Police probing joke report of shooting at US Capitol

Police denied a joke claim on the satire
website The Onion’s Twitter feed of
“screams and gunfire” in the congress
© AFP Nicholas Kamm

AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Capitol Police on Thursday flatly denied a joke claim on the popular satire website The Onion’s Twitter feed of “screams and gunfire” in the congress and said they were investigating the comment.

“Conditions at the US Capitol are currently normal. There is no credibility to these stories or the Twitter feeds,” said a spokeswoman for US Capitol Police, Sergeant Kimberly Schneider

“The US Capitol Police are currently investigating the reporting,” she said in a statement issued roughly half an hour after The Onion’s first tweet about a supposed violent standoff in the US Congress.

The satirical publication had tweeted: “BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building” as part of an effort to publicize a mock news story in which lawmakers took 12 schoolchildren hostage.

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That piece, published on The Onion web site, described lawmakers as “brandishing shotguns and semiautomatic pistols” and vowing to “shoot a new child every hour on the hour” unless they got “$12 trillion in cash.”

The joke news story came one day after US authorities said they had arrested a US follower of al-Qaeda who allegedly planned to fly explosive-packed, remote controlled airplanes into the Pentagon and the US Capitol.

The Onion’s Twitter feed has more than 3.1 million followers.

The same message about “screams and gunfire” in the Capitol was posted on The Onion’s Facebook page, drawing hundreds of comments, most of them negative.

“Unfunny. unlike,” wrote one reader, Brendan Burke.

© AFPPublished at Activist Post with license

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