NAACP holds Bikefest news conference -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather


NAACP holds Bikefest news conference

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Local, state and national representatives for the NAACP held a news conference at 5 p.m. Thursday to unveil plans to monitor police and other activity during the Memorial Day Bikefest weekend.

If a picture could paint a thousand words, some from around Myrtle Beach could paint even more.

Barriers now line Ocean Boulevard, and Police Officers are filling in the gaps.

That's why this NAACP pre Bikefest press conference has a different feel than usual.

“We don't want legitimate public safety issues to become a gateway to racial animosity and prejudice,” said Anson Asaka, with the NAACP Headquarters.

Asaka along with several others are in town to keep a close eye on Bikefest 2015.

The group usually spends the weekend in Myrtle Beach, but new law enforcement tactics and recent national incidents have the group keeping an even closer watch. Asaka says things like the traffic loop, barricades, and increased police and private security presence are worrisome.

“The overwhelming majority of the people that come here are law abiding citizens and they should not be collectively punished for the actions of a few and we just want to make sure that everyone is treated right,” said Asaka.

When asked about last year's violence, Asaka said the group has no problem with reasonable enforcement. It does worry about unfair targeting and profiling though.

Since the NAACP can't be on every street corner, the group is also encouraging folks to document as much as possible. So if any form of discrimination is happening in the city... the group can be ready to respond... as much as it hopes that isn't the case.

We sincerely hope that we receive no complaints,” He said. “We hope that this is a peaceful and complaint free weekend where there is no harassment to complain about”

WMBF News reached out to Myrtle Beach Police for a response to the NAACP's plans. The department did not wish to comment.

NAACP leaders are also announcing the availability of a hotline for reports of unfair treatment, and details on a community-wide rally for Fair Policing and Economic Justice. The hotline can be reached at 888-362-8683.

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