Rumors of 'Blue Flu' during Fourth of July holiday
Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams says he does not condone rumors of a possible Blue Flu but says he cannot control what will happen. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(WMC)- Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams says he does not condone rumors of a possible "Blue Flu," but says he cannot control what will happen.
"I'm hoping that does not happen. I think we are seeing a lot of support from the community. From businesses that are pulling out of the chamber of commerce," Williams said.
That's why Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams told the more than 2,000 Memphis police officers not to participate in a rumored "Blue Flu."
He says there is no telling what will happen.
"I've made the comment if you kick a dog long enough it will bite you. I hope that it does not come to that," Williams added.
Last week hundreds rallied in support for Memphis Police and Fire. This week even more support outside Memphis City Hall.
The very threat of a possible "Blue Flu" has Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong preparing.
On Friday an internal memo asked all officers, regardless of rank to start wearing their full uniforms and gear from July 1 until July 7.
That very memo has Memphians worried.
"Does sound dangerous. That's not something I ever thought about happening before. That's sad to hear, that's really sad to hear," Corderro Baxter added.
"I think that our city depends too much on our protection from the police and fire department," Edna Fields said.
Director Toney Armstrong released this statement saying in part:
"At this time, the "Blue Flu" is only a rumor. We are prepared to address any issues that may occur if indeed these rumors become an actuality ...We have been monitoring our staffing levels at all precincts and at this time we have not been negatively affected by the rumor of the "Blue Flu."
Meanwhile Williams says people should not be worried for their safety.
"To say that the police are going to put them in jeopardy no, this city's administration and this city council is has already put them in jeopardy. And actually put them in more dire strength as time progresses so I'm not afraid this weekend for my safety," Williams said.
As for the Fourth of July holiday, Memphis Police Department are going to staff like any other large event. They do expect large crowds Downtown but no different than any previous Fourth of July celebrations.
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