Manual RedEye

#LouisvillePurge Unmasked: The Full Scoop


Teen responsible for “Purge” hoax speaks up

by Peter Champelli, Video Editor and Kate Hatter

On Aug. 10, an Iroquois High School student tweeted an image calling for a “Louisville Purge.” Featured in the eponymous film series, the Purge is a period of time in which all crime is legal.  The student’s image proposed a “Purge” from 8:00 p.m. Friday to 6:30 a.m. Saturday in Louisville.

“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 RedEye has chosen not to identify by name for his own protection. “I was really shocked the first time I saw local media covering it.”

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OPINION: Local journalism contributes to “Purge” hysteria

by Alex Coburn

On Aug. 13, teenagers across Louisville got wind of a supposed “Purge” that would be happening in the city on Friday, Aug. 15.  Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram became instant breeding grounds for the rumor, causing a full-out panic in the greater Louisville area. I had friends from Lexington and Northern Kentucky texting me to “stay safe” during the Purge. My parents urged me to stay indoors. Even a few events were cancelled. But during all this hysteria, where were the local news websites? Did they attempt to quell the rumors and investigate further, or did they practice sensationalist reporting and only add to the “Purge” mania? Unfortunately, it was mainly the latter.

Local news websites must underestimate the importance of their job. In a situation like this, the only people reporting on it will be the local news outlets. We don’t have CNN to fly in and let us know what’s going on. It’s up to the Louisville news sites to inform the public, and it’s such an important job to have. Unfortunately, most of the news websites completely dropped the ball this time. WHAS posted an article yesterday that was basically just a compilation of quotes from various Louisvillians talking about whether or not they were taking the purge seriously. The Courier-Journal also published an article about the purge that failed to fully inform readers. It wasn’t just one local news website; it was most of them.

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No serious rise in crime during “Purge”

by Margo Morton, Editor-in-Chief

The Louisville Metro Police Department experienced a 20% rise in emergency calls last night during the “Purge,” according to the LMPD Public Information Officer Dwight Mitchell. Officer Mitchell said that the LMPD became aware that the “Purge” rumor began as a joke during the middle of the week, but determined that the original post was not a real threat.

“We can’t say that they were necessarily ‘Purge’ calls. I think a lot of people were being extra careful and calling about a lot of stuff that they thought was strange, so obviously we responded. We take all threats very seriously,” Officer Mitchell said. “ I don’t think we would change a thing in how we reacted to anything. We’re always going to err on the side of caution to keep the citizens of our city safe.”

Some Louisville residents listening to police scanners online took the “Purge” seriously.

“Last night I was worried because times have changed and people have changed,” Louisville resident Ashanti Janeene said. “I found out about stuff happening on the West End and I’m glad it wasn’t all over Louisville.”

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HUMOR: What really happened during the #LouisvillePurge

by Noah Rough, Video Editor

The following video was based off a liveblog of the LMPD police scanner during the night of the #LouisvillePurge.

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