LSP: Don't spread unverified school threats, report to police instead

(WAFB) - Louisiana State Police is encouraging people to report suspicious activity to law enforcement, but to not share unverified threats via social media.

Following the recent deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead, law enforcement agencies in Louisiana, and across the country, have been dealing with numerous copycat threats. LSP officials say a threat in Tangipahoa Parish did contain credible information and was quickly addressed. Another student in Evangeline Parish was also arrested for posting online threats. However, the majority of threats received were found to pose no credible danger to the public.

LSP says although they encourage people to report suspicious activity to law enforcement, they want to remind people the sharing of unsubstantiated threats via social media stresses the resources available to respond to these claims. People who come across threatening information should carefully assess the information. For instance, if the threat is time sensitive and appears to threaten imminent danger, you should call 911. However, if the threat does not seem immediate, it should be reported to law enforcement.

Law enforcement officials say the sharing of threats through social media adds chaos and panic to school systems and puts an additional burden on faculty, staff, and the student body. LSP says threats made will be quickly investigated and that those who make these threats, whether real or fake, can face serious charges. Terrorizing is a felony in Louisiana. The law states those who intentionally communicate information of a crime of violence, which causes the public to be in fear for their safety, causes the evacuation of a building, or any other serious disruption to the general public can be arrested for terrorizing and face up to a $15,000 fine and/or be imprisoned for up to 15 years.

People can report suspicious activity via a mobile app called See Send. The app allows people to submit information, including photos, to law enforcement. The app can be found here.

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