College students in the South Florida area celebrate 'Spring Break'. FJoe Raedle / Getty Images.
College students in the South Florida celebrate Spring Break. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Spring Breaker flood puts Miami on alert, but police disperse tourists with violence

At least 100 were arrested by Miami Beach Police this weekend due to Spring Break crowds and for breaking COVID protocol.


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Last weekend, Miami Beach police confirmed a high alert in the city due to the influx of tourists on Spring Break. The traditional celebration got out of control, when, between the party and the crowd, two officers were injured on Friday night and had to be hospitalized. 

In an attempt to disperse a group of 200 people blocking traffic, James Harrison, a 19-year-old celebrating on the streets of Miami, began shouting at police officers and inciting tourists to continue crowding, disregarding COVID protocol. The young man was arrested on charges of assaulting and resisting a police officer with violence, inciting a riot and disorderly conduct. 

During the incident, police began firing tear gas shells to disperse a crowd that had surrounded the arresting officers.

The night of March 13 continued with incidents and arrests, the first was a woman dancing on a moving car, and later, a 25-year-old man who was found with doses of crack, methamphetamines, marijuana, as well as hundreds of dollars in cash and arrested on seven drug trafficking charges.

NORTH BEACH ARREST: While patrolling the area of 74 Street and Collins Avenue officers located and arrested 25-year-old Ernesto Martinez. Officers confiscated, crack cocaine, crystal meth, and marijuana. Martinez faces several felony narcotics-related charges. #MBPDprotecting

Florida reports a daily average of close to 5,000 COVID-19 infections, so the very celebration of the holiday poses a threat to public health. 

"We have too many people coming in, we have too many people out and we have COVID at the same time. So it's a triple threat," Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez told local media CBS4

Ernesto Rodriguez, spokesmas for the Miami Beach Police, confirmed that this week more than 100 arrests have been made, 12 firearms were seized and nearly 900 citations were issued in that city, a common destination for thousands of young people from different parts of the country.

On March 14, after the incidents, it was confirmed that Art Acevedo, former Houston police chief, would take over as the new Miami police chief, at a complicated time for the city. Acevedo has the image of a progressive reformer, he recommended more than 100 reforms to the Houston police, so the police department is confident in the work Acevedo can do to avoid situations like the one last week. 


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