Charleston police in touch with families regarding security

Malik Shabazz, a lead organizer of protests in Ferguson, Mo., addresses the crowd outside Charleston City Hall earlier this week. Grace Beahm/Staff

Charleston Police released a statement late Thursday about security concerns as funerals take place for the nine victims of the Mother Emanuel AME Church killings.

The statement said police have been in touch with family members of those who lost loved ones during last week’s massacre regarding alleged threats and other security concerns.

“None of the immediate families have received any threats from any groups or asked for security from the New Black Panther Party, Huey P. Newton Gun Club, Justice League, Black Starz or any other groups,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, Malik Shabazz, a New Black Panther leader, called for violence in the wake of the shooting deaths, but his comments were rebuffed by local leaders, including those who had invited him to speak during a rally at Marion Square.

Security across downtown Charleston will be tight tomorrow, as President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden arrive for the funeral service for the Rev. and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.