MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Thousands of documents, emails,and pictures paint a clearer picture of what was said behind closed doors between city leaders both before and after the violent chaos of Memorial Day weekend when three people were murdered and several others injured in shootings.
City leaders addressed the violence through press conferences and meetings. However, it's what was said through their email accounts that might answer residents' questions.
WMBF News obtained email and documents under the Freedom of Information Act from city leaders and police for any document related to the two bike weeks between April 1st and May 28th.
One document sent to all police details how officers were told to look out for biker gangs and to note where they were staying.
Most of the emails came from local residents who voiced their outrage about the violence calling for an end to Bikefest.
In an email, council member Randal Wallace told a resident the city needs to figure out how to deal with gang activity. He added some of this year's activity appeared to have stemmed from somewhere in Summerville.
A message from Police Chief Warren Gall asked about hosting a law enforcement summit to find out how Atlanta and other cities subdued their own bike weeks.
City Manager Tom Leath responded saying Miami's leg up is "they have a butt load of police officers"and still don't have a complete handle. Leath went on to say a summit would be good and Myrtle Beach could host.
In one email North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling asked Myrtle Beach how much it spent in court on its helmet law because the city wanted to respond to citizen proposals to ban bikes other than those registered to residents during May. But Dowling said those proposals are unworkable and probably unconstitutional.