City official refuses to discuss Bikefest safety plans, blames media ‘hyperactivity'

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - City leaders met in private to discuss a safety plan and security following the deadly Memorial Day weekend on Tuesday, and following inquiries from WMBF News, a city spokesman insisted that disclosing Myrtle Beach's security plans would be self-defeating.

In the week after the deadly Memorial Day weekend violence, the community showed up in force to voice their opinions before the Myrtle Beach City Council. Business owners, home owners, and community leaders spoke for more than two hours, worried, disgusted and fed up with the violent weekend that escalated into 3 murders on Ocean Boulevard – murders that are still unsolved.

Since then, the governor demanded bike fest come to an end, the chamber of commerce suggested task forces, and ATAX money was shifted to pay for more police and to enforce a curfew, but city leaders still haven't addressed their plans publicly for what they are doing to prevent the violence.

It's frustrating the community, but city spokesperson Mark Kruea says giving out the information would defeat the purpose of creating a safety plan.

He then released a statement through email which includes these comments:

"State law contemplates that there are safety and security issues which may need to be discussed privately, for the public's protection. Disclosing security measures prematurely can defeat the protection they afford. Consider a bank. Banks do not tell the public all of the safety and security measures they employ to protect not only your money, but also you as a customer when you are physically inside a bank. Consider the money itself. The US government does not disclose all of the security features incorporated into the paper money that is within your wallet or purse. Why? Because disclosing those security features would defeat the purpose of having them in the first place, which is to provide safety and security."

Read the full statement here:

Kruea went on to blame the local news media for doing a "disservice to the public by failing to recognize when your hyperactivity is self-defeating, by failing to keep the overall process in perspective and by failing to recognize the explicit permissions granted in state law and the reasons why those permissions are there in the first place."

The e-mail response concludes: "Get some common sense, please."

It was the most violent weekend in at least four decades with multiple shootings over one weekend killing three people, and injuring others as the Atlantic Beach Bike Rally was in full force.

It sparked intense public reaction with hundreds of people coming out to voice their concerns to city leaders and promises of extra security, special task forces but no solid plans yet on moving forward.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Atlantic Beach, Jake Evans, says plans are underway to form a committee for next year's bike rally. Right now, he has no plan to assist Myrtle Beach in funding public safety.

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