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Police chief defends gang warning about Dogwood Festival

April 24, 2013 2:17:31 PM PDT
Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock wants to set the record straight about who was responsible for banning gang members from the Dogwood Festival this weekend.

Medlock said it was him and he made no apologies.

Festival organizers drafted letters to gang members who are known through the police department after there were threats of gun violence at the festival.

Those letters were hand delivered by law enforcement.

Wednesday, Medlock said the letters went out to about 50 known gang members and it's within the department's rights to issue the warnings because, although it is a public festival, the area has been purchased by organizers, essentially making it private property for the weekend.

Medlock talked about manning a huge festival in Charlotte, where he came from, and seeing gang violence turn deadly.

"I'm not willing to allow that to happen in Fayetteville, North Carolina," said Medlock. "If I have the power and the information to keep that from happening. I don't think there's anyone in this city that expects me as chief of police or any police officer to do anything differently."

Security will be beefed up. Medlock said every officer available will be on hand.

The festival runs this weekend.

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