Miami Beach Police used SWAT Teams to try to enforce its emergency curfew against out-of-control spring breakers — also sparking a wild stampede by firing pepper balls, according to reports and videos.
Videos on social media and local media showed thousands of partiers defying both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Florida beach town’s curfew after it started at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Even as police SWAT teams rolled in to block the streets and used piercing sound cannons to try to clear the completely packed streets, the parties continue to rage for hours, a reporter for the Daily Beast noted from the scene.
At least one woman climbed on top of a police vehicle to dance provocatively, the Miami Herald noted.
Police ultimately fired pepper balls at the crowd, the Daily Beast said — with wild videos showing a mad stampede in the still-packed crowd.
Several people were knocked to the ground — including one man who expertly held a Hennessy bottle to protect it from smashing, the outlet noted.
It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was injured, and Miami Beach Police has yet to announce if there were any arrests. The streets were not fully cleared until close to midnight — a full four hours after the curfew started, the Miami Herald said.
Local officials enforced the curfew after mass fighting and a rise in crime among the mass of spring breakers who are also defying coronavirus-safety protocols, they said.
13Police struggle to clear packed Miami streets.
Miami Beach City Commission is scheduled to hold an emergency 3 p.m. meeting Sunday to discuss the temporary curfew — which interim City Manager Raul Aguila, who declared a state of emergency.
“These crowds are in the thousands,” Aguila told the paper. “We’re at capacity.”\
But the curfew will make no difference, several vistors told the Daily Beast — including Q Johnson, a 20-year-old student at Manhattan College in New York.
“It’s crazy out here,” Johnson said. “It’s lit. It’s chaotic … Too many motherf—ers out here being lawless.”
He insisted he was not worried about the pandemic, saying, “We’re good. We’re young.”
University of Illinois senior Jeb Jones, 24, told the outlet that the “low point” was merely “waiting in line to get into McDonald’s.”
“The curfew is not gonna stop me,” he vowed. “We will continue to rage. The bars are great.”
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