First two nights of Juneteenth celebrations canceled in Gloucester after online threat


GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — An on line menace alluding to guns and violence has induced a series of Juneteenth situations to be canceled.

Friday was supposed to kick off the Gloucester County and Mathews County NAACP’s 3rd once-a-year Juneteenth celebration until the venue web hosting the 3-working day party named it off fewer than 48 hrs in the past.

Violent threats have skyrocketed throughout the region. The Section of Homeland Safety issued a bulletin last week warning men and women that minority communities, schools, properties of worship and mass transit are the prime targets.

“I just can’t believe that this is happening in Gloucester. You hear of this in other areas,” explained Brenda Dixon of the Gloucester NAACP.

An yearly celebration of African American freedom was abruptly canceled in Gloucester County for the reason that of a threatening submit from a Mathews County resident on social media.

“Someone responded this celebration could conclude in guns and violence,” Dixon defined.

The considering that deleted write-up was investigated by the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Business office, FBI and community Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Place of work. They in the end discovered the consumer to not be a risk and that no crime occurred, but Dixon tells us the venue that initially supplied to host the 3-day Juneteenth celebration backed out.

“It turned everything upside down. The Flat Iron staff members had a conference and they determined the legal responsibility was much too great. At the previous moment they canceled every thing Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Dixon said.

Scheduled performers and speakers felt uneasy.

“It still left us scrambling seeking to discover a new venue. Men and women were being rather shaken up. Persons were concerned. I’m contacting all the performers indicating various location, they are stating we’re not coming, we’re worried,” Dixon explained.

Pastor E. R. Graham of First United Baptist Church is now hosting Sunday’s Juneteenth church service at his parish which held Juneteenth activities the past two several years.

“We consider these threats significantly but we will not be stopped by these threats. The risk did intimidate some of our customers and some will not present,” Pastor Graham instructed 10 On Your Side.

Pastor Graham suggests the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Business and Point out Police will provide supplemental security in the course of the afternoon assistance which will also have condensed performances that were initially scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

“As clergy and this is 1 of the conversations we had in our conference, we have to safeguard our parishioners, we have to defend our membership but we have to be daring and preach the gospel and make guaranteed the gospel is getting preached. We’re at a crossroads. We need to have basic safety but we can’t be intimidated,” Pastor Graham stated.

Dixon states the menace will not cease Juneteenth celebrations from taking place now or in the long term.

“We cannot be scared. We cannot run. Juneteenth is heading to occur just about every year,” Dixon concluded.


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