CRITICS QUESTION PROPOSED NEW MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. ORDINANCES
So … yeah … what’s the point of that again?
Nonetheless, two ordinances preliminarily approved by Myrtle Beach, S.C. city council give police sweeping powers to define black biker week as an “extraordinary event,” and to further “define riot and unlawful assembly, and declare unlawful the participation in same and the failure to disperse.”
Coastal journalist Paul Gable of Grand Strand Daily is concerned the ordinances could have the unintended consequence of suppressing political speech.
“It applies to both public and private property,” Gable wrote. “Therefore a protest on private property could be ordered to disperse if the police don’t like what is being said.”
Not only that, Gable says there’s a racial element to the laws as well that evokes a frightening historical precedent.
“With three or more persons acting together considered a riot, the ordinance is reminiscent of the infamous Black Codes of 150 years ago,” he wrote
According to Gable, Myrtle Beach police chief Warren Gall and Horry County emergency management director Randy Webster have pressed council members into “passing what amounts to de facto martial law ordinances.”
With no guarantee the measures will make anyone safer …
Three South Carolinians died of gunshot wounds during a shooting at last year’s black biker week, prompting S.C. governor Nikki Haley to call for an end to the annual Memorial Day weekend event.
Of course Haley can protest all she wants, it’s not going to stop people from going where they please …