Memphis Police downplay gang initiation rumors - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Police downplay gang initiation rumors

Memphis Police say an email being forwarded in Memphis and surround areas warning of possible gang initiation dangers is likely untrue.

The email, which is being passed around in several different forms, reads:

"Memphis Police Department received an alert this morning from a reliable source that a Gang Initiation is starting today and will be going until the end of December. The gangs are instructed to ask someone for directions and then shoot them. He says they seem to be targeting women."

Another, using slightly different wording, says:

"My brother just called, who is Memphis Police Officer.  He said let everyone know that Memphis Police Department received an alert this morning from a reliable source that a Gang Initiation is starting  today and will be going until the end of December. The gangs are instructed to ask someone for directions and then shoot them.  He says they seem to be targeting women."

Action News 5 has received these emails from dozens of viewers, all asking the same question:  Is the threat real?

Via email, Memphis Police spokesperson Sgt. Vince Higgins gave us this response:

"We have no credible information substantiating the internet/email rumor regarding potential gang members being instructed to ask someone for directions and then shoot them.

Similar rumors recur annually. (Remember the "flashing headlights" rumor, and the "female Walmart Shopper's" rumor?  All were urban myths.)  If we develop any credible info, we will surely pass it along."

Urban Legends Reference Pages, located online at Snopes.com, has a detailed account of the Wal-Mart threat, which circulated during the Summer of 2005.


If you have a story you would like us to check out, let us know.

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