Police in Ky., Ind. respond to 'The Purge' threat making rounds on social media


by Bryan Shaw


Posted on August 14, 2014 at 7:10 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 14 at 6:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A post with the label Louisville Purge is making rounds on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the origin of it not known.  All it does is give a time Friday, Aug. 15 from 8:00 pm until 6:30 am.

“The Purge” is a period of anarchy where all crime is legal for 12 hours in movies with the same name.

“I think that it is just something that people are throwing out there because there are a lot of controversial things going on right now.  I don’t really take it very seriously because I just feel like I wouldn’t go out and do something like that and anybody that I am around, I don’t feel like they would do anything like that,”  Sydney Cooper, a sophomore at UofL, Said.

Some are taking it seriously.  We spoke with a young lady who didn't want to be identified, who said she would be staying home with family Friday night.

“I think people are really going to come out here and be on a road rage on society and I will not come out for all the foolishness.  Shoot people, rob, do a lot of the stuff that is going on,” the person who did not want to be identified said. 

Many we spoke with feel that there may be a few people who do foolish things so they are taking the better safe than sorry approach.

“My friend doesn’t want to go to the fair on Friday.  So we probably won’t go and we will just wait until Saturday.  I am not really that worried about it.  Why the fair? Just because it is a big open setting?  There are too many people and it’s just too open,” Jazlyn Eddings, an incoming U of L Freshman, said.

“I think people should take it seriously because of people that are on the defensive side, they might take it seriously, they might arm themselves and if they see suspicious activity I think that they think it might give them permission to use force back,” Maya McClendon a sophomore at U of L, said.

This is something that was a common theme in the comments sections of the WHAS11 News Facebook page.  Several people posting photos of their own guns saying they are ready to protect themselves and their homes.  LMPD said they have that Second Amendment right and the right to protect themselves but they encourage you to contact them of any suspicious activity.

“I think it goes back to if you see something, say something that you believe is a specific threat of violence.  We would encourage you to contact us.  You can do so on our anonymous tip line, 574-LMPD.  We investigate all tips we receive,” Phil Russell with the Louisville Police Department said.

We contacted Jefferson County Public Schools and here is the statement they gave us: "We are aware of the situation and will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials. We will act accordingly on any recommendations they may make.”

"As a community as a parent it is important to have that discussion with your kids to say this appropriate behavior, this is not appropriate behavior.  Continuing to incite violence, or encourage violence, or be ambivalent to as though it’s laughable, sends just as poor of a message,” Russell said.

The Jeffersonville Police released the following statement: The Jeffersonville Police Department is aware of the social media threat regarding the movie The Purge. We continue our dedication to protecting the citizens of Jeffersonville and our visitors. We take all threats of violence serious and have responded by assigning additional officers and allocating resources to deter criminal activity and immediately respond to any acts of violence should they occur. As always, we urge anyone that witnesses suspicious activity or a crime in progress to contact the Jeffersonville Police Department at 812-283-6633 or 911.

Louisville isn't the only city to see a threat of "The Purge".

“The Purge” image is circulating right now on social media in Jacksonville, Fla.

It has a date of Aug. 31 and the phrase "get your squad ready" followed by symbols of a gun, bomb and knife.

Similar threats have circulated in cities like Cleveland, Saint Louis and Pittsburgh. But no one saw any escalated crime or violence related to the social media posts.