MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina is warning the public that fake messages have been posted on social media claiming that Antifa is in Miami to disrupt Election Day and cause civil unrest.
“There is quite a bit of anxiety about some misinformation put out and we have businesses boarding up because they are afraid about what can happen,” said Chief Colina in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “There are some text messages and posts that are circulating, one of which says that Antifa has arrived in Miami for example and that they’re checking in to hotels and you should get supplies. This is fake.”
Colina added, “If you have received that, there is zero credibility to any message you may have received in that form. We checked with other cities and they have been receiving the same messages and what they do is take out the name Miami and put in other names like Chicago or Washington, D.C.”
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Antifa is a political protest movement opposed to fascism and right-wing ideology.
“The viewer should know that it is safe to go out and vote in the city of Miami of anywhere else in Miami-Dade County,” he said. “We are more than prepared for anything that comes up.”
Colina said “The part about this that disturbs me and what is really a shame is that this is America and you should be allowed to go out and vote. This is the United States of America. You can go out and vote and do it safely and be fine.”
The “fake message” from Antifa that Colina showed CBS4 reads “Antifa are checking in to local hotels in Miami (my building being one of them) to raise hell tomorrow.” It also urges people to get water and supplies and for owners to secure their businesses.
“There is no need, based on the intelligence that we have, that it is necessary for someone to board up their homes or businesses. Sometimes decisions are made by corporate offices and some do this as a precaution. So if someone felt like they wanted to do this because they can sleep better at night that is okay. They can run their businesses as they see fit. As far as any danger to the public we don’t see that,” said Colina. “At the same time if you see something that makes you uncomfortable, you should call us and we will address that.”
“The only thing that’s different about today is that you get to vote,” he said. “You should be able to go about your day like any other day. We have a lot of officers working as do Miami-Dade Police, Coral Gables, Hialeah and other cities. We have spoken to a lot of other cities and they are all taking precautions.”
The Department of Homeland Security is also taking precautions and is informing the public that social media posts warning of possible civil unrest Tuesday night, regardless of who wins the Presidency, are also not credible.
— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) November 3, 2020
Miami-Dade police tweeted out a flyer regarding the non-credible threats that claim groups of protestors are planning to destroy grocery stores, supply stores, and gas stations. The posts also mention U-Haul trucks loaded with weapons and ammunition and parked in convenient locations for easy access when protests are initiated. Again, Homeland Security has vetted these posts and determined they are not credible.