Local law enforcement agencies on Tuesday monitored rumors of a protest connected to the Freddie Gray case which would take place in Bel Air later this week–but by Tuesday evening at least one agency said those rumors were not credible.
The Bel Air Police Department appeared to confirm in a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon that “A groups [sic] is planning a protest in the downtown Bel Air area on April 30, 2015. We continue to verify and investigate the information.”
Other posts on social media earlier in the day indicated the demonstration would begin at Bel Air High School at 5 p.m. and proceed down Main Street.
“We are monitoring the situation and at this time, we do not have any information regarding specific threats,” Bel Air police wrote in an earlier post. “We are working with allied agencies and will be prepared for any incidents that may arise.”
On Tuesday morning, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cristie Kahler said that agency was also tracking reports of plans for a protest. However, by Tuesday evening, she said investigation found that the “the information and origin of the [protest] post is not credible.”
“During the course of today’s events, many rumors and misinformation involving rallies in Bel Air, and other areas around the county have been circulated online,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post. “Currently, information developed by way of investigation and interviews leads us to believe that the information concerning these events is NOT CREDIBLE [sic].”
While utilizing Facebook posts to communicate official statements, Bel Air police also urged citizens not to use social media to fuel rumors and misinformation.
“If you have, any information regarding specific threats against people or places, please contact police by calling 911,” the department said. “Please do not instant message information to this page or post information here for all to see. Misinformation can create problems and speculation that will not be of benefit to police or public safety. Once again, please contact police by calling 911 or 410-638-4500 if you have relevant information.”