Should liquor sales stop at 2 a.m.? Miami Beach businesses say they have better plan

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has once again called for Ocean Drive bars to cut off liquor sales at 2 a.m.

Ocean Drive business owners answered back Thursday.

"It is time to stop treating Ocean Drive as the city's scapegoat," Alex Tachmes, an attorney with the Ocean Drive Business Association, said.

Members of the Business Association held a news conference to urge the city to allow an existing improvement plan to continue, as it's shown results.

A concession was included, as well.

"What we're saying is, on Memorial Day weekend and spring break and some other select weekends, we are willing to entertain rolling back the hours of liquor," Tachmes said.

The group doesn't believe this will have an impact on safety and said moving the alcohol-sales cut-off time from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. year-round just won't work.

"We have a lot of laws on the books that are not enforced," David Wallack, the owner of Mango's Tropical Cafe, said.

Wallack insisted that police tactics need to be more proactive.

"If there's crime out there, it's because our defense needs a new strategy, I believe," Wallack said.

Two shootings took place during Memorial Day weekend. One man was shot and a suspect was killed by police.

Things got heated as residents and club owners discussed the proposal by the mayor. 

"We don't need people who make millions by selling booze telling us what to do," a resident said. 

 

Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez's concerns over the city's police force have led to some controversy after an email from her to the city manager was released.

 

In the email she wrote in part: "We need to give the cops back their bullets, remove their body cams, give them their dignity, and let them work all the off hours stuff they want.."

 

She went on to say "There are thugs on the streets." 

Gonzalez also expressed concerns over Chief Dan Oates.

In the meeting she addressed the emails.

"I apologize way I phrased my email," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said she's heard that officers are concerned about making a mistake and it being recorded on body cam and that directives to use less lethal force has officers thinking twice about going after bad guys.

 

 

"We need to find out why, and what’s going on, because we want people to trust police, and we want police to be able to do their jobs,” Gonzalez said. 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.