Police watching over Corinth, Mississippi statue after online threat

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Barricades surround a statue at the Alcorn County courthouse in Corinth (photo Shay Arthur)

CORINTH, Miss. — Police officers are watching over the Confederate statue at the Alcorn County courthouse after the online group Anonymous threatened to take it down Friday at 5 p.m.

Corinth Police Chief Ralph Dance confirmed Friday there are officers watching the statue out of caution because they have to protect public property. They are aware of the information from Anonymous.

Dance said locally there haven’t been any threats to the statue, and that things have been quiet.  Officers will watch until they’re comfortable there’s no longer a threat.

Those from the other side have come to protect the monument.

Wade Sockwell was one of the first to come protect this statue in the Corinth town square.

“I’m here because I want to protect the preservation of history,” Sockwell said

His Confederate national flag in hand he said he made the trip from Muscle Shoals Alabama.

“If there’s a bunch of white supremacists that come out here I ain’t having nothing to do with them. I’m going the other way,” Sockwell said.

WREG asked, “Do you think this statue represents white supremacy?”

“No. What does it represent? It represents having the courage to stand up for what you believe in and what they believe in is limited government,” Sockwell said.

The statue says it’s a tribute to the Confederate patriots who fell at the battle of Corinth in 1862.

Today Sheriff Ben Caldwell said he was surprised Corinth was on Anonymous’ list and deputies and police officers will work to protect public property.

“ We don’t know if anyone is coming or not so as they arrive we are going to react to that and we have a plan in place to react to that.”

He says everyone has a right to speak but you can’t destroy property.

As of this afternoon, no permits for any large scale demonstrations have been pulled.

Right now there is a barricade around the statue, and anyone who crosses it will go to jail.

The Sheriff made it clear if you cross this barricade, you’re committing a crime and will go to jail.

Added law enforcement said they expect to be out here as long as needed.