Carlsbad police investigate threat ahead of Floyd rallies

Video surfaces on social media as Encinitas, Solana Beach residents gather peacefully

North Coast Current

The Carlsbad Police Department is investigating a social media threat of violence during George Floyd-related rallies in the city.

“While we cannot share info about an ongoing investigation, steps are being taken to assure community safety,” the department stated Friday, June 5, on Twitter.

In a social media video that continues to circulate, a man appears to reference rallies planned for the weekend in Carlsbad.

The city announced that Carlsbad Boulevard from Carlsbad Village Drive to Cannon Road would be closed Friday afternoon from 2 to 6 p.m. for a planned peaceful protest.

“Our goal is to create a safe environment (for) all,” city officials stated in a Friday tweet.

By 2 p.m. Friday, Carlsbad police reported that a peaceful protest was underway. Toward the end of the hour, police reported that protesters’ destination was Cannon Park and that the rally remained peaceful.

“We have about 100 peaceful protesters on Carlsbad Blvd., walking from Carlsbad Village Dr. south,” the department stated on Twitter. “We are out here to help with safety. Please watch for pedestrians and thanks for keeping it peaceful.”

By 4 p.m., Carlsbad police estimated the crowd size at Cannon Park to be about 500 people. The rally remained peaceful.

The North Coast Current is not releasing the man’s name as the source posts and accounts have reportedly been deleted and an investigation is ongoing. The posts themselves, however, continue to circulate on Twitter and other platforms.

“I know where there should be a protest for three days, probably going to turn into a riot. It is in Carlsbad,” the man says in the video.

“Come with guns, come with mace, come with batons, whatever the (expletive) you’ve got,” the man says a few moments later after citing the need to “protect the city.”

The threat comes as other local cities have held peaceful rallies over the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Encinitas residents gathered under the Cardiff Kook statue on June 1 and at Moonlight Beach on June 3. Solana Beach residents also rallied peacefully on June 3.

Despite the peaceful protests, some local businesses remain concerned about the possibility of violence. In Encinitas, for example, windows are covered with plywood at Lazy Acres supermarket on Encinitas Boulevard near Interstate 5 and LensCrafters in Encinitas Ranch Town Center.

On June 4, Carlsbad police acknowledged on Twitter that they were aware of the threats.

“Thank you to all who have reported to us a video and messaging encouraging violence toward protestors,” the department stated. “We are actively investigating. We take all threats of violence seriously and violence of any sort will not be tolerated.”

The man in question is shown in a second video saying that he met with police.

“They want me to actually direct you guys to the Carlsbad Police Department site, and figure it out yourself,” he says. “Look who the good guy really is.”

(Story updated 6/5/2020 at 4 p.m.)

(Story updated 6/5/2020 at 2:55 p.m.)

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