Police warn 'purgers' - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police warn 'purgers'

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany Police are taking action against those promoting a "purge" this weekend. While it stems from a movie, law enforcers are taking the threats seriously.

"We're not taking this lightly, however we don't want people to feel as though that they have to stay shut up in their houses," said Captain Michael Persley, with the Albany Police Department.

"The Purge," a movie about a government program that legalizes all crime for 12-hours, is in theaters now and cities across the country have seen posts on social media sites warning of violence.

"A lot of people are adding fuel to the fire by their own postings on various social media websites and we're monitoring these websites," said Persley.

There have been threats of violence in Albany Saturday night.

"We want to send out an advisory warning that anyone who deliberately wants to push this, that we can look at filing criminal charges, such as inciting a riot if anything should come out of this," said Persley.

Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards says this would be new grounds for them.

"We'll see if the police make cases and the allegation is that persons are inciting to riot and that's what this so called purge would be. Certainly there are criminal statutes that talk about inciting to riot. Would it apply in this particular instance? That may be new grounds to explore," said Edwards.

While "the purge" has turned out to be nothing but a hoax in other cities, law enforcers are taking it seriously. And they're tracking down those promoting it.

"We've been monitoring the social media websites and there are some individuals that we have knowledge of and now we're just attempting to contact them," said Persley.

If you see any suspicious activity call police. Albany Police can be reached at 229-431-2132.

Police say you shouldn't change any plans this weekend, but you should always be alert and aware of your surroundings.

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Police say they know who has been making 'Purge' posters, and will be confronting them about the signs.

According to a report Friday, Albany Police said they have been watching social media sites and tracked down several people who have been promoting violence with posters depicting "The Purge."

Officers said those promoting the posters could be charged with inciting criminal activity.

Similar "Purge" threats previously targeted other cities across the U.S. before surfacing in southwest Georgia.

A poster shared on social media claimed a "purge" would take place on August 30th.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity is asked to report it and call police or CrimeSTOPPERS at 229-436-TIPS.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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