CMPD on Alert as Joker Premieres in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The dark theme of “Joker,” a movie about the rise of Batman’s bad clown nemesis, has stirred up grim memories of the 2012 mass shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight rises in Aurora, Colorado. 12 people died and 70 were hurt.

Now, a potential violent threat was discovered on the dark web about the possible targeting of a theater during “Joker’s” release.

The US Army is on alert, and the LAPD. Along with police here in Charlotte. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney says, “Unfortunately, it’s been put out mainly it’s on the West Coast, however just to be vigilant, anything happen nationally we expect to happen potentially locally.”

Putney confirming Wednesday his officers will be out in force. “Yes, you will see high presence of us, a stronger presence around movie theatres,” and, “No specific threats to Charlotte, but we’re going to be vigilant just the same.”

At Ayrsley Grand Cinema in southwest Charlotte, security cameras are rolling, and signs are up, reminding people that backpacks, large bags, duffel bags, masks, facepaint and any weapons – real or toy – are not allowed.

“If we can see your face, you’re good. We just don’t want anyone scaring anyone else,” says assistant manager Brandon Jordan.

Movie theater staff will also be walking through the movie theaters more frequently, to make sure everything is under control. Alarms will sound if exit doors are opened. And police officers will be standing guard.

Jordan says, “We’re gonna make sure the place is locked down tight.”

Family and friends of the Aurora shooting victims and survivors have called on Warner Bros., the film’s distributor, to help combat gun violence. The movie studio responded in part that neither the “Joker” character nor the film are an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind.