Friday 31 March 2023 - 23:41

NYC Ups Security Again After Trump Indictment, NYPD Orders Officers Report in Uniform

Story Code : 1049882
NYC Ups Security Again After Trump Indictment, NYPD Orders Officers Report in Uniform
As a precaution, the NYPD has ordered every member of the department to report in full uniform Friday. That order includes about 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees, as the department intensifies security measures ahead of what potentially could be a busy weekend of pro- and anti-Trump demonstrations throughout the city, especially in front of Trump Tower in midtown, NBC New York reported.

The Fifth Avenue location has continued to attract supporters, opponents and even tourists who just want to see what the scene looks like.

It's unclear if any potential organized actions could intensify, but with the pall of the January 6 insurrection still looming large, the NYPD, and its law enforcement partners at all levels of government, are preparing accordingly.

A spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams said that "The mayor is in constant contact with Commissioner Sewell about all public safety issues affecting the city. The NYPD continues to monitor all activity and there are no credible threats to the city at this time. The NYPD always remains prepared to respond to events happening on the ground and keep New Yorkers safe".

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine was bracing for whatever may come, tweeting Thursday evening that "NYPD and other law enforcement agencies have been planning and coordinating intensively for this moment. New York City is ready. If there is a Trump mob, they have lost the element of surprise".

Meanwhile, in lower Manhattan, District Attorney Alvin Bragg left his office amid a crush of reporters, surrounded by the NYPD. That seems to be just a hint of the kind of security needed to get the former president in and out of the same building — an unprecedented logistical challenge the NYPD and the court system now must prepare for.

While there was a crowd in lower Manhattan that included protesters, much of the people seen there on Thursday were journalists. Any protesters that did show up said they were there to celebrate the news.

"I’m here because I’m thrilled. I’m celebrating the indictment of Donald J. Trump," said Dr. Robert Hoatson, aadding, "Up to this point he’s been Teflon Don, but no more."

The NYPD is preparing for protesters from either side nonetheless, a response that may be warranted given that news of the indictment lit up message boards, websites and social media platforms popular with Trump supporters Thursday evening. Some discounted it as fake, while others noted the indictment came just before the start of Holy Week and compared Trump to a persecuted Christ.

Scattered among the comments were calls for Trump supporters to rise up in protest. Still others speculated that Trump’s indictment would galvanize Republicans ahead of the 2024 election and serve as a precedent allowing for future prosecutions of Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made a public plea for peace, saying the former president is subject to the same laws as every American.

“He will be able to avail himself of the legal system and a jury, not politics, to determine his fate according to the facts and the law,” Schumer said, adding, “I encourage both Mr. Trump’s critics and supporters to let the process proceed peacefully and according to the law.”

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged the former president to be peaceful.

“No one is above the law, and everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence. Hopefully, the former President will peacefully respect the system, which grants him that right,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Rep. Dan Goldman of New York said elected officials on both sides should “make unequivocally clear that there is no room for political violence or interference”.

Hours after word of the indictment emerged, Trump supporters and opponents gathered outside his Mar-a-Lago estate, where he is believed to be staying. On a busy stretch of road nearby, drivers passed by making it know how they feel — with honks of support, or drivers chanting "lock him up".

Kathy Clark, a 75-year-old retired police officer from suburban Palm Beach County, stood along the road holding a “Trump Won” banner. She called Michael Cohen a liar and the indictment a farce.

"Look at Bill Clinton and his girls in the White House. I don’t care about Trump’s personal life — that’s between him, his wife and God," Clark said.

Across the street, Victoria Doyle, a Palm Beach County lawyer, stood alone holding a sign saying “He Lost”.

“I’m celebrating our justice system, holding somebody accountable for his crimes,” Doyle said, adding, “This man has used and abused our system for years and continuously lied to people, manipulated people, hired countless lawyers to intimidate people.”

Some of those who gathered former president's home said to expect to see a lot more of them on Friday — but it is not yet known whether those same crowds will make their way to NYC.

The NYPD previously directed officers of all ranks to wear uniforms on patrol and prepare to deploy as necessary. But late last week, the NYPD rescinded its directive that every officer report for duty in uniform as situations changed and the grand jury had not yet voted on the indictment.

The grand jury had been secretly hearing evidence for months in the case. News 4 first reported that security plans were in development in the event an indictment could come, yet a day later, Trump told the globe he expected to be arrested on Tuesday, and no arrest came.

The ex-president has denied all allegations against him.