Police in major urban areas such as New York and Los Angeles are reportedly expressing their worries that the cities will become hotbeds of riots and violent protests come the 2020 presidential election on November 3.
“Rank and file cops fear Trump protests could start peacefully but spiral out of control when darkness falls, when riots usually pick up. We’re told cops are preparing for such chaos with reserve forces,” reported TMZ, who cited a source in the NYPD.
The insider information is at odds with official statements from top officials in the department. In fact, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan claimed in a press conference on Tuesday that he had no knowledge of any credible threats that faced New Yorkers. He also noted that should there be riots, the department had practice from the Black Lives Matter protests from over the summer.
However, Monahan has admitted that he is implemented a surge of officers to be deployed in the city starting on October 26, which is two days after early voting begins.
In addition, insiders have claimed that cops are keeping an eye on Manhattan’s Union Square and Flatiron District as potential hotbeds of violence — especially since they had been the targets of looting before. Authorities particularly worry about the potential destruction in light of a Donald Trump victory.
The Big Apple is not the only city to worry about potential violence come the election. TMZ also cited insiders in Los Angeles who were experiencing similar concerns.
“Cops are anticipating lots of Election Day demonstrations and they’re afraid things could take a violent turn if Trump jumps to an early lead at the polls,” the outlet wrote.
According to The Daily Mail, the Beverly Hills Police Department even sent a message to Rodeo Drive store owners in which they “strongly” suggested that all buildings be boarded up by the evening of Monday, November 2.
“The BHPD strongly suggests that all Rodeo Drive businesses board up on Monday, 11/2. All board-ups must be completed by 11pm on Monday, 11/2.,” a text message sent to residents read.
As an additional measure, the BHPD claimed that the well-known shopping avenue would be closed at midnight the night before election day, and no cars or pedestrians would be allowed through.
“The situation is fluid and the City will keep you informed… of regular updates,” the message concluded.
Like in New York, members of the the LAPD believe that violence is more likely if Joe Biden — the favored candidate in both cities — loses. Though the race remains tight, the former vice president appears to have a lead in several swing states, including Pennsylvania, per The Inquisitr.