The FBI’s New Orleans Field Division has warned law enforcement agencies in Baton Rouge and Shreveport to be watchful for potential violence in the coming days, citing a host of social media posts about the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police.
In a so-called “Potential Activity Alert,” the FBI highlighted social media missives that include calls to protest over the killing and a violent computer-generated graphic of a policeman being killed by a masked man. The FBI wrote in the report, distributed to law enforcement and obtained by The Advocate, that information forwarded to the agency suggested “multiple groups are calling for or planning riots and/or violence against law enforcement” in those communities.
Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, said the report is a “general alert” to law enforcement to be aware of their surroundings given the killing of five police officers at a protest in Dallas on Thursday night. “There is not any indication of an actual known threat or intention of violence against police officers,” Edmonson said
The report also includes social media posts that circulated widely on Wednesday warning of a “purge” targeting police in Baton Rouge. At the time, law enforcement said those rumors did not appear credible.
Gov. John Bel Edwards reiterated during a news conference Friday afternoon that there have been no credible threats against law enforcement in Louisiana, though law enforcement leaders said earlier in the day they’re taking all possible threats seriously.