Federal judge denies NAACP injunction to stop Memorial Day traffic patterns

Federal judge denies NAACP injunction to stop Memorial Day traffic patterns
Myrtle Beach BikeFest

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The 23-mile traffic loop will remain in place during the 2019 Memorial Day weekend.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary G. Lewis issued an order Wednesday that denied the NAACP’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the City of Myrtle Beach’s traffic patterns.

Authorities enforce a 23-mile traffic loop during Atlantic Beach Bikefest, which has also been referred to as Black Bike Week. The NAACP filed a lawsuit in February 2018, accusing the city and police department of implementing policies that discriminate against the mostly African-American attendees.

“Plaintiffs have failed to clearly establish their claim of a historical background of discrimination here,” Lewis said. “The decision to enact the traffic loop was made by a host of decisionmakers. Defendants were two of many. And, the Court must defer to Defendants’ value judgments on matters of public safety.”

The traffic loop went into effect for the first time during the 2015 Memorial Day weekend. It stemmed from a violent Memorial Day weekend in 2014 where three people died and several more were injured during a number of shootings on Ocean Boulevard.

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