Tension between South Beach spring breakers and older, whiter, richer, and stodgier residents has been leading up to this moment for years.
But yesterday's revelation was still shocking. Miami Beach officials announced that for the rest of spring break, 25-member teams of police in riot gear will patrol Ocean Drive and the beaches. And the city will park police vans, ATVs, and barricades on the beach to chuck noncompliant visitors into paddy wagons and cart them off to jail.
After an emergency commission meeting yesterday, police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez confirmed roving bands of cops will be "wearing protective gear, helmets, and will be equipped with shields." He added police vans will be parked "on the sand" to rapidly detain misbehaving revelers. The news was disclosed midway through a Miami Herald article about spring break.
Commissioners discussed the measure after numerous videos surfaced on social media showing raucous crowds, stumbling-drunk teens and 20-somethings, and a whole lot of violence. In one viral clip, a crowd gathered around a man and woman fighting each other; the man appeared to punch the woman clean across her jaw. A new Instagram account, @wildmyami_, seems to have been created just to document the fights and general debauchery:
At least one incident ended in tragedy. Just before 5 a.m. Sunday, March 17, 23-year-old Chicago resident Mariah Michelle Logan attempted to hang from the window of a moving car on the highway. She fell and was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
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