Norfolk increasing police presence at movie theaters for release of ‘Joker’


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Expect to see extra police officers at movie theaters in Norfolk this weekend.

The city’s police department stated on Twitter Monday there will be an increase in law enforcement in and around Regal and Cinemark theaters as a precaution due to the release of “Joker.”

Police noted no threats have been received, but said this increased security will be in place “until further notice.”

“Maybe because we do have a shooting that is on the books that was directly connected at least to the character. So if you’re releasing a feature film that features that character, seems like that might be something you’d look at.” Josh Whittle is referring to the 2012 mass shooting in aurora Colorado when a gunman killed 12 people at a midnight showing of the dark knight rises.

With this movie slated to hit theaters this weekend Norfolk police are taking extra precautions for safety.

For some, the film brings up memories of the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“I guess it should make the public feel safe having the police around just to make sure nothing goes bad.”

They say there has been no threat it’s just precautionary.
The military also is taking precautions in a statement saying in part “Commanders need to be aware of this threat for soldier and family safety and to increase situational awareness should they choose to attend the release of this movie at a local theater,” said Whittle.

Relatives of the some of the victims sent a letter to the film’s distributor, Warner Bros., expressing unease at the film presenting the “Joker” as a protagonist.

In the letter, the relatives asked Warner Bros. to lobby Congress for gun control, support survivor programs and end any contributions to politicians backed by the National Rifle Association.

The Associated Press reports prosecutors and a psychiatrist who evaluated the gunman discounted initial reports he told authorities he was the Joker.

Warner Bros. issued a statement last week saying “Joker” is not “an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind.”

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