NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD says they are prepared for potential unrest Tuesday night.
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Some rallies started to form in the city late Tuesday, but so far, everything has stayed peaceful.
NYPD officials say thousands of extra officers are standing by to facilitate any protests on Tuesday night and in the coming days.
Officers will also be on the lookout for any criminal opportunists looking to take advantage of lawful demonstrations to steal or create chaos, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports.
Windows are boarded up throughout the city, from the Upper West Side to SoHo. Stores are preparing for any potential unrest the election may bring.
“As the night goes on, we will continue to have thousands of additional cops at the ready, and our joint operation center will be orchestrating any necessary responses and disseminating any information from our intelligence bureau to our cops in the field,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.
The NYPD says officers have been stationed at each of the 1,231 polling sites since before 6 a.m.
“People should feel safe in coming out and voting, and anyone that wants to demonstrate peacefully has the right to do so,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes said.
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Law enforcement sources tell CBS News there is concern the election results may spark protests on either side and potentially lead to violent clashes.
There’s also concern criminal opportunists may take advantage of the unrest to loot and destroy, as was the case earlier this summer after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
“We do not see that threat that we saw back in May and June repeating itself,” Monahan said.
“It is so important to set the right tone from the very beginning and not allow anyone to hijack your protests or create the wrong atmosphere,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The chief of department says officers are more prepared for potential violence and looting than they were just a few months ago.
“My message to anyone who wants to cause violence and destruction is don’t even try it. We know who you are and you will be arrested,” Monahan said.
The NYPD says there have not been any major incidents so far Tuesday. As always, they have intelligence monitoring social media and say at this hour, there is not a threat of criminal instigators online.
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