Biloxi City Council discusses future of Black Spring Break
The Biloxi City Council met today to discuss the future of Black Spring Break and the events that unfolded over the weekend.
Throughout the weekend, city police received more than 600 Spring Break related calls. At least 40 of those were related to firearms.
Chief of Police John Miller told the council how the event has escalated. “I tried to determine why it was different. It’s been a build-up over the last few years. It’s gotten a little bit worse each year. But this year, the crowd number although large, I don’t believe was as large as it has been in the past. But we had some very bad players here. And I just couldn’t determine why we had… why it was such a change.”
The police were outnumbered significantly during the event. Some people who called were told that the police could not respond. “I was told point blank that they did not have the resources.”
Alongside those issues, citizens and board members listed litter, parking, and disruption to neighborhoods as problems they do not have the resources to handle. Because of this, the city is leaning towards pushing the event out. Mayor Gilich said, “We’re working closely with Chief Miller and other officials from tourist destinations that have had the same problems with similar events. The intent is for the administration and the council to devise a plan to strengthen or replace ordinances to ensure that these events that pose a threat to our community and our national reputation are no longer welcome.”
Maurice Bryant is one promoter for the event. Many of the others are from out of state. Prior to the weekend, Bryant reached out to the Biloxi Police Department to tell them about the seven events he was hosting.
Bryant says he is willing to work with the city to keep this event open and safe for the public. “Never has the city offered any sponsorship of the event. I think the city is a little stand-offish on the event for various reasons. However, as a promoter who does what he’s supposed to do, you know, every event that I do is promoted properly, paperwork is done, everything is insured… I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to work with someone like myself.”