MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Leaders of the Myrtle Beach Branch NAACP held a press conference Thursday morning to express their expectations and what they’ll be monitoring during the Memorial Day weekend bike fest.
A federal judge decided Wednesday that the City of Myrtle Beach and the police department could implement the 23-mile traffic loop over the holiday weekend. Judge Marvin Quattlebaum stated that the NAACP had to prove that stopping the 23-mile loop would benefit the public interest for their request to be granted.
“The court finds that the public interest is more likely served if the plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief is denied,” the document says.
In a press conference that was planned prior to the judge’s ruling, NAACP Associate General Counsel Anson Asaka said the bike loop is not based on a traffic need, but on a desire to keep black bikers out of the city.
“This traffic pattern is wrong, dead wrong,” said Asaka. “It’s the one time of the year where the majority of the tourists in the city are African America. That’s the one time of the year when the city imposes this draconian, strict 23-mile traffic loop.”
Leaders of the NAACP say roughly 20 volunteers will be in Myrtle Beach for what they call “Black Bike Week,” to monitor the actions of police officers and city leaders. Asaka says volunteers will observe traffic volume, police activity and policing tactics.
Asaka says the NAACP is fighting for equal treatment for all people, regardless of race.
“We may have lost the battle but the war is still going on. It’s a protractive battle. We’ve been here for years fighting against injustice in Myrtle Beach and we’re not about to stop now,” proclaims Asaka.
Asaka went on to say that the NAACP met with Myrtle Beach city leaders numerous times to come to a reasonable compromise regarding an alternative solution to the traffic loop, but the city wasn’t willing to meet in the middle.
“It’s not about traffic. It’s not about easing crime or preventing crime. It’s about discrimination. That 23-mile traffic loop is 23 miles of humiliation. It’s 23 miles of degradation. It’s 23 miles of discrimination,” states Asaka.
The city has no proof that the traffic loop eases traffic, claims Asaka, promising the battle over the loop is “far from over.”