For a 12-hour period, any known crime is legal, and all services (police, fire department, hospitals and emergency rooms) are closed. Talk of “The Purge” was one of the most exciting subjects this past week among Jacksonville locals.
“The Purge” social media prank began gaining national attention a few weeks ago when a teen posted a tweet of an image he created stating a purge would take place in Louisville, KY. Police took the threat seriously and increased patrol on the night of the alleged purge. The purge didn’t end up taking place.
This prank shortly thereafter struck Jacksonville, when a graphic image started circulating social media. “Get your squad ready,” stated the image titled, ‘The Purge.”
“At this time we have no credible information to indicate that this is a legitimate threat to the city of Jacksonville,” stated Jacksonville Sheriff, John Rutherford.
Lingering through Jacksonville was the big question, “Will the purge actually happen, or will Aug. 31 be just another ordinary night in Jacksonville?”
The day before “The Purge” was supposed to happen, a westside woman found graffiti written on her garage door that read, “We’re here, Purge.” Two of her neighbors had their homes vandalized as well.
Rumors of “The Purge” were a hot topic, especially to students at University of North Florida. Some students took the threat as serious as a hurricane threat and evacuated Jacksonville for the weekend.
“I heard The Purge was coming to Jacksonville and I was scared to be in town after hearing about it on the news. I decided to go to Gainesville for the weekend to escape The Purge. I was relieved to find out nothing ever did happen,” explained Diana Hernandez, a UNF student.
To no surprise, Aug. 31 was just another night in Jacksonville. Criminal acts remained illegal, despite all the rumors.
As the “Hunger Games” would say, if “The Purge” ever does happen, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”