Bikers have mixed feelings over increased police presence

Bikers have mixed feelings over increased police presence
(Source: WMBF News)
(Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - You've probably already seen a lot of motorcycles out on area roads, and also a bigger police presence.

Some bikers said the extra police officers make them feel safe. Others though, say they feel harassed.

"Actually there are more cops out here to make sure nobody has an accident, make sure they don't speed, make sure they slow down, make sure they all drive safe," said North Carolina biker Nigel Lawrence.

Not everyone sees it that way.

"It's not really a safety thing, it's more of harassment if you ask me," said Jynxxs McCants, a biker from Pennsylvania.

McCants has been coming down to Myrtle Beach from Pennsylvania with his family for the past ten years, but says this year might be his last.

"I think we're going to start looking for another avenue," he said.

Law enforcement officers from all over the state of South Carolina are in town to assist Myrtle Beach Police with the highly-anticipated and busy holiday weekend.

Our purpose here is that we come to assist Myrtle Beach and the county so we have a good weekend, everybody has a good Memorial Day weekend," said Colonel Chisolm Frampton with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

McCants says he's not convinced, especially since he says he's noticed more officers out on the streets this week than last. "It's borderline discrimination if you ask me," he said.

The NAACP held a press conference Thursday, and called the loop designed specifically for bikers "23 miles of shame."

"You're really inconveniencing me," McCants said about the loop. "You're taking me out of my way and it's not necessary."

Other bikers believe the loop and the increased police presence could help prevent accidents on the roads.

"They make me want to slow down as well," Lawrence said.

Something all bikers and officers agree on: "Ninety-nine percent of the bikers are just here to have a good time," said Pete O'Boyle, a spokesman for the South Carolina Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

"We're always going to have one or two - like I said earlier about driving - other than that, everybody else has been obeying the law, because like I said earlier, they see the police around," Lawrence said.

"We came down here to ride, to have a good time," McCants added. "We didn't come down here to crash, or fall, or do anything reckless - we just want to have a good time."

Friday is the start of the 23-miles traffic loop, but there are already a lot of bikers around town, and police are already out in full force. Officials say Friday and Saturday nights will be even busier.

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