SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WIAT) — Rumors are flying on social media, warning that the Walmart on 280 in Sylacauga will be shut down by a Black Lives Matter protest.
The rumors also include the Black Panthers, with suggestions that motorcycle clubs and the KKK are showing up to counter protest. CBS42 has received numerous questions from citizens about these rumors. One of the rumors even cited a business owner who alleged that police contacted his business and said BLM and the Black Panthers were shutting down 280.
We spoke to Sylacauga police, who told us in no uncertain terms that these claims are not credible, and they have not called any business owners. They said they have received about 50 calls about the rumors.
“No credible threats of civil unrest. No credible threats of protesting. The Alabama Fusion Center is monitoring social media for anything credible. The police department has made preparations if something pops up,” Sylacauga Police Chief Kellie Johnson said.
However, there is a motorcycle ride planned to benefit Sylacauga teen Brian Ogle this evening at 6 p.m. that will begin at the Walmart. Organizers will be taking donations to help with medical bills.