Lafayette police ready to react to false event
It was first the mayor-president, now the Lafayette police have announced that they are ready to deal with a false event published by a satirical comedy page.
The event, “ANTIFA Takes River Ranch,” was posted by the Cajuuun Memes page. Yesterday we spoke to the creator of the event and the page, who says it was posted to show “how gullible people can be” and to demonstrate the false information being broadcast on Antifa. You can read it by scrolling down.
Today, the Lafayette Police Department issued the following statement:
In recent days, a Facebook event has been created called “ANTIFA Takes River Ranch”. This information was brought to the attention of investigators from the Lafayette Police Department. With the help of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, investigators diligently worked and monitored this event. Thanks to our investigation so far, there does not appear to be any credible evidence to suggest that this event will take place. It is believed that no organization in the Acadiana region is affiliated with this event.
The Lafayette Police Department and the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office are well prepared with a contingency plan in place should this event develop in the coming days. Law enforcement takes all threats to citizens and property very seriously, and community safety is our top priority.
Finally, the Lafayette Police Department and the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office are urging those opposed to this event to allow law enforcement officials to deal with this event accordingly.
Yesterday we spoke with the creator of the event. John Merrifield, a professional artist, made a splash on his satirical comedy page after reading an article about a similar prank that drew dozens of people against antifa – and no one aligned with antifa.
“Basically I wanted to show how gullible some people can be,” he said. “I saw a report on another city where a similar thing was done, and I thought it would be fun to do it in Lafayette.”
He intentionally drafted the description of the event so that “anyone with discernment” would know it was a joke. He said he was not surprised that the mayor of Lafayette felt compelled to address the post; but instead, “maybe validated”.
Merrifield won’t be at River Ranch on Saturday – he now lives in New York – nor does he expect anyone associated with antifa to be there.
“The goal was to be entertaining,” he said.
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory released a statement condemning the post on Tuesday.
Merrifield’s page, Cajuuun Memes, is a satire page known for posting satirical and antagonistic jokes and memes. The three U’s stand for unnecessary, unsuccessful and / or unpopular.
Last week, the page posted an event, “ANTIFA Takes River Ranch,” which is scheduled to start at 4:20 pm Saturday.
Here is the information about it on the event page:
CAJUN CAJUN, GET UP! We’ll meet at Ruffino’s on the River to begin our full takeover of the elite neighborhood known as River Ranch.
ANTIFA members with card ONLY!
WEAR 👏 YOUR 👏 UNIFORMS 👏
The takeover will begin with a traditional ceremony of burning the ANTIFA flag which will then be extinguished by ANTIFA spitting and NAZI tears.
No children or minors. Large dogs welcome. Weapons optional. Legs encouraged.
Antifa is not an organized group and does not have a uniform or membership card. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a political protest movement comprising autonomous groups affiliated by their militant opposition to fascism and other forms of far-right ideology”.
Some of the more recent posts from the Cajuuun Meme page include a meme as to why Alfred Mouton’s statue should be replaced with that of local businesswoman Sharon Moss because she “can get you a deal on a Honda.” and another which illustrates “the Cajun phonetic alphabet.”
Guillory knows that “the event” was published on a satirical page, but LCG received numerous calls from citizens concerned about the publication, and it was decided that a statement was needed, a spokesperson for Guillory said. .
Here is the statement:
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory reiterates a policy of zero tolerance for threats to life and property in the parish of Lafayette. In light of recent articles on social media regarding the possibility that some hate groups intend to “complete the takeover of the elite neighborhood known as River Ranch”. “Promoting a riot or any disorderly behavior, whether it’s a joke or a hoax, is irresponsible and reckless,” Guillory said.
“Here at Lafayette Parish, we have absolutely zero tolerance for threats made against our citizens or their property, and we will act accordingly to prevent these situations from occurring,” he continued. Lafayette Police will monitor the situation closely and take all necessary and appropriate measures.
As for that statement, Merrifield was serious.
“I have not threatened violence against anyone, and no one on ‘my side’ has threatened violence against anyone,” he said. “However, I received several threats of violence against me that I documented.”
Merrifield said he was told he should be “shot in the head” for disrespecting the flag. He said he did not plan to use the evidence he documented unless he had to.
Merrifield now writes professionally in New York City, so it’s a comedic form he really enjoys – just like Mark Twain, he says.
There is, however, one criticism that might give him pause.
“My mom wasn’t very happy with this,” he says of the post. “But she always supported me a lot.”