With the rules of public engagement in constant change, police across Florida are beginning to step up enforcement of a rapidly expanding array of directives to combat coronavirus. The only thing consistent so far is that nothing is consistent.
The sheriff in Hillsborough County drew a hard line in the sand on Monday, ordering the arrest of a pastor who defied a 10-person gathering limit and promoted services at his Tampa Bay megachurch on Sunday. But in South Florida, full parking lots Sunday at places of worship like the Miami Shores Christian Church and the Haitian Emanuel Baptist Church in Little Haiti drew some social media criticism but no public warnings from law enforcement — despite similar crowd limits imposed in Miami-Dade County. In Miami Beach, meanwhile, where throngs of partying spring breakers amid a growing pandemic became a national symbol of what not to do, the city last week ordered places of worship shuttered all together.