Word of the threat began to spread quickly Thursday afternoon, taking hold on social media. Federal law enforcement advised the local departments to regard the threat, attributed to the group Anonymous, as credible.
“We are taking that threat seriously,” said Caldwell. “We believe we live in a community where we all get along. We all work together, no matter our race or our background. We don’t believe anyone in our community would take part in this. However, we are concerned about individuals from outside our area.”
The threat, which listed 11 monuments in several states, specified a time of 5 p.m.
“We don’t want any problems in the city and county,” said Dance. “We are going to sit there with it. We’re going to monitor it for the next day or so until we feel like this threat has passed. We’re going to protect our property … These folks worked and paid for this property, and it’s going to be taken care of.”
At 2 p.m., there was one person on court square holding a Confederate flag and just a few other people milling about. Officers were present, and barricades marked “do not enter” surrounded the statue.
Erected in 1912 in honor of Colonel William P. Rogers, the statue originally stood in the intersection of Waldron and Franklin Streets, about 500 feet from its current spot at the corner of court square.
This story will be updated.