• 'The Purge' threat circulating social media

    By: Leslie Coursey


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - 'The Purge' is a movie set in the future where for 12 hours, all criminal activity including murder is legal.  While the scenario is complete fiction, concern from parents about a social media post is very real.

    On Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you can see a "purge" date has been set for Jacksonville.

    "They say that it's going to be Aug. 31," said gang interventionist Ivan Brown.

    He's been working to keep local kids out of gangs for years.  But this latest social media trend has him concerned.

    RELATED: Former FBI agent: If you see 'Purge' threats, report them

    "They are out to hurt people, maim people, possibly some may kill," he said.

    Action News did some digging and found threats of a purge have also circulated in other cities like Cleveland, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, with no outbreaks of crime or violence related to the social media posts.

    However, Brown said gang activity in Jacksonville is on the rise.  He says criminals are starting young and have no fear of authority.

    RELATED: Pastor petitions for curfew change for so-called 'purge'

    "Kids shoot at police now," he said. "So no, they're not afraid of the police anymore."

    Brown said it's more than just a movie to them.  It's a commitment to chaos.

    "Just be aware of what's going on around you because they're not playing.  They are serious,"  he said.

    Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford issued a statement about the social media post, saying JSO is aware of the post and that it takes all threats seriously.  However, he said there is no credible information at this time to indicate that this is a legitimate threat.

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