Police patrolled in caravans and monitored only occasional gunshots, fires and window-breakings Thursday. City leaders, who set up a panel to investigate the shooting blamed for two nights of racial rioting, expressed hope that the worst was over.
"It's really quiet," police spokesman David Rivero said Thursday. "We still have a perimeter around Overtown, about a 2-square-mile area. We're just letting in residents or people who belong there. Liberty City is completely open - nothing happened there last night."He said police made about 30 arrests Wednesday night and early Thursday, making it a night of marked contrast to Tuesday, when 325 youths were taken into custody, most for looting.
"There's nothing left to loot in there, and they've already shot out most of the street lights," said Coral Gables police Sgt. Wayne Harris. He was part of a 26-man force assembled to sweep the adjacent Coconut Grove neighborhood on Miami's south side after seven or eight gunshots were heard and two Molotov cocktails were tossed into roadways.
The sweep was called off, however, because the area quieted.
A few highway exit ramps remained blocked, and parts of Miami were still cordoned off at night.
In the Liberty City area on the city's north side, police received reports of car fires, smashed store windows, a minor fire at a fast-food restaurant and some rock- and bottle-throwing.
And in the Overtown section just north of downtown, where the riots began Monday night, a police "field force" took time for box lunches and television viewing on the hoods of squad cars.
City commissioners, meeting in emergency session Wednesday, appointed a panel with subpoena power to investigate the fatal shooting of an unarmed, 23-year-old black motorcyclist by a Hispanic policeman. And the sister of the motorcyclist's passenger, who died after the vehicle crashed, made a televised appeal for an end to the violence.
"Put down your weapons - I do not want my brother to be remembered with the riots," Claudia Lubrin said on local television.
The rioting that followed the killing has left one person dead, eight shot, 13 buildings burned and numerous others looted in the black neighborhoods.