“The BearCat Vehicle was there as a support vehicle that would only be utilized in a rescue (downed officer or injured person) situation where extraction efforts from the location was impeded by the crowd,” he said in an emailed statement, referring to the armored vehicle. He added that the response would be reviewed internally.

Daniella Pierre, president of the Miami-Dade N.A.A.C.P., said the city needed to find alternative strategies for spring break crowds, such as providing cultural programming to keep visitors occupied and projecting a more welcoming attitude toward Black visitors, many of whom have complained in the past about excessive policing and hostility from some businesses.

“Inadequate planning,” she said. “The minute it became clear that Florida was going to be open, there should have been planning to accommodate the crowds.”

“Of course the police were outnumbered because there was no plan. I am not condoning the violence or lawlessness, I am saying it felt like you looked at the group and treated them like they were here to do you harm.”

After driving two hours from his home in Montgomery, Ala., to Atlanta to catch a flight to Miami with friends, TJ Ray, 32, learned their vacation trip to South Beach was suddenly in jeopardy.

News had reached them that city officials were cracking down — and hard — on large groups of tourists. They had shelled out hundreds on flights and an Airbnb, and now city officials were on national newscasts announcing they would be imposing a mandatory curfew.

The response from the city in implementing the curfew came off not only as heavy-handed, Mr. Ray said as he hanging with friends on Ocean Drive, but too little too late.

“They know how spring break is going to go,” he said. “We’ve been locked down with the pandemic, even though the pandemic’s still going on. They know people want to get out.”

Michael Majchrowicz reported from Miami Beach and Audra D. S. Burch reported from Hollywood, Fla. Mitch Smith contributed from Chicago.

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