By Jessica Mathews /

A social media post about “burning down Howell” made over the weekend was deemed to be non-credible by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, but nonetheless has created concern in the community about violence spreading to this community.

A post on the City of Howell’s Facebook page stated the City, “grieves the loss of life in Minneapolis and hopes that justice for George Floyd comes quickly.” It went on to say the City respects the rights of individuals and/or groups to peacefully protest and they are dedicated to being accommodating for the needs of those who want to voice their concerns through that avenue. However, it notes that the potential exists for peaceful protests to be hijacked by outside groups, similar to what has happened in other communities. And in fact, organizers of a planned “peaceful protest” set for Downtown Howell on Thursday have postponed the event, citing “overall concern for the safety of our community.”

In fact, Howell Police Chief Scott Mannor posted a statement Tuesday on the city's Facebook page saying he felt it was "important to address the fact that there are rumors being spread across social media related to recent online comments made about the City of Howell. The Police Department is actively pursuing and investigating any and all threats made against our community." Mannor continued, "We have established communication and proper planning with various agencies in Livingston County and the state to ensure the safety of our citizenry and businesses. Rest assured that planning has taken place in preparation of all scenarios and that our number one job is to keep the community and peaceful protesters safe." Mannor says they have made contact with the organizers of the protests that were scheduled to occur on June 4th and June 11th. "The June 4th protest against police brutality has been postponed and the June 11th protest has been cancelled."

Meanwhile, the City’s statement goes on to say that it will continue efforts to eradicate the negative racial stigma that some have associated with Howell as it is, “paramount that we act and are perceived as a welcoming community for all.” The City says they believe ending the stigma and furthering diversity in the community “takes a village” and they urge community members to continue to reach out to City officials to share ideas on how to achieve that goal.

The City says the Howell Police Department, Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other state and federal agencies, are continuing to monitor and investigate any and all threats against the community.