FOLLY BEACH, S.C. – A 4th of July Folly Beach party that left several police officers injured and seven people in jail was never legally suppose to happen at all. A 4th of July fight that happened atMore >>
A July Fourth Folly Beach party that left several police officers injured, and seven people in jail, may have been held illegally. More >>
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- Folly Beach made an emergency decision to ban alcohol on the beach for the next two months.
The decision by town council came Tuesday night in front of a packed house. Dozens of people were there following a 4th of July fight on the beach that police have described as a "riot."
Several officers were hurt during the brawl. Authorities say two of the officers remain off duty as they recover. Seven people were arrested following the melee.
Alcohol is now banned on the beach for the next sixty days. Officials plan to meet in the coming days to discuss the possibility of holding a vote on the issue. If approved, the public will decide whether to make the ban permanent during a vote in November.
After the decision Tuesday, several people stormed social media sites. Many focused their attention on one of two Georgia based businesses that set up a tent and speakers near the site of the fight on the 4th. AMP, otherwise known as After Midnight Parties, received much of the barrage of negative comments on its Facebook page. They have since deleted many of the comments. The "recent posts" portion of the page has also been removed.
Early Wednesday morning, AMP posted a response to the comments and to the ruling made by Folly Beach Town Council.
Some of you have expressed a concern for the recent ordinance at Folly Beach. We are on the same page that alcohol should be continued to be allowed on Folly Beach. If you have any comments on this, you should direct them to your local government official, or be present at the meeting in November on creating an ordinance from the law. Any information directed at us will not have an effect on the...e situation, so if you care about your community you should take the time to express your view in the proper forum. Furthermore, there has been some misinformation as some upcoming news reports will reflect. The facts are as follows:
AMP and Good Ole Boys spoke with Folly Beach special permits office the week before July 4th and were informed that providing speakers and custom cups would be ok if they "blend in" as well as act in a respectable manner. They also told us 10th street is always packed with people on the 4th and it was good we were providing cups but we should not have staging or full production. We had two speakers on top of a table and two normal 10X10 beach size tents. We did not provide for or arrange any sort of transportation for the people coming to Folly Beach. Everyone that was there organized and provided their own means of transportation. We spoke with several police officers throughout the day and they thanked several people in our group, including myself, for cleaning up our trash and carrying it to 10th street trash cans at the end of the day.
We also became good friends with the McCleod's who was the family that rented out the home we were directly in front of. They pitched their tent right next to ours and had a family of about 12, including 3 young children. Mavis McCleod thanked both AMP and Good Ole Boys on Facebook for being so respectful throughout the day. They even provided us with sandwiches, waters, and let a few of us use their restrooms.
Further, we were only 2 of at least 30 tents near 10th street. There is a "party" at that location every year and we were told to put our tents there since that is typically where everyone has gone in the past. We wanted the most exposure for our brands; therefore wanted to put our tents where people would see them. Our promotions did not make the location any crazier than in years past, which is proven by the decrease in complaints from past years.
Reports state that 7 people were arrested that day but no one in our group knows any of the guys arrested. The fight that broke out that led to the injury of officers was at least 200-300 feet away from our tent and was closer to several other tents than ours. Also, our music was turned off before the start of that incident; however, several other tents provided music that added to the "party" on 10th street.
We are very sorry for the incident and the consequential injuries that occurred that day. The people involved in the arrests and injuries were not affiliated with our group and the "riot" was not within a reasonable proximity to our tents to be attributed to our promotions. Our group acted in a respectful manner throughout the day by clearing everything with the officers and thanking them as well as the volunteers for their work. Once the officers told us to turn off our music, we did so immediately and respectfully. Our promotions were not for profit and we provided hundreds of cups to prevent from broken glass or aluminum to be left on the beaches. Moreover, within our group, we had at least 30 volunteers that not only picked up our trash but surrounding visitors trash as well.
Our promotions were not the cause of the fight that occurred and were not affiliated with any of the members involved. Thousands of partiers congregate at this area every year and the members of our group acted responsibly with no fights and cleaned all trash left behind us.
Please investigate the relevant facts before participating in the discussion on the issue.
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