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Social media threat puts local police officers, firefighters on alert

Threat calls for blood
Posted: 7:05 PM, Jul 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-23 00:08:03Z
A social media threat against police and firefighters is making the rounds in the metro area.
 
The post calls on the Crips and Bloods gangs to shed some blood.
 
Word of the non-specific threat came after KCK Police Captain Dave Melton's murder Tuesday and at a time when fatal shootings of police officers are a national concern.
 
On Thursday, both the KCMO and KCK Fire Departments received notice of this threat along with other area fire departments in the Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council. That organization's headquarters are in Olathe.
 
The threat reads in part, "As you fight, remember that the fireman and the police are on the same side. Don't be fooled!"
 
"We are calling on the gangs across the nation! Attack everything in blue except the mailman, unless he is carrying more than mail!"
 
"It's time for the Crips and Blood to shed some blood."
 
"I hate to see the firefighters get caught up in that. They can't defend themselves as well as police officers can," said former FBI agent Michael Tabman.
 
The St. Louis Fusion Center: Terrorism Early Warning group sent out the social media post to alert first responders.
 
According to a statement from the Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council, the Kansas City Terrorism Early Warning Interagency Analysis Center forwarded the threat advisory.
 
The terrorism early warning groups are public-private partnerships.
 
The statement from the Metro Fire Chiefs goes on to say the non-specific threat has been forwarded "through official channels to local agencies as an advisory to our personnel to exercise vigilance and caution."
 
Tabman notes firefighters in general are typically popular with society. He says they usually don't generate the same hostility as police.
 
This threat advisory comes not only after the death of Melton but also the deaths of KCMO firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh in October after a building collapse. Investigators say the cause of that fatal fire is arson.
 
Tabman is hoping the social media threat won't catch on, but he says it must be taken seriously.
 
"What scares me is that it's not going to take a lot now for that one little spark to light a fire," Tabman said.
 
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Andy Alcock can be reached at anderson.alcock@kshb.com.

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