LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Is it a joke or a real threat? That's what Metro police are trying to find out after threats of random violence for the weekend are being made on social media mimicking a summer movie.
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The film titled "The Purge" and it's sequel "The Purge: Anarchy" are thrillers that encourage random violence in a 12 hour period, once a year.
While what is being threatened in Louisville could be a prank, police met about and are looking into the threats and they say they are prepared.
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"A number of people have reached out to us," said Louisville Metro Police Department Sergeant and spokesman Phil Russell.
He said LMPD is hearing from Louisvillians concerned about random violence on Friday, Aug. 15. after a photo that looks like a movie poster for "The Purge" reading "Louisville's the Purge" spread like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter. The photo says "Louisville's the Purge" will last from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
"We're going to take any threat that we receive seriously, particularly one that encourages and incites violence against our community," Russell said. "We're going to take that seriously and investigate that as thoroughly as we can."
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In the film, random violence begins after a siren sounds and all crime including murder is legal for 12 hours.
Concerns posted on the WAVE 3 News Facebook Page range from: "I'm sort of concerned to go outside any on Friday" to "this is scary, never know what people are capable of" to "this is absolutely terrifying." Another person said, "wondering if the police department is aware?" and "please tell me this is a joke."
It's no joke to Metro Police who met about the posts Wednesday. The heightened awareness in Louisville is due to the random mob violence that began earlier this year, starting when a group of teens walked up to a woman and her family on the Big Four Bridge on March 22. Her husband was beaten and kicked in front of their young granddaughters. Other random violence continued for hours as downtown security cameras rolled.
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A few weeks later, police put more officers on Thunder Over Louisville and the Pegasus Parade after a leaked FBI memo indicated a gang planned random attacks at those events.
No random violence happened during those events and police want it to stay that way again with several big events coming up this weekend.
"As a department," Russell said, "I believe that we're adequately prepared for anything that could arise."