Memorial Day Weekend Arrests Down by Nearly Half in Miami Beach

Categories: Crime

urban_beach_crowds_credit_george_martinez.jpg
Photo by George Martinez
The crowds during Memorial Day weekend.
Swarms of rowdy beachgoers erupted into violent brawls. Police were overwhelmed as they tried to quell the chaos. Dozens ended up arrested while worried business owners looked on. Just another Memorial Day weekend in South Beach, right?

Actually, not so much. That chaotic scene, in fact, went down yesterday in Fort Lauderdale. In SoBe, where panic over a hip-hop-fueld party informally known as Urban Beach Weekend led residents to flee, restaurants to close, and hundreds of cops to put the island on lockdown, arrests were down sharply this weekend from last year. The only bit of excitement came last night when an officer accidentally fired her weapon.

See also: Photos from Urban Beach Week 2014

A total of 191 arrests were made between Friday and Sunday evening, according to numbers released to Riptide by Miami Beach Police, with 41 people booked on felony charges.

Compare that to last year, when 357 arrests were made in the same time span, including 65 felonies, and it's clear something has changed.

Sgt. Bobby Hernandez, a Miami Beach PD spokesman, credits a combination of better education and community outreach to visitors and a shift in focus by the local cops as the reason behind the quiet weekend.

See also: Fort Lauderdale Beach: "A Police State," "Riot," and "Gang War" On Memorial Day

"We've changed our strategy slightly in that we're a little less 'zero tolerance' than in years past," Hernandez tells Riptide. "Quite frankly, that approach just doesn't work."

Hernandez says that crowds were similar in size to last year's holiday weekend but that word has spread about MBPD's traffic loops and routine license plate checks on the causeways leading to the Beach.

"The traffic strategies do cause a backup, but the benefits outweigh the problems," he says. "There isn't anyone left in South Florida who doesn't know that there will be a lot of traffic and a lot of cops. If you're a troublemaker, you know you'll probably go to jail."

Cameras installed in public places throughout the Beach and ambassadors preaching a "Respect the Scene" message to visitors also helped tamp down on drama this year, Hernandez says. MBPD will hold meetings this week to review the weekend's action and to consider whether police still need such a bold strategy next year.

"Maybe next year we can peel back on the police presence," he says. "Though you need to build momentum with a few quiet years like this before you can comfortably make that move."

One of the few newsworthy moments from this weekend came just before 11:30 last night near 16th Street and Washington Avenue, when an MBPD officer fired her weapon during a traffic stop, shattering at least one vehicle's window.

Officers are still investigating what happened, but Hernandez says that indications are it was an accidental discharge.

Here's a more detailed breakdown of this year's arrest totals versus last years. (These numbers don't include arrests Monday, which haven't yet been tallied; the totals for 2013 are also minus Monday arrests.)

2014
Total Arrests: 191
Arrests by Race: 118 black males, 58 white males, 9 black females, 6 white females
Felony Arrests: 41
Felonies by Crime: 17 drugs, 15 "other felonies," 4 battery on a police officer, 2 aggravated battery, 1 aggravated assault, one robbery, 1 "CCF"
Total Calls for Service: 1,685

2013
Total Arrests: 357
Arrests by Race: 207 black males, 108 white males, 23 black females, 19 white females
Felony Arrests: 65
Felonies by Crime: 3 aggravated assault, 4 CCF, 28 drugs, 6 battery on a PO, 24 "other felonies"
Total Calls for Service: 2,075

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70 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...........actually GROUND ZERO for this episode is a place called DIRTY BLONDEs which hosted miami dolphins INCOGNITO in an alcohol-fueled rant that would make david sterling BLUSH

this establishment is also a MAIN and SIGNIFICANT source of off-the-books INCOME to FT LQUORDALE LEOs who "work" here off-duty

so important is DIRTY BLONDEs to LEOs INCOME that an incident of bouncers vs patrons wound up to be a major embarassment to FLPD when the cops initially arrested two patrons who had been felony assaulted by three bouncers who sucker-punched and attacked from behind and kicked in the head while on the ground THE PATRONs - so FLPD had to reverse their investigation reports and arrested the BOUNCERs on felony battery charges - A WHOLE WEEK LATER - when the drugs and evidence and basic investigation were ALL COMPROMISED (YET non of this would have happened WITHOUT A VIDEO RECORDing released showing the uncivilized aggressively attacking dirty-fighting BOUNCERs going like animals and savaging the patrons who only defended themselves)

dirty COPS defending felony battering BOUNCERs at a place that harbors a pig called INCOGNITO all protected by the SWAT team from outside invaders - L O L

the beach has long ago been a BOWERY and arresting these kids may have saved them from a real beating at DIRTY BLONDEs that would have been covered over by the LEOs

rened1948
rened1948

Never found anything that mentioned this incident in other news outlets. Certainly, not NBC or CNN. Not even Fox. Maybe they are thinking that if not mentioned it the problem will just go away. NOT. This will grow and grow until it so big that the only solution would be violence.

kimberlynburruss
kimberlynburruss

My last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha­ I do...... WWW.WORKBARR.COM

tarquavius.jones
tarquavius.jones

The more black and brown the country becomes, the less civilized it will become, and the more it will resemble a 3rd-world nation.  You can't have a 1st-world nation with 3rd-world people.

Eddy Gugliotta
Eddy Gugliotta

This is great news.... Civilization is getting all over our country.

stephen108260
stephen108260

What a nightmare!  It's like the set of Planet of the Apes.

Curt Notree
Curt Notree

Looks like all the Hype and Bullshit about the event is centered around a serious lack of strategic operational ability of the Miami Beach Police Department.

Ray Grandon
Ray Grandon

Thats because all the racists r sleeping and maybe they'll never wake up!!!

Ashley King
Ashley King

Yea, i can see that!! It also seemed like someone pissed in her Cheerios this am right from the beginning of her posting. Lol

Mack Fowler
Mack Fowler

Ashley king you have to understand that she played the race card because she was out of argument ammunition. When all else fails label someone a racist.

Ashley King
Ashley King

Shayla Walsh , trash is trash, i dont give a damn what color the trash is ...just so happens majority was black, there were some Hispanics & whites involved too but im not goin to name call each race by a derogatory word that i feel should not be used it's rude, inappropriate and causes more anger within our community so im just gonna call anyone involved in this weekends riots and unnecessary , unruly behavior , TRASH , which there is nothing wrong with that ...if u act like trash that name seems fitting not some derogatory term that's not needed to be spoken..no need for me to use any other term and or word...

Bella Bella
Bella Bella

My last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha­ I do...... WWW.ℤAKJ­OB.ℂ­OM

Anastashia Beaverhausen
Anastashia Beaverhausen

Well good for y'all! Meanwhile in Florida, there was a wild west style shoot 'em up at the Clearwater Beach Hyatt on Memorial Day.

Shayla Walsh
Shayla Walsh

I actually submitted a FOI so I can get that data, as like I said I found that out through anecdotal conversation from Jackson employees. Once I get the data I will write up a blog.

Marie Amaro
Marie Amaro

Oscar Daniel Borras- this has nothing to do with race. It has to do with thug behavior. Look at the statistics. The "trash" and by that I mean "quality of people" who are attending this event on this specific weekend are stealing, breaking things, drugging, assaulting, etc. What would you like me to call this population? I repeat- it has nothing to do with race. I have many black friends who would NEVER display such behavior.

MalcolmY
MalcolmY

Just delay the welfare check for a few weeks so they can't buy gas and buy the gold teeth and get their nails and hair done. Then they won't be able to come. Don't you realize, the federal govt enables this type of thing by not holding people responsible for their own lives and life choices. STOP THE ENABLING!

La Var
La Var

And in 2011..a girl said 3 men raped her while in town for ultra. .. Both incidents happened at the fountaine bleau hotel

sashaproduction
sashaproduction

It's being said that attendance numbers were way down this year. Less people = less arrests. Not rocket science...

La Var
La Var

Rafael munguia raped a girl in 2012 who wax attending ultra. ..

BlackCentricMessiah
BlackCentricMessiah

Was this a white Anglo gang, a Puerto Rican Gang or a Cuban Gang? Was a gang of nuns?  who created the raucous.  Was it just disruptive noise?  Or was it a real riot with people getting injured and scared? 

trenchtown_rock
trenchtown_rock

I think this vindicates the beach cops and all the finger pointing...


No thug = no problem...


Or of Bob Marley was alive... No Thug No Cry...

Shirley Munoz
Shirley Munoz

Kudos to the mayor. It's still not great to be a resident here on this holiday but it was less like a war camp.

La Var
La Var

Ultra/ wmc had 84 arrest the 1st weekend 2014,, 167 arrest over 2weekends...ultra 2013 Urban. Beach weekend 2014 191Arrest (118 black males, 58 white males, 9 black females, 6 white females) Urbafn beach weekend 2013 357 Arrest 207 blk males. 109 wht males, 23 blk females 19 wht females Crime is down over 50% at urban beach weekend And the only shooting this year was from police officer who who accidentally discharged her weapon ,shattering a car window on 16th & Washington

Oscar Daniel Borras
Oscar Daniel Borras

FYI to 90% of the people posting on this thread.... just because you don't use the word "nigger" it doesn't mean you still don't sound like a racist.

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

Miami Beach has a revolving door of victims.  Arrest numbers are worthless.  How many calls came into dispatch, how many police reports were written and how many contacts with citizens resulted in police reports being written.  Miami Beach hotels and nightclubs don't report half the incidents that go on. 


Can we get a number for how many calls to dispatch? 

Thomas Kring
Thomas Kring

And I highly doubt there was a million people in attendance.. So 200 arrests is quite high... Ultra sold 300k tickets and had 88 arrests by comparison (0.0003%) of the attendees.. That's not including all the other people who didn't have tickets..

Jim Raines
Jim Raines

This event started in Atlanta and was shut down do to arrests and other issues. So if the mayor a Black American shut it down then there was problems.

Gustavo Pinna
Gustavo Pinna

Thanks Dade county. All that madness moved up north to ft lauderdale bch

Mack Fowler
Mack Fowler

We don't have to switch it shayla, they say it enough to each other that we don't have too.

Shayla Walsh
Shayla Walsh

All this code switching. Lets replace the word" trash" with what you really want to say.

Marie Amaro
Marie Amaro

I heard many business owners/restaurant owners closed for the Memorial Weekend. They rather lose money than fear for their lives with the trash that goes there on this specific weekend. Any other weekend, South Beach is beautiful. Beautiful sights, nice restaurants, great for people watching.... :) Always something to see. ULTRA weekend does bring a different problem. A lot of kids getting high- trying to recreate Woodstock. I'm glad security was bumped up. Their behavior won't be tolerated. Therefore, they will get bored and move on to the next place.

Shayla Walsh
Shayla Walsh

Yes, let's just ignore rape stats because you know, UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ

Mack Fowler
Mack Fowler

When Miami Beach started bumping up security for urban weekend two years ago arrest have gone down and so have the amount of visitors. Which means word has gotten out that the outlandish behavior of the past is no longer tolerated. This is also a clear sign that certain people come here for the soul purpose of being rude, loud, violent, inconsiderate, and show a complete lack of respect for our city and its residents.

Kim Siv
Kim Siv

guess they all came to Ft Laud beach to wreak havoc

Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez
Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez

Its crazy how ppl love to talk shit about something yet they keep following the page.... #irony

rened1948
rened1948

Linti nga ka lilintian. Basi gusto mo manimaho ka et pulvora.

tarquavius.jones
tarquavius.jones

Your scrupling and imploring over "nothing to do with race," "nothing to do with race," "I have many black friends" sounds ridiculous.  Get up off your knees and find your dignity.

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

@timelf @DrumRollPlease 

Thank you.  Looking at a  yearly city study about city performance the study list calls to dispatch and in a separate line they list neighborhood contacts.  Anybody know how a neighborhood contact is recorded Miami Beach.  The city is recording over 40,000 of these for an entire year.

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