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Mayor Bower: Miami Beach Can't Do Anything About Urban Beach Weekend

Categories: Crime, News
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Miami Beach is largely helpless to stop Memorial Day partiers from coming to town for Urban Beach Weekend, which saw seven injured and one killed in police-related shootings this year, city Mayor Matti Herrera Bower said Tuesday afternoon. According to police, more than 400 were arrested.

"There is no organizer, no event. It's just there," she said, emphasizing that the city does not control or issue any permits for any of the long weekend's events. She also claimed heavy monitoring from the ACLU handicaps the city's ability to increase enforcement.

It's a different situation than the city's increased spring break enforcement, she said, because "they're not there saying 'you can't search that cooler'" at spring break.

Is the American Civil Liberties Union that influential over government decisions? "I guess so," she said.

Officials added that more than 500 area police officers were working on South Beach this weekend -- this, combined with staffing costs that included paying those who collected 177 tons of trash in the area, cost the city an estimated $1 million.

Bower said she understood residents' concerns that the damage outweighed the benefits of the weekend's festivities, which drew between 150,000 and 200,000 people but saw one man killed and seven injured in police shootings. In total, 431 people were arrested, up from 382 last year, according to Miami Beach Det. Juan Sanchez.

"We are also up in arms... We have put up with this for 10 years," Bower said, but "there's not many options."

She quickly discounted a suggestion put forth by Miami Beach commissioner Jerry Libbin that a curfew be imposed next year, saying that "I don't know we want to go down in history as a curfew city." She said administrators were still brainstorming ways to make the event safer in the future and mentioned possibly rolling back operating hours of area night clubs that weekend.

The mayor gave no indication that the city would take any official policy against the return of Urban Beach Weekend -- because, she said, it was not an event.

"Four bad apples spoiled the bushel," she said. "This is not the only weekend [residents] don't like."

When asked if the situation was analogous to Fort Lauderdale's issues with college students on spring break in the 1980s, city spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez said that locking out spring break partying proved to be economically damaging, and Bower chief of staff Rebecca Wakefield said, "I don't think we want to be Fort Lauderdale for a lot of different reasons."

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120 comments
JML
JML

 If Miami Beach City Manager and mayor are once again unable to "contain" this wild crowd, or better get rid of this event - like Atlanta did - they clearly HAVE TO GO!Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/201... 

randrand run
randrand run

I USED TO LIKE THE SEXY MODELS STRUTTING THEIR WELL-TANNED OILED BUTS AT VIGOROUS VOLLEYBALL GAMES-WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ALL THE SEXY SCENERY? 

randrand run
randrand run

MIAMI BEACH POLITICIANS, APPARENTLY, CAN'T DO JACK-CRAP ABOUT MUCH-OF-ANYTHING ANYMORE! WHY THEY CONTINUE PAYING THOSE FECKLESS POLITICAL MONKEYS-IS BEYOND THE PALE-OF-REASON---

Lemonstolemonade
Lemonstolemonade

How does Miami Beach protect itself from this wild weekend?The cost to the city and residents is obviously high , and in the case of loss of life of a human being very high indeed.

Is there race involved? The simple answer is of course , yes.  The Country and the world has issues of race and always has.

We still have a few generations to go before the racial divide is bridged in my opinion.

So what does a city do?

I am not an attorney, and feel that law abiding citizens should be allowed to enjoy themselves freely as long as they do not impede on the rights of other law abiding citizens.

Mardi Gras happens every year , and yes , it is wild and crime occurs..

Perhaps Miami beach should look at memorial day from that standpoint.

The city can set its guidelines for the weekend and for the safety of its residents.

Lots of people want to end the weekend and perhaps the city could take another approach..embrace it, but also control it.

Options inlcude:

Closing the streets to motor vehicles that are not local and run shuttles to and from off site parking.

Charge a admission tax of $25 per attendee to cover expenses once you pay you have a band on your wrist which entitles you to:

 emergency service tents paramedics  all the bottles of  water guests can drink. Sponsored material ( cd's , condoms,cell phone minutes..whatever)

300, 000 people could be marketed to and the city needs to find better answers that what occurred the other night.

Fact is the man in that car was no angel, that being said in THIS country he is still afforded the opportunity to have is day in court.

The 20 odd officers that shot into that vehicle could not have all felt there lives were threatened.

Lets hope something good can come out of this very bad situation.

birdtrainer4hire
birdtrainer4hire

The solution is simple. It would be easy enough to train 1million pigeons to do a poo fly by on Ocean Drive 3 times a day during memorial day weekend. Since were going to trash our city than lets just shit all over it literally. The smell & ankle deep  bird poo endured for three days will surely put an end to the festivities for good, than we can go back to honoring our soldiers with free non hip hop concerts that entertain & provide community.

Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

If Miami Beach can ban this, then maybe they can ban semi-nude people walking around the streets. Honestly, I wouldn't mind that.

Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

Yeah yeah yeah we get it. Miami Beach wants to ban all black people from the beach like they did in the 50s. Why would anyone want to go that overrated beach anyway? Besides, its too close to Cuba. Viva La Daytona Beach!

Streets Kingpin
Streets Kingpin

I wonder if the Delano, Fountainbleu, Club Liv, Club Masion, 80% of the roach motels that dont see business unless is during memorial day weekend, would agree to stop this weekend from happening. I wonder how the hotels around miami international airport and ft lauderdale airport or the restaurants or the airlines or rental car agencies feel about everyone rushing to put an end to their pimping of the tourist and residents. On one hand if you live on the Beach I feel for you. You live in over priced homes and have to deal with lower class people for 4 days a year! CRY ME A RIVER! if all the residents and business owners are so upset about memorial day weekend, shut your doors next year! Close your business for the 4 days take a vacation and go pay your respects to our fallen soldiers in your own special way! For those that are pulling the race card, i understand why you do it, i just can't respect the fact that you are still playing that card! Do the black people act wild and unruly, Yes! But, so do the whites and hispanics! I come down to work that weekend every year and most of the time its not just the out of towners its the locals acting a donkey!!!! Either way, curfew or not, open or closed, if they got the money and are willing to spend it, you will accept it, welcome to America! You can pimp the race or culture for every dime you can squeeze out of them, then turn around and tell'em the same thing every year, WE DON'T WANT YOU and every year, they return! Maybe its time to put your money where your mouth is, hire more people create some jobs the economy would appreciate it, and im sure your residents would as well. somebody has to enforce the laws and im not talking about a goodwill ambassador.... seriously???? 

HipHopHooray
HipHopHooray

I usually side with the ACLU but not on this ocassion.  The safety of citizens comes first and to suggest otherwise is nothing more than headline grabbing by the ACLU.   This is a "street party" not a cultural event and to defend it simply because the majority of those that attend are black, is cowardly and irresponsible.

LAZARO LEON
LAZARO LEON

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((THE MUSIC IS NOT THE PROBLEM)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))((((((((((((((((((((NOT ENOUGH POLICE, TOO MANY PEOPL, NOT ENOUGH SPACE))))))))))))After having my post removed from other posts I hope that this one will remain because it will shed a light on everything I hope.  I still would not want to end this weekend or any festival weekend, it goes against all our constitutional rights.   This is all about controlling.  I can guarantee you that if we didn't have that many restaurants, bars and clubs opened or hours served we wouldn't have this mess.  If the cops would have set up check points at each major entrance to the beach and checked out every car that was from out of town we would limit illegal guns by half.  And as long as our Governor Scott keeps cutting and the county official make more while taking it's visitors and citizens millions there is nothing that is going to be done!  Next thing you'll know, we will anti gay activist being flown in just to rain our our small tiny parade.  But that wouldn't happen either.  Just think about how much money the city is making on fines, bonds, bail-outs, towings, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, off duty cops, extended hours for officials, parking tickets, scooters, insurance claims, mechanics, funerals... in every way you look at it, bad or good...this mess does employ millions of other people.  BOTH SIDES HAVE TO MAKE A MORE POSITIVE APPROACH TO FIX THIS PROBLEM! Ignorance is not the solution!!!

Lcole222
Lcole222

I saw more than few bad apples here this weekend. I saw people violated and just things that are shocking even for a Miami Beach Resident! Screw the ACLU what the heck did they even really do this weekend? Do we have to wait for a riot to happen to stop this???

58445844
58445844

I don't give a diddly what color you are; learn to behave properly in public.  It well past time we cancel it.

HipHopSheed
HipHopSheed

I will say it a thousand times! ITS PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT FROM MIAMI-DADE THAT IS  THE PROBLEM!!!!!!! They cant handle SoBe for some reason. Im a hip hop generation X person and I been going to Memorial Weekend on SoBe since 2002 and will admit. People do the dumbest things that weekend, but it is out of towners that cause the trouble.

Namanumber1
Namanumber1

Stupid spineless statement from a stupid woman. This is the mayor ?

N
N

Let's just invite all the white supremacists groups that weekend to even stuff out. I'm sure everyone will behave themselves then...

Kyle
Kyle

I'm a black resident of the Miami.  I live just over the bridge in Brickell, and I for one think that this even should be stopped.  I'd like to premise by saying something though.  I'm really hurt to read some of the racist comments that someone of you posted.  Why do we always have to devolve into such an unsophisticated and primitive way of thinking whenever we discuss issues that involve different cultures and races that are not our own?  To say that violence is part of black culture is a completely racist and fallacious comment. If violence was part of our culture, or more over part of our genetic make up we would never have been taken as slaves, nor would 15k black people have been hanged at the hands of savage whites. Which leads me to my next point of who has a larger and much pronounced history of violence and destruction.  How many Jews did Hitler kill?  How man thousands of people did the Atomic bomb kill? How many people were kept in chains and beaten do death during the slave trade era, and how many people were slaughtered as they PEACEFULLY marched for their right to be treated with dignity?  I'm not in anyway saying that the people that come down here to trash out city are right nor am I defending them, but lets not make this an issue of race.  Come together as a community of people and stop hating each other based on race.  Race is not real, its only purpose is to divide.  

Evacuee
Evacuee

There is something we can do. All if the big rapstars can not come here and the radio stations in NY and other "urban" cities can stop promoting it every year

Dave
Dave

Ft. Lauderdale is BY FAR a more desirable and enjoyable city than that cess pool known as Miami. You didn't see Lauderdale letting a prissy organization like the ACLU dictate how they run their city.

Ccvg08
Ccvg08

This isn't about race..if hip hop weekend was full of positive and sane people it be welcomed every year. But every year it's the same group of low life degenerates that make hip hop look bad. The few times I've been to south beach during memorial weekend(all times were by accident) all I've seen were guys trying to start fights with my homeboys because they were with me and some girls,I've seen 20 guys packed into 2 rooms trying to sexaully harass a girl,and seen dudes sexually harass girls jst walking on the sidewalks. That's why I'm not surPrised at what happened this weekend, the monstrosity that happened this weekend is the reason why so many locals leave and ride out to the keys. No one wants to get sexually harassed or jumped by a bunch of thugs.

Johnny
Johnny

There just needs to be another event that can over take and bring in positive people with bigger pockets to SoBe for the weekend. Maybe some sort of military themed event. Bringing back the Air and Sea show would be amazing. 

Chrissssss
Chrissssss

Nice one Mayor.  Blame the ACLU to deflect criticism from the city government.  Yep.  It's their fault.  lol

Cd305
Cd305

"There is no organizer, no event. It's just there," she said, emphasizing that the city does not control or issue any permits for any of the long weekend's events."This statement is only partially true. www.BlackBeachWeek.com and founder Terrance Smith promotes and profits from the weekend event.

Michael Wind
Michael Wind

the only thing to do is to clean up the city hall,start with city attorney who is a criminal,then clean up most of the city of miami beach personel.....

megustanadar
megustanadar

The event should be stopped. End of story.  It is not about race, it is about what happens to the city.  Just go on youtube and look at the videos from this weekend.  Once you get past the "attire" of men wearing their very best, undershirts, shorts down around their thighs with sneakers and women showing off their class by wearing ill fitting bikinis with heels to go out at night...hmmm who usually dons that attire--and let's not forget the women dancing on cars or motorbikes with their butts sticking out; then look at the background--the streets are filthy and the restaurants are empty.  Dear Mayor--how about no cruising allowed.  Perhaps then the unexplainable thrill of riding at 2 mph in a car with rims the size of the car itself may lose its fancy.  How about no parking on the streets of vehicles with the doors open blasting music.  If you took those two things away; what will the activities entail?  Look closer at some of the videos..............ever heard of loitering?  People are draped over stoops; railings; or simply just standing there yelling comments at passer byers.  How about moving it along?  Then let's see--ever hear of the fire code?  Maybe it should be enforced--any hotel room found to be over capacity will be fined and the hotel owners will put in the contract that all fines are to be paid by the renter of the facility.  I urge you to look at the youtube video.  NO event brings that to Miami Beach.  And for those who do attend the urban weekend, that is how you want to be portrayed--those videos--is that representative of you and who you are?

Mistrwrong
Mistrwrong

It's interesting how the 6 people who got raped and 47 people who were beaten in Sobe over the weekend aren't even news anymore

EAE1
EAE1

I've never voted for local officials but now I am. Where can I find information about the other mayors. I just googled it and couldnt find much. This woman is useless.

BarryH
BarryH

The answer always is in free market if hotels are not available then the weekend has zero support. I recommend some of you great Americans support your troops and get a room for a military family that weekend. Residents of Miami Beach get a room give to those whom you wish to have visit. If it means enough to you, you will invest. Hotels are not going to discriminate by color, age, religion and nor should they. One year one room can make a difference. Hell maybe Air and Sea show in MIA since Ft Laud couldn't keep it going???? 

Yan1976
Yan1976

I think it's sad and pathetic that we allow racism to protect thugs and ghetto lifestyles. We need to find a mayor who can remember she represents us the citizens of Miami Beach, not hoodlums from every major ghetto from NY to Miami!!!

yan1976
yan1976

If this thug and ghetto crowd actually respected our city and its citizens and actually went into businesses and spent money instead of loitering in the streets and trashing the place then the event would be welcomed like art basal, boat show, wmc, black accountants and many other events this city hosts every year with open arms!!!

Wakeupandsmellthepee
Wakeupandsmellthepee

Every year, locals come up from the Keys or Down from Ft. Lauderdale to find the same old story. OF COURSE, we would celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at home if it wasn't so out of control. Not about race, the city is proud to be diverse, it's about the crime that you're dang right we will WILL NOT STAND FOR.

Mike
Mike

Soon African-Americans are going to be insulted when they are called African-Americans. Next thing you know we are going to have to call them Urban-Americans. WTF? Just leave South Beach and find some other place to trash. ITS MEMORIAL DAY! NOT URBAN DAY! Go trash Washington DC or something.  

Mike
Mike

Why do we have to suffer and live in fear every year? Just because they are black, does that mean we have to let them walk all over us and trash our town? Why dont they stay home and trash their own town? These people are like pirates looting and pissing on everything in their path. Is the ACLU really that much of a force? If these clowns that show up were mostly white the police would be cracking down. We are all afraid of being taken to court. I say F them. Save our town before they burn it down.

MiamiBeachNative
MiamiBeachNative

If she can't do what the city of Fort Lauderdale did to end the drunk white frat-boy/sorority-slut Spring Break image that it had from the end of World War II though the 1980s, then maybe she could do whatever the African-American mayor of Atlanta Bill Campbell did to end the Freaknik week that used to take over Atlanta in the 1990s.

Lowginjay
Lowginjay

So when are we all coming together at the courthouse?

DHC1776
DHC1776

it wasn't four bad apples, Madam Mayor.  The parking garages smelled like foul urinals, car vandalisms soared, etc.  In the past, riding on a gay pride float was enough to make you a local rock star and get you re-elected.  No longer, Madam Mayor, no longer.

Mark
Mark

Is there any good "urban" event anywhere...tell me one where there is not sexual assault, fights, shootings,etc....its their culture and way of life...let them kill themselves

ActionOrRecall
ActionOrRecall

Ft Laud and Atlanta can do it, but Miami Beach can't?  Get real lady.

I've lived in Miami/Miami Beach for 11 years and have only stayed once.

Santero Afro-Cubano
Santero Afro-Cubano

Show the financial numbers to correct the angry and riotous Black American Memorial Day chaos and crime - the bad crime  and safety issue press will dig a deeper economic hole for Miami and Miami Beach. Who wants to live or vacation in a filthy Ghetto? Open your eyes to where you can make a long term goal reach a higher profit Miami Beach Mayor and Commissioners. Yes, discriminate against crime and clean up your once beautiful environment. Miami is a proud multi-racial culture, but with a low percentage of denigrated black American residents that feel entitled to crime like those that attend the Memorial Day event. Really great press for tourism and real estate sales.

Armando Bondo
Armando Bondo

Wow, you mean you people aren't happy living in the world the ACLU has created for you?

ckinsobe
ckinsobe

Here's what happens if all you do is close clubs earlier: Everybody spills onto the streets to continue the party. More trouble on the streets than we currently have.

Stopping this is going to take some guts and for some of our politicians  to stand up for our city and its citizens instead of coming up with excuses. I think a temporary curfew is a good start. That will send a clear message we do not want this crazy stuff on our streets. Curfew in conjunction with early club closures, better yet. Use the extra cops to hand out indecent exposure tickets to all the semi nude people roaming the street. And what about the endless groping? Another ticket.  Set up check points at strategical points of entry. Allow residents in and check every body else for weapons, arrest warrants etc. before they hit our streets. Impose an extra fee that weekend from hotels and clubs to cover for costs of extra security since they are the ones purportedly raking it in. Make it a REALLY BIG fee. You'll see how quickly that takes care of things.

mann
mann

My dear Kyle here we go again with the race BS, to begin with the first people that come up with the race issue are the black community and the dumb ACLU group, second violence must be approached with violence and if you don't believe me you need to do some traveling to the middle east and last when certain bad apples spoil the whole bunch and I know there are many bad apples in the urban party "A WHOLE LOT"  there is no other option then to shut these parties that bring ghetto mentality thugs to my city and will happen is that all these clowns that run the city will be voted out once and for all for not protecting the citizens that put them in office. Remember the shit is going to hit the fan and it's going to hit hard so look out.

N
N

Oh grow up, Kyle, and take off your rose-colored glasses. You sound like an educated black guy. This has nothing to do with slavery (of which blacks sold other blacks, by the way). It has everything to do with "thug" culture which romanticizes violence and firearms. Remember "gangsta" rap? Pop a cap into yo azz? This is the sort of "person" that comes to SoBe during this weekend. This sort of person just happens to be black. Do you see shootings at Burning Man? At Grateful Dead and Phish shows? No, you do not. White people are scared, pissed off, and sick of this shiznitz. Do us all a favor, move into a scary "black" neighborhood (Compton, etc.) and try to explain "good manners" and "non-violence" that the great Dr. King used to preach. A lot of good he did. It's your culture, do something about it. I totally welcome 300,000 Carltons from "The Fresh Prince" for Memorial Day. Heck, maybe they can even clean up before they leave town...

Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

No but it could very well happen. And Fort Lauderdale is only a slight improvement of Miami. The same south fl scum parties there too. Daytona Beach is waaaaayyy better.

ckinsobe
ckinsobe

great ideas! Today Fort Worth banned saggy pants. Miami Beach can ban semi nude people on their streets. Matti is just full of excuses. 

Flavia
Flavia

It is ridiculous. The ACLU and the NAACP rule by pejorative. Are we really that afraid of name calling? I'm not. Call me what you wish. I do not support this event and I will fight it next year. 100+ cars parked lengthwise on the 195, 395. Venetian, and Kennedy ought to send a message. 

Mikendeeo
Mikendeeo

This concept of no curfew is a good one during these events.. Let the club security handle the problems.  Make automatic arrests for gun possession without a permit.  Automatic!. Put up in very plain sight at the clubs NO GUNS ALLOWED. VIOLATORS WILL BE REFFERRED TO THE POLICE.

It is not about RACE but it is about BEHAVIOR!  regarding broken bottles.. What can I say. Trash is what trash does.. Total lack of respect for anyone else's well being = trash.PR nightmare.. 

Mr C
Mr C

You are correct in regard to closing clubs early as a partial solution for one obvious reason, the trouble makers aren't in the club to begin with. The Mayor should look at the YouTube videos shot during this and previous Urban Beach Weekends to get a better idea of the chaos going on. Fights, gangs, trash being thrown all over the place and a total disregard for common decency. Ask every merchant and hotel employee for their opinion and they will all probably say the same, its a nightmare. Unfortunately the environment that tourists love on South Beach creates the perfect venue for this "non event". When loitering and drinking in public is allowed it's an invitation for the dirtbags of the community to mix in and ruin it for everyone. Add Philadelphia to the list of cities that threw out a yearly Fraternity event (Greek Picnic) that was causing too much trouble. The Mayor obviously doesn't understand who she represents, the people!! Wake up DUMMY, the same ones that put you in office will vote you the hell out.

Bkeny1
Bkeny1

If you break anything in a hotel, they hold a credit card just in case for certain things and they will charge for anything broken. Info coming from a hotel worker. They dont have enough police staffed to do the check points your talking about. It wouldn't go down like that anyway. A lot of that stuff your talking will raise rights issues.

Bkeny1
Bkeny1

So they going to impose a curfew just for that weekend? Yeah right! they do that and it will have to stick all year through. Trust me on that! and people that come to Sobe don't want a curfew imposed on nightlife. Imagine a 2am curfew lmao!

MiamiNativeLikesEveryone
MiamiNativeLikesEveryone

Excuse me... you should learn a little logic.  Just because shares the same race does not mean he shares the same culture or behavior.  I am a Miami Native, caucasion, multilingual and multicultural.  However I personally do detest ghetto and thug culture. No where would this behavior be acceptable.  Perhaps you think all black people are thugie wannabees?  my quote of the day....  If you only look at the cracks in the glass, you will never taste the wine.  Friendliness consideration and positive behavior change everything.  I look for what I have in common with people and like to laugh with and share that with others.  Of course a thug is a thug and they care not about others. 

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