We don’t ask for spring break. We don’t promote it. We don’t encourage it. We just endure it, and frankly, it’s not something we want to endure. We don’t want spring break.”

The curfew, which covers the busiest area of the city including the famous Ocean Drive, will last from midnight until 6:00 am Thursday through Monday.

Authorities plan to renew it next week.

Last year, police also imposed a curfew after arresting more than 1,000 people over the course of six weeks for street fights and vandalism.

To avoid a repetition this year, authorities have increased police presence in the busiest areas and banned bars from selling alcohol after 2:00 am, rules that will be in place from March 7 to 21.

They have seized 37 firearms in three days, Police Chief Richard Clements said Monday.

Every year in the spring, hordes of partygoers take over the Miami Beach waterfront for late-night drinking parties that can quickly turn ugly.

It is part of the collective college experience of generations of US students — but residents have increasingly opposed the social gatherings despite the contribution to the local economy.

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