Who is Jovan Washington? Miami spring breaker 'incited a riot' with loud music, told crowd to 'disobey' police
A spring breaker from Indiana is facing multiple charges including inciting a riot and violating curfew as per Miami Beach police. The 30-year old was identified as Jovan Washington, who police say "tried" to entice the "unruly crowd" of hundreds to disregard the commands of officers who were trying to control them over the weekend.
The Miami Beach Police Department had to intervene on Sunday, March 21, around 8:30 pm, as they responded to multiple 911 calls about "an extremely large crowd" in the area of 8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Reportedly around 400 to 500 people had gathered in the area. The crowd is accused of blocking roadways, vandalizing properties, smoking marijuana, among other things.
Who is Jovan Washington?
The police officers said they first made contact with Washington on 6th Street and Euclid Avenue. According to their reports, they saw him blasting music from speakers and allegedly "inciting the unruly crowd to not follow" the cops' orders.
They reportedly observed him "enticing the crowd with music from speakers" as the people were jumping up and down vehicles, causing dents in the roofs and breaking windshields. According to Fox News, police also said they observed many people making "obscene" gestures towards officers and taunting them.
Washington was charged for "provoking" the crowd to become more "hostile" to the officers, who were "largely outnumbered" by the crowd. The cops were able to confiscate Washington's speaker later and arrest him. According to his Facebook profile, Washington works for a music group JAE MURDA; it's not clear if he's a student.
However, during his first court appearance, Washington reportedly told the judge that "my speaker wasn’t even that loud". He posted a $2,500 bond on Tuesday, March 23.
Five cops injured during the spring break ruckus
According to Local 10 reports, the cops waited until the situation settled to catch hold of Washington. Authorities said that at least five Miami Beach police officers have been injured over the weekend chaos. Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said, "It’s really been a dangerous week. We’ve seen a lot of fights, we’ve seen a lot of viral social media videos that are disturbing, and as a police department we don’t deny that.” The police had to fire pepper balls into the crowd to control the chaos. Reportedly over 1000 arrests have been made and nearly 100 guns were seized from the tourists. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber declared a state of emergency and set an 8 pm curfew as the city witnessed a crowd "more than" they "can handle".
Gelber told CNN, "Too many are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure."
Following a couple of arrests on Sunday morning, police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez said, "Officers began dispersing crowds at 8 pm and ultimately achieved a satisfactory level of compliance."