HICKS COLUMN: Give Folly cop a medal, not grief
Whoever shot that Folly Beach “Police Doing Wrong!?” video on YouTube last week must have had too much sun ... or something.
The video, which became a minor Internet sensation, shows Folly Beach police officers trying to arrest a guy who looks like he is resisting. He says he wasn't, but whatever.
The point is that an amateur filmmaker is suggesting the cops were out of line.
Truth is, that video shows nothing questionable on the part of the police. Some police observers say, in fact, that Cpl. Ryland Reed put on a textbook demonstration of how to detain someone under arrest.
Not to mention his gallant show of restraint by not cracking the heads of those knuckleheads heckling him.
“It looked to me like he was doing all the steps the right way to get the situation under control,” says Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin.
The only controversy here is the police initially declining to release the incident report. If they had nothing to hide, there was no reason to be so defensive. Reed was doing his job well, and he showed the patience of Job.
He ought to get a commendation.
Freedom, to a point
Folly is clearly the most laid-back, visitor-friendly beach in these parts.
Unlike their neighbors, they don't ban alcohol on the beach. They let people do their own thing, chill out and party, which is refreshingly Libertarian.
But that freedom carries certain responsibility and, unfortunately, too many people take advantage of the hospitality. They get a little carried away. Remember all those messes people have left behind on previous holiday weekends? Not cool.
Now, most of the party crowd are college-age or young professionals, and when they get rowdy the police can calm them down fairly easily.
But lately locals have noticed another beach crowd congregating near the pier and the Tides hotel.
These folks are a little older, a little rowdier, and a little less intimidated by police warnings. In other words, people who argue with the police. And that's never a good idea.
So it's not unreasonable for Folly Beach to put a little extra police presence in the area. Folly lets folks drink on the beach but it's also a place for families.
Maybe some of these folks ought to stop after the first case of PBR.
A day at the beach
Mayor Goodwin says he doesn't want people to get the idea they aren't welcome at Folly. They are.
Come out, have a good time, pick up your trash and show a little consideration for others. Get there and back home safely. And, while you are there, don't get too rowdy.
“When the police have to do something to stop that, they will,” Goodwin says.
As they should.
Basically, everybody needs to cut the cops some slack. They are there to make sure everyone has a day at the beach. And sometimes it's not pretty work.
Standing in a crowd and heckling people doing their job is never the solution. It's part of the problem.
Reach Brian Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.