A viral Facebook post is causing fear across Louisiana as rumors circulate that a “purge” is going to take place in Baton Rouge on July 9, 2016. The supposed purge was allegedly a response by protesters to the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by a Louisiana police officer. The purge detailed in the Facebook posts was aimed at police officers with the alleged post revealing that protesters would be coming from across the country to “kill every police.”
The Facebook post above, along with numerous others, went viral yesterday evening and has continued to gain momentum as individuals across Louisiana say they are preparing to defend themselves should the purge take place. Concerned Facebook users have continued to share the content with many asking those in their community to keep a vigilant eye and to report any suspicious behavior to the police immediately. Facebook users have also been encouraged to share the post so that all of the law enforcement officers in the area can be prepared.
“Supposedly they are planning a purge to kill all cops in baton rouge July 9th. Everyone that knows or has cop friends please let them know about this so they will be warned!!! “
The call for a purge was allegedly made by a user Timothy James Turner in which he tells his Facebook friends to share the post so that “noone in your family be purge [sic].” The user noted that the “purge” would begin on July 9 at 12 a.m. and continue until July 10 at 5 a.m. The only “rule” listed by the user was that we must “kill every police [sic].”
Without anyone knowing how true this is, but search “Baton Rouge purge” and this is all over the Internet. pic.twitter.com/uOGbrTvfhu
— Christian Boutwell (@CBoutwell_TDR) July 7, 2016
Though the post went viral, local authorities allegedly told local news personality Donna Britt that there is no evidence that a purge is going to take place.
The reporter squashed the rumors on her Facebook page noting that police had allegedly tracked down some of the people involved in the creation of the viral hoax and says there were children involved. However, many users pointed out that though there was not a credible threat to start the rumor, with the spread of memes, Facebook posts and tweets regarding the purge, it may now come to fruition.
“I hope it’s not, But at the same time you don’t know what people are capable of. Y’all saying it’s not true, but y’all cannot foresee what will happen. Just like mass shootings that have occurred in the past, it only takes a few people to start something like that off. You can question whoever you want. No one is going to come out and say they plan on killing a large group of people.”
Snopes has also called out the post as “unproven” noting that they could not track down a user by the name of Timothy James Turner that fit the description of the man who supposedly initiated the call for a purge.
“We found no record of a ‘Timothy James Turner’ Facebook profile and could not locate an original source for those comments.”
Various other news sources are also hoping to stop the rumors by posting statements from the local sheriff’s department.
Despite the local authorities calling the purge posts a hoax, it appears that many Louisiana residents are not taking the joke lightly and are preparing for an influx of killers regardless. In fact, it seems that even with news that the purge is likely a hoax, most people posting about the purge are saying they would rather be safe than sorry and that they will be keeping a watchful eye this weekend.
To my Baton Rouge peeps: Be safe, please. The rioting and rumors of a purge going down on Saturday is nothing to play around with. Stay home
— Kat Cognevich (@katcoggy) July 7, 2016
I need the people of Baton Rouge to be safe. Stay armed. Stay aware. They want a reason to purge pic.twitter.com/6IcfGEK9dv
— DillanGrey (@DillanXO) July 7, 2016
What do you think about the rumors circulating that a purge will take place in Baton Rouge this weekend? Even if the post was circulated as a hoax, should local residents take the threat seriously now that the information has spread across the internet? Do you think protesters will show up in Baton Rouge based on the original posts?
[Image via Shutterstock]