Louisville, Kentucky police officers prepared for a real-life “purge” tonight while citizens armed themselves in anticipation of the rumored deadly event. Flyers distributed throughout the city and social media chatter proclaimed the event to begin at 8:30 PM Friday (8/15/2014) and run until 6:30 AM Saturday morning. WLKY TV reports the threat is serious enough, local high schools cancelled school events and the FBI became involved. Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Phil Russell told reporters:
“Due to circumstances that have trended nationally in regards to flash mob violence, in light of what occurred this past spring here, we realize that these things can occur in an instant.”
To compound the seriousness of the threat even further, the Louisville “purge”came on the same weekend of the opening of the Kentucky State Fair, which is held at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Residents pointed out that police patrols are already spread thin covering the popular event that draws thousands from all over the blue-grass state.
At the anointed hour, the streets emptied and police began to receive reports of “purge activity” while residents took to social networks reporting sounds of gunshots and explosions outside their homes. Reports gleaned from online police scanners, which quickly became unavailable after huge surges in traffic, were shared through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other online venues.
“People pounding on an office door with two scared females inside. They don’t want to open the door. Unit on the way.”
“Reports of people wearing white masks.”
“White male running from building to building threatening to cut off people’s fingers.”
“Juvenile waving a gun and shooting at passing motorists.”
“Teenager in Chevy shooting at passing motorists.”
“500 block of 35th Street. Five black males with masks and knives headings south.”
“Home invasion. Two black males with pump shotguns.”
“Dozen people setting cars on fire in Kmart parking lot on Dixie Road.”
“Shooting at Chili’s near the highway on South Hurstbourne.”
“Group of approximately 15 spotted around the Waterfront carrying American flags.”
“Little Ceasars restaurant reports receiving a phone call announcing, “We’re coming”.
“Report of male trying to break into a woman’s house through her back door.”
“Fatal shooting in the 1600 block of Arcade Avenue.”
“Group of individuals on motorcycles reported gathering together and vandalizing cars.”
By midway through the Purge, local police officials traced the origin of the original Twitter message suggesting (jokingly) a purge in Louisville to a local duPont Manual High School student. Police say the high school student who set off the social media maelstrom won’t be charged, because his Twitter post was not threatening,.
“The Purge” is a 2013 Hollywood movie with its story set sometime in the near future, where crime is considered legal for a period of 12 hours. During that period, people will be allowed to commit murder, rape, and assault. Even theft is legal and inmates are set free during that time period with no legal repercussions.