Gunfire, Death and Crime Spur Calls For End to Miami Beach's Urban Beach Weekend

Categories: Crime
subwaytrashed1.jpg
Rich Abdill
The exterior of a Collins-Street Subway Restaurant was strewn with trash and liquor bottles Sunday night.
Before at least seven people were injured or killed in multiple early-morning shootouts Monday, many were saying Sunday night that the scene at South Beach's Urban Beach Weekend didn't seem as bad as it had in the past.

The long weekend was expected to draw 300,000 visitors to South Beach this year, with clubs hosting popular hip-hop artists like Chris Brown, DJ Kahled and Rick Ross. The crowd has typically been almost exclusively African American, and Sunday night was no exception.

James Wilson, sitting in a camping chair on Collins Avenue, said he has come people-watching at the South Beach Memorial Day festivities for the past five years.

"[Police] used to walk by every 15, 20 minutes looking for people to arrest," Wilson said, adding that police this year seemed to be taking a less confrontational approach in favor of dealing with problems as they arose. But, he said, the party-goers' behavior didn't seem to have changed and "the same crimes are happening."

The weekend has been marked in past years by hundreds of arrests, mostly of black suspects, including more than 1,000 people arrested in the 2006 celebration alone.

But there were certainly crimes happening last night: Marijuana was pervasive and openly smoked on sidewalks, one man was spotted urinating on a Hialeah Police van and employees at a Collins-Street Subway Restaurant said customers had stolen drinks, sandwiches and about a dozen chairs from their store.

The city's volunteer goodwill ambassadors dispatched throughout the area said they were doing what they could to stay in touch with police and help quell crowds, but one ambassador said that with traffic and other concerns, it sometimes took police as long as an hour to respond to calls. Her group of ambassadors had just given up trying to stop a woman from collecting money by stripping on the sidewalk.

guttertrash.jpg
Rich Abdill
Liquor bottles, take-out containers, CDs and flyers were strewn across streets, sidewalks and businesses.
​Stripping and dancing in the perpetually congested traffic was also frequent -- in addition to at least one van with transparent sides driving the streets with women dancing on poles inside, women stuck in traffic simply climbed on top of their cars and gyrated for onlookers.

"I guess she got bored," goodwill ambassador Nayheera Richard said of one traffic-dancer. "But that's it. I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary."

But these "ordinary" events, combined with Monday morning's gunfire that left one dead and seven -- including three police officers -- injured, according to the Miami Herald, have left many wondering if this was the final salvo of Urban Beach Weekend.

Some have come out openly calling for the event's demise: In addition to the scores of online commenters bemoaning the troubled weekend's return, Herb Sosa, president of Miami-Dade Hispanic gay-rights group the Unity Coalition, wrote an open letter to Miami Beach administrators calling the city "nothing short of a warzone" and asking "when did perceived political or social correctness override the safety & well-being of a community? ... Make the difficult but correct decision to put an end to Urban Weekend in Miami Beach and help us SAVE OUR CITY. We are not Disney or Universal. We cannot close a gate at night & go home. We ARE home."

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
My Voice Nation Help
162 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Jqd5588
Jqd5588

It's like bike weekend at Myrtle Beach.  Most of the business close the doors due to stealing.  Lesson learned.

Fur54
Fur54

i went to miami memorial weekend 2011. WORST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE!!!! Horrible experience. i didnt know anything about "urban week". Yeah was in for the shock of my life to say the least. It was packed with thousands of ghetto ass people! They were loud, obnoxious,and completely rude! One black guy cussed me out for not giving him the time of day calling me every bad name in the book. They were acting like animals. True story i ended up calling the airline and paying an extra 200 to get the hell out of there. Thats when you know its bad when you leave you leave your vacation early to come back.im just sayin. Not surprised at all about the trash and the shootings. Im actually SHOCKED more people didnt die considering the crowd and the way they acted. Then they wonder why people dont like them..hmmmm i wonder. Maybe consider acting like a human being for once in your pathetic little lives. Nothing but trash. Came back w a whole new view of black people, and not a good one! 

JoseO
JoseO

To Tisha:

When you people stop behaving like the blood thirsty savages you are; only then will you be invited back to Miami Beach.

There is much truth to the old adage: You people can be taken out of the ghetto, but the ghetto can't be taken out of you.

TISHA
TISHA

They MURDER a brother and want to USE this as an EXCUSE to KEEP all the ''BLACK DOLLARS'' going to THEIR clubs and events! If they CANCEL this event ... CELEBRITIES & BALL PLAYERS and ALL OF US should BOYCOTT MIAMI COMPLETELY...SHUT THEM DOWN! ITS NOT HOT WITHOUT ''US''...BELIEVE THAT!!!

Fur54
Fur54

o your right how will miami survive without u and all your ghetto friends lmao

mann
mann

What do you know about business, Miami beach was rocking before all the ghetto mentality started hitting the beach. Miami beach does not need your money and as long as thugs keep looking for trouble there will always be another brother dead, get it.

Rcipriano62
Rcipriano62

I can't see why these bars and restaurant don't close down for the weekend.. Durning The 6 months raise the prices on menus and booze and try to make up some of the money You would lose over mdw .. Just a silly thought?

White wimmins!
White wimmins!

What are the "progressives" going to do when no one trembles anymore at the thought of being called a "racist"? It is their only weapon! Wake up to reality. Reality is racist. Nature itself is completely racist from top to bottom. Absolutely everything about animal life on Earth is "racist". Face the cold hard facts of life, you fact-denying, evolution-denying "progressive" faith-based religious fanatics! 

White wimmins!
White wimmins!

What are the "progressives" going to do when no one trembles anymore at the thought of being called a "racist"? It is their only weapon! Wake up to reality. Reality is racist. Nature itself is completely racist from top to bottom. Absolutely everything about animal life on Earth is "racist". Face the cold hard facts of life, you fact-denying, evolution-denying "progressive" faith-based religious fanatics! 

White wimmins!
White wimmins!

What are the "progressives" going to do when no one trembles anymore at the thought of being called a "racist"? It is their only weapon! Wake up to reality. Reality is racist. Nature itself is completely racist from top to bottom. Absolutely everything about animal life on Earth is "racist". Face the cold hard facts of life, you fact-denying, evolution-denying "progressive" faith-based religious fanatics! 

Kelly Baronofsky
Kelly Baronofsky

Wow, pictures of trash littering the street; like that's not seen after any celebratory event in America. You would find comparable imagery at my college. Pretty sure the trash left behind doesn't compare to the dumping of toxic waste by big US corporations in Africa and there's no outrage from anyone about that.

Nancydd40
Nancydd40

coz all that toxic waste isn't in some rich SOBE dwellers front yard. or peeing on his car. 

Zo
Zo

Its up to the bars and clubs to open their doors to the public. If they're concerned with losing money they can decide not to open their doors. Which is unlikely to happen. Its a shame that a  weekend meant to be fun for young people is being treated like a hurricane coming to town. Its also a shame that a few bad apples always ruins the show. "Fool me once..."

Tiff_landis
Tiff_landis

Until businesses such as nightclubs and restaurants come together and decide they have had enough riff raff in Miami Beach on Memorial Weekend, it will continue. I lived in Ft. Lauderdale during the Spring Break time, finally, the clubs shut down, there were no places to eat, hotels were suddenly "had no rooms available" so there was nothing to do and so the kiddies moved to Panama City Beach...Im in Pensacola now, dont send those fools our way Miami :-)

magic
magic

Its a shame that it happened. There were some positive acts that performed. But the only things mentioned in the news was negativity. Maybe if the media hyped the heroes as much as the gangsters. We wouldn't have this problem.

magic
magic

Stop eating soy and being closed minded by playing favorites. Those shootouts could have happened anywhere in southflorida. They happen in west palm and lake worth all the time. Its obvious that your biased against the hip hop community.

mann
mann

Yea it happens in the ghettos of West Palm and lake worth not in other neighborhoods. Miami Beach is not a ghetto.

Nonenow
Nonenow

Same stuff happens during "Black Bike Week" up in Myrtle Beach, SC. Many business owners there have given up and close for that week. Sad stuff, but small businesses don't have a whole lot of margin for error, especially these days. 

MagicCity
MagicCity

It is very funny and laughable when people compare Memorial Day Weekend with WMC or Art Basel.  WMC does bring a lot of people into South Beach/Miami...but for the most part the majority people are high off of E and all lovey dovey (for the most part).  Now I'm not saying that there are no arrests during WMC, but people seem to just enjoy the music, dance and get along.  Art Basel brings in a whole different crowd; you see people from all sorts of nationalities walking around the beach without freaking vandalizing private property/storefronts.  And for those who think that people who want this even to terminate are racists, then you what?  You are the racist yourself...this isn't about race...remember as mentioned WMC, Art Basel brings people from all over the world; but it has to do with long term economics and safety.  You know something is wrong when locals flee South Beach during this weekend. 

a local
a local

Mathew you are and inbred  idiot and bigot!!!!! You are just a jealous retard!!!!! we don't need this event!!!! We have millions of tourists and many money making event without incidents!!!! This event is a bunch of ghetto kids and thugs taking a town hostage!!!!! And I wonder where you're from to talk like that about our city, over town?????

MCMC
MCMC

If the urban crowd actually cared about the African American community, they would move the event to an area that desperately needs the money.  South Beach will survive without this weekend, maybe the organizers of these events would consider changing the local each year to a different city that actually has some ties to hip-hop and the urban culture. 

Mel
Mel

Great idea. Move it to Overtown or Liberty City..But wait they have shootings there 24/7..I guess the "Urbans" only want to export their behavior to the Non-Urban areas.

MCMC
MCMC

Comparing "Urban Beach Week" to WMC or Art Basel is laughable.  I've lived on the beach for years, and Memorial Day weekend is a disaster every time.  Hotels make some money I would assume, but a lot of them jack up the rates and would rather have vacancy than deal with the insanity.  People just loiter around and sit in there cars most of the time.  Count me in as one who supports an end to this event.

Master Boy - CP
Master Boy - CP

Its amazing how an innocent black man was brutally murdered by the hands of policemen and women. And they claim his car was coming at them in snarled traffic. You white people ain't shit!!! I repeat the fact of the matter is you rob blacks this weekend by tripling the price on everything. We pay it and then they start this propaganda campaign. The police was the only one shooting all weekend in every instance. I am an Atlantan who was there studying how to control an event of this magnitude. I sat on the corner of Collins and Espanol Way for 4 hours that night and seen an all of a sudden increased harassment of the people. The police is at fault for this period. I saw it coming over a dozen police agencies working carelessly together. This was an execution!!!!!! There was no drive by.  And every piece of trash that was there was from purchased products in their city.  If you put 250,000 people in a place and no one thinks to have a clean up crew on hand then you have trash everywhere. I AM SO PROUD OF MY BLACK PEOPLE. YOU TRULY SHOWED ME THAT WE DO KNOW HOW TO ACT!!!!  Go to A NASCAR RACE and SEE the TRASH There!!!!!

Fur54
Fur54

yep be proud! you all like to act ghetto and support the behavior. I was there and it was horrible! Your completely stupid to say what you just did. But then again not surprised

ckinsobe
ckinsobe

I guess you missed the  guy who while filming the video of the event telling his girlfriend that there were shots coming out from the car. You can actually hear the shots as well, way before the car stopped. The video is everywhere, go watch it with the sound on. The car was going down Collins and hitting a motor cyclist.

Oh and what about semi nude women walking around makes you so proud? And men constantly groping women? Who behaves that way in civilized society? I have had AA women in my place of business during this event hiding from gropers, shocked at what they see once they get here (one of them even said, "we are not all like this I am so embarassed") and another lady even leaving town 3 days early and paying $300 dollars to change her flight and go back to NYC she was so scared and tired of being mauled on Ocean Drive. This from a girl from the Bronx! This event is trashy and we don't need it. If you are proud of this kind of behavior some soul searching may be in order.

Realistic
Realistic

You're an idiot and a racist slob.

Grove Native
Grove Native

The ONLY trash is you, mutha fucker...!!

Master Boy - CP
Master Boy - CP

Women Lie, Men Lie, Numbers Don't. MILLION MAN MARCH ON MIAMI 2012. Yall Get ready!!!!!

rickywahoo
rickywahoo

A shooting in Miami OMG that never happens. Now you make a big deal about a shooting in Miami. We are a tourist destination. Lots of people coming to a tourist destination and that's bad?! If you you want to be a big city then grow up and deal with the crowds. May be New Orleans should start having more restrictions on Bourbon St or shut down Mardi Gras. Making a big deal about a shooting in South Florida is like making a big deal about a crooked politician in Miami; OMG its shocking we should get rid of them. The City of Tampa got rid of the Florida Classic, and they lost millions of tourist dollars that go to Orlando now and lost the FAMU marching band. Its the same thing racism.

Boxcarwillie
Boxcarwillie

Actually New Orleans does shut down Mardi Gras - every evening there is a curfew and the streets are cleared - the party is over for the night - go home.  Despite what you and others may think, the beach isn't a mere "destination," people actually live here.  This is our home and we do not appriciate our guests crapping all over it while yelling, "I'm in south beach bitch!"

rickywahoo
rickywahoo

Hey Boxcar I guess next year I will come down here myself to see the mayhem and chaos. I remember when South Beach was a community of retired jews and then abandoned buildings and derelicts and then hottest real estate on the planet and then eurotrash and russina gangsters and now a collection of regular night clubs with a fair amount of drunks.

rickywahoo
rickywahoo

Bourbon St is packed til 5 AM. I will ask my New Orleans friends about your claim. Its not a mere destination it is THE destination for the world. Its not like this just happened this decade its been THE destination for decades. If you moved there, you knew where you moving to and what its like at night. This is like people that start moving next to a pig farm and then complain of the odor or an airport and then complain of the noise,

Boxcarwillie
Boxcarwillie

Not that it makes any difference to this discussion, but I've lived on the beach my entire life.  I witnessed the revitalization that occured here in the 80's and 90's so no need to lecture me thank you.  I know what it's like at night and can tell you from personal experience, what happens here during memorial day weekend is completely out of control.  Having a good time is one thing, but using the weekend to explore one's inner thug is another.  Now extrapulate that out to a few hundred thousand wanna be gangsters, not to mention the actual gansters, and you'll see the pile of dog shit "urban weekend" truely is.  Now excuse me I have to go sweep up the mess along with my neighbors.

iCe
iCe

Racist thats what this is! Just cuz it's black folks, they gotta come on us like dis? Miami is OUR town & we should be able to do what we like, what we need is more white bitches, no white dudes, & no COPS! & if you dont agree, then YOU is a rasict!

Realistic
Realistic

Miami isnt "your town"...lol.  Get a education and learn to write proper English if you wish to be taken seriously.  You cannot "do as you like". If you want to live in a country with no whites and no cops, move to Somalia. 

mann
mann

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, that's a good one.

Riptide Moderator
Riptide Moderator

Everyone, a little reminder: Keep your comments civil and clean. There is no reason we need to take this debate to the lowest comment denominator. I will be monitoring this discussion and commentors who continue to cross the line will face a permanent ban.

N7857z
N7857z

Simply look at the trash left behind when the "Ubans" show up. That would do it for me if I were making the rules. Why can't people pick up their own trash. Urban weekend is a great time to take a cruise and "Get out of Dade"

Skip Van Cel
Skip Van Cel

And not a peep about any of these incidents in this mornings online Miami Herald.

ckinsobe
ckinsobe

I've been posting on the Miami Herald about this since yesterday. There were over 100 pages of comments so go look again :)

MiMi
MiMi

All the drugs prostitution and other things that go down in Miami u want to take a shooting that occured and just blame it on people being black? Ridiculous !! Yess it's a busy time of year get used to it !!

Adsflasj
Adsflasj

Before you know it, there won't be an "Urban" weekend anymore in Miami.  Just like in Atlanta, when a BLACK mayor had enough, you'll go somewhere else and destroy the place. 

Gale
Gale

I live in South Beach but I leave each year to avoid this weekend. My solution: Create a $50 toll for any car entering South Beach. The high price and traffic backing up behind the toll booth should discourage visitors.  

ckinsobe
ckinsobe

Excellent idea! Someone should pay for the clean-up and extra security required and it should be those who cause it. I like the idea of curfew and early club closings paired together as well. I think it is time to have a civilized Memorial Weekend rather than than this mess.It's been over 10 years!

Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

Because you're a pu$$y. Tell me, how many black people did you see in that Miami Heat rally in downtown Miami the other day? None! Notta! Zilch! Assholes like you are exactly the reason why we still have racism in our country. The whole country got a glimpse of how racist Miami really is when it comes to integration on national fucking television.

DoughBoy Strikes Again...
DoughBoy Strikes Again...

Hey Fat Boy, Who made you the politically correct dick sucker...? SHUT the FUCK UP!!Good thing you don't live down in South Florida, 'cause you'd get yo' ass kicked on down the road! The Brothers don't need no fat-ass, white doughboy to tell everyone, "like it is..." You don't know shit sittin' up there in Tallahassee with your schoolbooks and all, Daddy takin' care of yo' fat ass... The racism thing is waaay overdone these days, it's usually the leftist KOOKS who don't have ANY facts that start spoutin' off about being a racist!! Go play with your video games dumb ass, leave the conversation to grown ups...

Tonya Tko
Tonya Tko

What are you talking about Matt?

-Tko

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...