Ultra Music Festival Hires Miami Beach Police Chief As Its New Security Director

Categories: News

Thumbnail image for Ultra_dark_stage_george_martinez.jpg
Photo by George Martinez
Ultra is hoping hiring Miami Beach police chief Ray Martinez fixes its security problems.
Ultra Music Festival has announced that its new security director will be none other than current Miami Beach police chief Ray Martinez.

The move makes sense. Martinez already announced that he's stepping down at the end of this month. Meanwhile, Ultra is seeking to assuage the City of Miami after a security disaster in which gatecrashers trampled a private guard.

But that doesn't mean the marriage is made in heaven. Under Martinez, Miami Beach police fatally Tasered a teenage graffiti artist, roughed up a model, and beat-up a good samaritan for coming to her aid. How will he handle Ultra?

See also: Teenager Israel Hernandez Dies After Miami Beach Cops Catch Him Tagging, Taser Him

On March 28, a crowd of young men jumped on of Ultra's fences, trampling 28-year-old security guard Erica Mack in the process. She is still recovering from a broken leg and brain trauma.

The incident -- first reported by New Times -- has spurred mayor Tomás Regalado and commissioner Marc Sarnoff to call for Ultra to be shut down or moved outside Miami.

See also: Ultra Music Festival: Female Security Guard Fights for Her Life After "Mob" Trampled Her

By hiring Martinez, Ultra appears to be trying to stem the flood of security related questions surrounding the festival.

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Ray Martinez
"Chief Martinez has built a record of distinguished service in law enforcement and we are honored to have his insight and leadership as part of the Ultra team," said Russell Faibisch, one of Ultra's founders, in a press release.

"The safety of our event, fans, crew and personnel has always been our number one concern," he continued. "For over 14 years we have worked hand-in-hand with the Bayfront Park Management Trust, City of Miami law enforcement and the downtown business community to provide a safe environment for our local and visiting fans, and our dedicated crew members who help to make Ultra a success. Under Chief Martinez's leadership our commitment will only be strengthened as we strive to provide the highest quality event at all levels."

Martinez -- a former marine and purple heart recipient -- is widely credited with calming a department that was dangerously out of control. In the months before he took over, Miami Beach cops nearly killed half a dozen innocent people.

During Memorial Day Weekend 2011, MBPD fired 116 bullets to stop drunk driver Raymond Herisse. But stray bullets also caught three bystanders, spawning litigation against the city.


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35 comments
Fabian Miranda
Fabian Miranda

id feel the same way, the only real danger is ever posed was kids od'ing.

Gladys N Juan
Gladys N Juan

I completely agree...Make the event 21 and older.

Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

cant believe people pay money for that thing! sweet tart joke!

Leafar Robles
Leafar Robles

Its about damn time some controls are being considered.

Kon Janco
Kon Janco

Not gonna change the drug use...but it's a good way to keep the festival in the city.

Amanda N Armando Gonzalez
Amanda N Armando Gonzalez

I agree with the 21 and over thing. The venue is perfect. We havent been to ultra in a long time but we enjoy those two weeks ultra is around. The show must go on.

Little Lee
Little Lee

No more meow meow, bathsalts and special k for you! About fucking time. Also make it 21 and over and move it to a bigger venue ... it's a 45 minute drive to the beach ... Deal with it.

Kristopher Bahamondes
Kristopher Bahamondes

Add the Miami beach fire dept, code compliance and you've got a recipe for a drug fueled, face eating orgy

Monya SoAmazing Holt
Monya SoAmazing Holt

Everyone knew they weren't going to shut down ultra cause it generates millions possibly billions of dollar a day for Miami's economy hence why I stopped going like ultra 8

DRAKEMALLARD.0
DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter

Again with the Israel Hernandez shit?  He was engaged in defacing someone's property, and knew it, and ran His friends explained that they were using drugs together before they went out to vandalize.Teenager painting on walls is grounds for shots fired and or electrocution..this my friends is why we rate last in education. Just plain dumb. This is not art it is Criminal Damage to property and this little criminal decided to fight the law and as the song goes the law won. People are cheering for this persons deviant behavior. Our society is circling the drain of it's own destruction. It's called vandalism. Then fleeing and alluding. If you want to express yourself do it on a canvas or your mothers house. So let me get this straight, if the graffiti kid complied, didn't run away, and listed to the police officers request to stop, he would be alive today. Sounds to me if you comply, do as the police say, take the arrest and possibly fight your charges in court, you will more than likely come out of this situation without being tased

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

He is the worst chief in miami...ultra is corrupt just like he is

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos

I'm starting to realize, and so are other people that Miami New Times is biased towards Latinos. Who runs this paper? Jealous of Hispanics Caucasians? Or jealous of Hispanics Jews?

David Estreval
David Estreval

Miami NewTimes when will there be blame put on "reefa"s parents for not teaching him respect others and their property and to listen to police it's not like we live in Colombia

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

This is a payoff to keep the event.  Nobody hires people from Miami Beach.  They are a tainted group.  The Bieber case is the last straw which exposed the department to worldwide ridicule. This is also a slap in the face to the Miami police department.  They now turned this into a police issue.  The truth is no event can pay off duty officers because they bill at doctors rates. 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..........................here is one example of the crooks MIAMI BEACH POLICE are:

Miami Beach cops are paid up to $225K and face lawsuits galoreBy Tim Elfrink Thursday, Mar 25 2010 Miami Beach Police Officer Manuel Chorens has a round, fleshy face and an ample belly stretching the front of his blue uniform. His hair is streaked with white; his jet-black eyebrows are prominent over a flat nose.Maybe he has pulled you over. Maybe you have passed him at CVS, where until recently he worked late-night shifts. You probably don't remember him.But Chorens has secrets. For one, he's rich. In 2008, he pulled in $175,651.84. Also, he's a crook.

Anyone who rose to the top of this stinking heap is knee-deep in corruption himself = period

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...........................visitors having or causing problems in the community have LOG BEEN a main source of miami beach police OVERTIME PAY...............so expect problems to continue - cha-ching !

a typically salaried LEO making an annual standard $80,ooo can easily make AN ADDITIONAL $120,ooo in overtime during "season" (for a total of $200,ooo per year)

go look at the public records

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.......................as corruption is rampant in the police force,  the guy who makes it to a top spot is typically knee-deep in kick-backs bribes and scandal himself, so ULTRA is really paying an open bribe probably going to be called "consulting fees" that martinez will be asked to turn around and schmeer the incoming regime with a "tribute", keeping a few shekels for himself, of course

as long as demand for ticket sales and advertising revenue is high there will be enought grease to keep everyone fat and happy campers

as far as MB being a better policed community, who gives a damn about that anyway ULTRA or no ULTRA, LEOs could care less about public safety = period = they got boat payments to make, and mistresses to keep happy, and gambling and drug abuse demons to feed, so they only care about the schmeer

it's how they roll

j.pollo
j.pollo

I thought you were serious until you mentione 200,000 concertgoers

Dean James DiAlberto
Dean James DiAlberto

This is just so the city will get more money out of the event. Banana Republic strikes again!

Ross Espinoza
Ross Espinoza

just get the sweetwater chief to do security

LLMiami
LLMiami

So you stopped going because it generates money for the economy?


DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

@DRAKEMALLARD.0 Vandalism of private property usually a civil matter in Miami Beach.  The police have never released any documentation that they have ever prosecuted any graffiti cases.  Miami Beach is ranked third highest crime rate for a city of its size.  The police do not handle graffiti.  Once the graffiti is on the building code compliance is supposed to issue a violation to the property owner.  Miami Beach has had several people killed by police in the past several years.  Not to mention all the bad arrests and assaults.  Many of the other dozens of incidents have been documented by this paper. 

Palangana
Palangana topcommenter

@DrumRollPlease  What did they do wrong in the Bieber case?  I can't remember the details.

MikeMillerMiami
MikeMillerMiami

@j.pollo  2012 attendance was 165,000. 2013 was 330,000 over two weekends. 2014 was probably close to 200,000.

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