MIAMI BEACH, Floride – The city of Miami Beach has declared an emergency as police and elected officials respond to crowds and lawlessness during spring break.
Pepperballs were used to control crowds of people in South Beach on Saturday night as law enforcement attempted to enforce a newly imposed curfew.
Several roads were also closed in Miami Beach as officials hoped to stem the rise in crime.
The entertainment district curfew went into effect at 8 p.m., but despite the announcement and even law enforcement told people about it, many stuck around as if the rules didn’t apply to them.
Pepperballs were fired at the crowds of hundreds of Spring Break revelers in South Beach after several attempts by police to disburse them.
Hours after the curfew ended, large crowds were still moving around Ocean Drive with seemingly no intention of going anywhere.
“At night, there is no doubt that the situation got a little out of control or out of control,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
The curfew, along with business and road closures, were announced just four hours earlier by city officials.
“Frankly, I’m concerned that the behavior is getting harder to deal with,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements.
City leaders said the restrictions are all aimed at preventing crowds, ending the crime and violence that the city said some Spring Breakers have brought to Miami Beach.
“The bottom line is that the city has to protect its visitors, its residents, the police and everyone,” Gelber said.
This curfew currently in effect in the Entertainment District includes Ocean Drive, Collins and Washington Avenues, and extends north from 5th Street to 16th Street.
The restrictions are in place for the next 72 hours.
City leaders plan to meet on Sunday to discuss how long they want to keep them in place.
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