Ky. Teen Kicked Off H.S. Football Team for Starting 'Louisville Purge' Rumor
If you were on Twitter Friday night, you likely saw mention of a supposed "Louisville Purge" in Kentucky, modeled after the 2013 movie starring Ethan Hawke. In the film, all crimes become legalized for 12 hours, opening the door for murderers and other criminals to do as they please. When local police and school officials caught wind of the rumors this past week, they acted swiftly, urging the public to report any suspicious activity and, in at least one case, rescheduling a school-affiliated activity.
The teen supposedly responsible for the original tweet promoting the "Purge," a student at Louisville's Iroquois High School, spoke with duPont Manual High School's student newspaper, Manual RedEye, to share his side of the story. He also revealed via Twitter that he had been kicked off his school's football team for his online behavior.
"It was originally supposed to be just a fun thing, I never thought it'd get as serious as it did," said the Iroquois student, whom the paper did not name. "I was really shocked the first time I saw local media covering it."
Louisville's WHAS11 confirmed that the local police had spoken with the teen, but did not file any charges against him because he made no threats.
Police weren't taking any chances, however, according to Taylor Harrison of The Courier-Journal. Louisville police spokesman Sgt. Phil Russell told the paper that the police "take any threat that would incite violence on our community seriously," especially given the recent troubles in Ferguson, Missouri.
At least one high school football game in the area adjusted accordingly to the threats as well, per Jason Frakes of The Courier-Journal. A scrimmage between St. Xavier High School and Simon Kenton High School, originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, was moved back to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Simon Kenton coach Jeff Marksberry elaborated on the decision to postpone the scrimmage.
"Bottom line, we don't know the seriousness of the threat," he told the paper. "We're an hour and a half from home. If something does happen, the safety of our kids and staff and everybody else is of the utmost importance for us."
The "Louisville Purge" was supposedly set to take place from 8 p.m. on Friday through 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. And now, thanks to one tweet, a high school football player created a week-long local hysteria and earned himself a permanent seat on the sidelines.
Student-athletes, this has been your now-weekly reminder to watch what you post on social media. Unless, of course, you enjoy spending Friday nights being interviewed by police for the content on your Twitter account.
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