by: Amanda Warford Updated:JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —
The storyline may be fiction, but the idea behind the movie “The Purge” is terrifying. The film portrays a futuristic society, where for 12 hours all crime is legal.
Now, social media sites are buzzing about threats that a purge is planned in Jacksonville later this month.
Dale Carson is an attorney and former FBI agent, who said just making such a threat is a felony, but the problem is finding the person or group responsible.
“It certainly approaches the level of terroristic threats,” he tells Action News. “This is a social media virus and once it's out there, there's no way to simply contain it.”
Van Brown works in local gang prevention, and said local kids are telling him that those responsible are not afraid of police.
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“It's not a joke. They are out to hurt people, maim people, possibly come (to) -- (they) may kill.”
Sheriff John Rutherford sent a letter Wednesday, acknowledging the threat and growing public concern, but says the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has no credible information that's it's legitimate.
We found other cities have received similar threats, but report no outbreaks of violence connected to social media posts.
Carson said keeping it that way is now up to you.
“We all need to take an interest in this. We need to be aware of it. Not frightened by it but take reasonable precautions and if you hear something that is reason for concern, pick of the phone and anonymously call the sheriffs office and tell them what you know.”