Nov. 3, 2020 By Allie Griffin
There are no known plans of acts of violence or unrest in New York City ahead of today’s election results, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The mayor said during a press briefing Tuesday that there are no major protests scheduled thus far, but that the city is prepared for anything.
“We do not have a specific or credible threat of any kind of violence or unrest at this point,” he said. “We’ll be ready for any eventuality, but there’s nothing specifically showing up at this moment that causes alarm.”
While there may not be anything planned, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) advised business owners in Manhattan to prepare for potential demonstrations.
Several news outlets reported that the NYPD sent a letter to business leaders in Manhattan asking they move or secure sidewalk chairs, tables, planters and trash bins ahead of Election Day.
Many storefronts in Manhattan were boarded up over the weekend in fear of looting amid potential unrest following the results of the election. Looters took advantage of protests against police brutality over the summer and ransacked several high end stores in the borough.
De Blasio said the city will respect New Yorkers’ right to protest, but urged people to remain peaceful.
“If there is going to be protests, as always, it needs to be peaceful,” he said. “Peaceful protests will always be respected and facilitated, but we will not allow any violence.”
He also asked those who do protest to report anyone who incites violence and tries to hijack peaceful protests.
“If you see anyone suggesting violence or starting to act in a violent manner, move away from them, separate from them, report them.”
New York City isn’t the only city preparing for demonstrations. Businesses across the country have been boarding up their storefronts for fear of turmoil stemming from the presidential election results.