Curfews Judged Effective In Post-Hurricane Florida Areas


A nightly curfew remains in effect in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida, where police have made few arrests since enforcing the emergency law after Hurricane Wilma, reports the Miami Herald. The Miami-Dade curfew runs from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs reduced the curfew hours to 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. It had been 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Broward County’s main jail in Fort Lauderdale has been without power and booking has been done without computers. Miami-Dade, the department with the most ground to cover, has made about 87 arrests, a number officials say ranks fairly low. Curfews are hailed as crucial for public safety, stopping looters, clearing the streets for emergency workers, and avoiding chaos. They have been criticized for selective enforcement and described as overbearing and damaging to nightlife. This year, the Florida Supreme Court struck down citywide teen curfews in Tampa and Pinellas Park. ”We’re in a difficult situation. I would hope police are using common sense and not using the curfews as a license to act arbitrarily and round up Hispanic and black teenagers,” said Howard Simon of the American Civil Liberties Union.


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