Monday, February 26, 2024

Update: Local police investigating flyers threatening looting

Local police departments are investigating some unverified anonymous flyers that suggest protestors will loot local stores unless they receive support for their cause.

Some residents in the area doubt the flyers’ legitimacy. Highland Village and Flower Mound police said they are working Tuesday to determine who distributed the flyers and if the threat is serious.

The flyers were posted Monday night and/or Tuesday morning in southern Denton County, and they say that the area was specifically targeted because of “the socioeconomic status your town holds.” The looting threat follows.

“If you want your luxury stores to stop being looted, then use your privilege and socioeconomic advantages to amplify and aid the voices of this movement,” the flyer says.

Highland Village Police Chief Doug Reim said Tuesday morning that he didn’t know who posted the flyers. He said the QR code on the flyers takes you to a webpage that is “similar” to Black Lives Matter, but isn’t verified. The flyers don’t claim to be from BLM, but they do have a #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Some believe the threats are fake, and are meant to make protestors look bad.

As of Tuesday, there have not been any incidents of looting in southern Denton County. Some small protests in Flower Mound and Denton have been peaceful. A small, peaceful “BLM rally” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday outside of the Whole Foods grocery store in The Shops at Highland Village. Juan Coronel, the organizer of the rally, said he and his fellow protestors are not responsible for the flyers.

“I don’t know who put those out, they’re not connected with us,” Coronel said. “It’s probably the work of bad actors working to discredit us. We encourage people to donate, but not through veiled threats.”

Coronel works in Highland Village and he wanted to hold the protest there because of the “privileged nature” of the area.

“I want to open the eyes of the people who live there, and I want them to come fight for justice and equality,” Coronel said, adding that he specifically supports the “defunding of militarization of police, and putting that money back into the community so black people can thrive.”

Coronel said this rally is not being organized by the Black Lives Matter organization, but he supports the work that BLM does. He said the rally will be small, but will accept anyone who wants to join. He said it’ll be over by 9 p.m.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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