Urban Beach Week Arrests and Crowds Down From Last Year
Despite disputed reports of a 2,000-person arrest quota, Miami Beach Police only cuffed 321 people during the three-day Memorial Day weekend. That's slightly down from 332 arrests last year, and the vast majority of those arrests were for misdemeanors. Crowd numbers too seemed to have been down as well. We guess the facts that four innocent bystanders were shot during a bizarre police involved shooting during last year's festivities and a crowd enforcement plan that resembled a police state weren't exactly conducive to attracting tourists.
Of those 321 arrests, about 80 percent were for misdemeanors. Compare that to the arrest numbers from this year's Ultra Music Festival. City of Miami police only arrested 71 people during the three day festival, but nearly 68 percent of those arrests were for felonies. (Also keep in mind, those numbers only reflect arrests related to the actual festival and not the myriad parties and related arrests across Miami and Miami Beach).
According to NBC Miami, no shootings, stabbings, assaults or aggravated batteries had been reported this weekend. And there wasn't a single reported zombie attack, which is more than we can say for the other side of the bridge this weekend.
The total number of 911 calls were also down from last year. There were 2,664 in 2011, and just 2,062 this year.
The much talked about license plate scanners on the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle Causeways scanned nearly 26,000 license plats this year, but only 310 citations were issued between the scanners and the DUI checkpoint on the MacArthur.
There are no official estimate of crowd numbers yet, but by all accounts the numbers appear to have been significantly down from last year. Several business say that their profits were down form last year, according to the Herald.
Residents who decamped this year, and other Miamians who stayed off the beach completely might want to be kicking themselves in retrospect. Perfect weather gave us a nice break from the early onslaught of rainy season and was ideal for a game of Frisbee or a tanning session.
Areas north of the entertainment area were practically deserted. Parking in the Collins Parks area was uncharacteristically easy to come by during prime beach hours, and the sands seemed lightly populated compared to even a normal weekend.