Police violence breaks out in South Beach during spring break

A tweet captures police violence in Miami

According to social media, civil rights groups and reports from those on the ground in Miami, young people on spring break partying at South Beach last weekend were met with unnecessary force by Miami Beach.

 Videos that have since gone viral have shown the police charging into groups of partygoers and firing what appeared to be paint guns. One young woman was choked after she and a policeman collided.

The Miami-Dade NAACP and ACLU condemned the tactics of the Miami Beach police in a press conference Friday. Ruban Roberts, president of the Miami-Dade NAACP, called the police’s conduct “racist.” Others recalled the racist history of Miami Beach dating back to the 1950s and 1960s when Blacks were not allowed to cross into Miami Beach from the Miami mainland unless they had a work permit.

The organization also organized a petition saying “WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH” asking citizens to join them in petitioning that the city of Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements and its manager Jimmy Morales be fired. They also called for an establishment of a civilian oversight committee in the wake of the reports of police misconduct over the weekend. The NAACP has asked citizens to call, email and tweet the mayor’s office demanding action.

According to the NAACP, Miami Beach has had a long and contentious history with Black partygoers dating back to 2000 when many young Blacks reported being harassed and arrested on trumped-up charges. In 2011 during a Memorial Day weekend celebration Miami Beach police killed a motorist after firing nearly 100 rounds on a South Beach street.

In a Twitter exchange, rapper Luke Campbell of the infamous Too Live Crew tweeted, “I would not let my kid go to Miami Beach for spring break.” Documentarian Billy Corban best known for his “The U” Part I and II, responded, “That’s exactly what the city manager and mayor Dan Gelber want. The message they’ve been sending for years is loud and clear: POC are not welcome in Miami Beach.”