By Marc Mogil, J.D.
QUESTION: What do luxury SIB beachfront hotels, and annual lawless events like “Rolling Loud,” “Urban Beach Week,” “Martin Luther King Motorcycle Weekend,” hip hop and rap concerts in Miami Beach, the stadium in Miami Gardens, and Miami-Dade have in common?
ANSWER: Bullets, drive-by shootings, street fights, and gross disrespect for law and law enforcement by common thugs seeking any opportunity to assault each other. Although these “attractions” are not held in SIB, the luxury suites for partying participants overnight accommodations are here.
We tragically lost a well-known innocent SIB resident to a wayward bullet to the head in an attempted gang assassination in front of Trump International Beach Resort. Bullets flew between an ambushing Escalade SUV, and a rap “star’s” (sic) bodyguards, all staying at that hotel with the rapper. Outrageous!
I have been in contact with SIB City officials, and I suggest the following be considered to prevent us from losing our reputation as an upscale, cultured, crime-free residential and tourist destination. Up until now, in 22 years, there has never been a street murder! To wit:
(1) As is already the policy in Florida schools, hospitals, and post offices, have hotels here agree to be declared “gun-free zones,” except for police officers and those who have contacted management in writing prior to arrival indicating why a licensed firearm is required to protect life, (i.e. a businessman traveling with a large amount of diamonds, et seq.). That would make so-called bodyguards to rap stars non-existent, and a crime should they attempt to sneak guns into these hotels without advance consent.
(2) Have hotels impose much higher rates, or surcharges, on weekends when an influx is planned nearby, which should be used for private armed security to watch the special groups on the premises. This surcharge would vary based on the nature of the event, and the anticipated degree of risk to public order. If the wealthy hotel owners don’t agree to comply, make them realize they’ll be held responsible by the City for any violence on their properties, as well as police overtime as the City determines is required to maintain public safety on their properties.
(3) Like in Miami Beach for “Urban Beach Week,” the City should plaster Collins Avenue in front of these hotels with uniformed police officers in marked vehicles. Let all visitors know we will not tolerate ANY violation of law or other quintessential “urban conduct.” We should never allow ourselves to become yet another zone for the “east coast – west coast” insanity!
If the City, in conference with neighboring communities and our SIB hotels don’t act forcefully with all steps necessary, we risk becoming a city of both wealth with regular and periodic incidents of violent crime harming innocent residents.
Mayor Scholl and Commissioners: We are counting on you to take action.