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Police monitoring social media for threats ahead of Flushing protest

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 11:58 AM EDT
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FLUSHING, Mich. (WJRT) - A Black lives Matter protest is scheduled to take place in Flushing on Tuesday evening, but police are looking into threats made on social media about the event.

One woman posted concerns about whether the protest could be violent on a “Back the Blue” Facebook group page. The page says it’s for law enforcement and law enforcement supporters.

One comment said, “Make sure you have lots of ammo.” Another post said “Get on your roof. Grab a sniper rifle” and called for shooting protesters.

Police in the small town are still hopeful things will stay peaceful -- and so are organizers.

Malia Marve, 20, has wanted to make a difference in the world, whether it was to become a doctor-- the path that she was on -- or for social justice change. So when she learned of a Black Lives Matter protest being organized in her hometown of Flushing, she knew she had to get involved.

Marve also met with local Flushing officials to make sure they were aware of the protest. The upcoming event was posted on Facebook -- and not every comment was a positive one.

A letter was sent out by the Flushing Police Department to 75 residents and business owners that reside on Main Street where the protest is scheduled to take place.

“I think that there was just a lot of fear that came out of of that letter from the residents,” said Flushing Police Chief Mark Hoornstra.

He said his intent was not to create controversy with the letter. Hoornstra said they have asked for assistance from other law enforcement departments, but he hopes the rally will be peaceful.

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