Official: Time For Urban Beach Week Curfew - NBC 6 South Florida

Official: Time For Urban Beach Week Curfew

Clubs could close earlier Memorial Day weekend on South Beach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    City officials considering curbing the fun on Urban Beach Week. (Published Wednesday, June 1, 2011)

    A Miami Beach commissioner on Tuesday called for a curfew to be in place for next year's Urban Beach Weekend after two police-involved shootings broke out during the Memorial Day holiday.

    Jerry Libbin, the head of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, said the city should consider limiting the late-night fun for the hundreds of thousands of visitors on South Beach in the wake the shootings.

    The city spends an extra $1 million for security and clean up during Urban Beach Weekend and local businesses said the money they make is also offset by the added security, Libbin said.

    "Everyone is welcome as long as laws aren't being violated," he said.

    Miami Beach Police arrested 431 people from Friday to Monday, which is up slightly from 2010's total of 382.

    Most of the arrests were misdemeanors, and felony arrests and the number of citations issued dropped this year, Miami Beach Police said.

    But two shootings that happened just blocks apart Sunday night jumped to the headlines and have some officials thinking something needs to be done to curtail the crime during Urban Beach Weekend.

    One man was killed after police surrounded his vehicle and opened fire, authorities said. Four bystanders were also hit with bullets, police said.

    An hour later, an officer was forced to shoot at a car that was headed toward her, police said.

    Police Chief Carlos Noriega called the weekend "uneventful" if not for the two shootings.

    Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower challenged the legalality of a curfew for a select weekend in only a particular section of the city. She said residents complain about events such as Spring Break and Boat Week, but the city doesn't issue any curfews.

    Urban Beach Weekend is a collection of private events that have adopted the same name. It is not  city sponsored, which makes it even more difficult to regulate, Bower said.

    The city is considering making clubs and bars close earlier during Memorial Day weekend, but no time has been discussed as of yet.