U.S. police sorry for using ‘The Purge’ siren to signal coronavirus curfew

Acadian Parish police in Louisiana received complaints after a cop car was seen playing the creepy siren from 'The Purge' to signal coronavirus curfew. Universal Pictures

Louisiana police have apologized for using the eerie siren made popular by horror film The Purge to signal a 9 p.m. coronavirus curfew.

The scary sound in the movie symbolizes the beginning of a government-sanctioned block of time when crime, including murder, is legal. A Louisiana police car left onlookers uneasy after they saw one rolling by and heard the chilling sound emanating from the vehicle.

Residents of Acadia Parish are currently under a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, during which citizens aren’t allowed to leave their homes. If they do, they risk receiving a citation.

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On April 2, Shreveport resident Adam John Schexnayder shared a video of the cop car passing by an Acadia Parish home on Facebook.

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“Y’all, if Shreveport plays this sound, my anxiety will not survive,” he wrote. “These crazies will think it’s actually The Purge.”

A video of the scene from another angle was also shared on TikTok by user @jerriecradeur.

Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard said he had no idea the sound was associated with the movie, and won’t use any noise moving forward, he told KATC-TV.

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“Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew. We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process,” reads a statement by Sheriff K.P. Gibson.

“We were not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.”

The police department’s since-deleted Facebook post provided the reasoning behind the curfew but didn’t mention a siren being used, according to KATC-TV.

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“Acadia Parish received the worse rating for the rapid spread of the virus. It has been put into place in order try and slow the spread. There is nothing anyone needs to be on the roads for besides emergency situations,” it read.

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“If you don’t want to comply with the orders of the Sheriff and the Chiefs, you will be dealt with accordingly.”

As of Wednesday, Louisiana had the fifth-highest amount of coronavirus cases in the U.S. at more than 16,000 confirmed cases and 582 deaths.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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