Alert authorities to troubling social media posts

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 22, 2019

In today’s social media-focused world, speed is of the essence when it comes to protecting the community from false claims about gun violence threats.

In the past seven days, claims about arrests related to gun violence at several Walmarts in Mississippi have rapidly spread on the Internet.

Natchez and Vicksburg police departments responded quickly to the claims and called the information false and irresponsible.

Email newsletter signup

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said his department is working to find out where the social media posts originated. Armstrong asked the public to contact law enforcement with any information related to the rumors.

We applaud Armstrong for his quick action to quash the rumors, and we encourage anyone with knowledge about the social media posts to come forward.

After the recent attacks at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and at a North Mississippi store, our community cannot tolerate those who spread false rumors only to stoke fears and create intimidation. Like shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater, spreading dangerous rumors can lead to tragic circumstances and deserves the fullest response the law allows.

As much as we commend local law enforcement for their rapid response in this situation, the Natchez Police Department needs the cooperation of the community to help keep our neighborhoods safe.

Turning a blind eye on those who spread false rumors only serves to tear our community apart. We all need to commit to doing what we can to help local law enforcement and not tolerate rumors such as the ones disseminated last week.