Miami Beach rolled out a heavy police presence this past weekend to control rowdy spring breakers. Dozens of officers in riot gear flanked by cops on all-terrain vehicles hit the beach to confiscate alcohol and intimidate partygoers. Anyone caught breaking the rules risked being thrown into paddy wagons parked on the sand and ready to give them free rides to jail.
City commissioners and City Manager Jimmy Morales ramped up the unwelcoming committee for thousands of teens and 20-somethings, many of them African-American, instead of finding a peaceful solution.
City leaders were horrified when videos surfaced on social media showing spring breakers brawling and doing crazy stunts. One young woman, 23-year-old Mariah Michelle Logan, was run over and killed by a hit-and-run driver when she fell through the window of a moving car on State Road 112.
Word on the street is that video bloggers paid groups of girls and guys $100 each to get into fights and then filmed the chaos. Those are the individuals the city should be targeting. But the dummies at city hall don't employ young African-Americans who can track down this information.
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Miami Beach city government is to blame for the out-of-control situation. It's sad the city keeps getting it wrong when it comes to dealing with tourists of color. It doesn't matter who's in charge. Since the early 2000s, I have reached out to every mayor about organizing civilized events for law-abiding black people who keep out the riffraff. City leaders never listen, and now spring break has become Memorial Day Weekend on steroids.
They encourage bad behavior by allowing hotels and restaurants to price-gouge and rip off black visitors. There are often 12 people staying in one shitty hotel room that costs $500 per night. Businesses mark up prices by 300 percent.
The only people who can pay that kind of money are thugs and drug dealers who recklessly spend their money. City officials know what's going on but pretend the raucous crowds caught them by surprise. Meanwhile, I can't even get to Joe's Stone Crab because of the crazy situation on South Beach. I have to settle for the bootleg crustaceans at Whole Foods Market.
When Miami Beach is ready to create a safe and fun environment for all visitors and tourists, regardless of color, city leaders know where to find me.