As New York City braces for possible unrest over the presidential election, the NYPD warned that law enforcement wouldn’t hold back against rioters if violence breaks out.
“Our intel has gotten a lot better. Our responses to getting cops out to the scene has gotten a lot better,” Terence Monahan, NYPD Chief of Department, told Fox News Monday regarding this summer’s riots. “We’ve identified those who are willing to cause damage and destruction, and we will be on them. We know who they are.”
The NYPD is planning for violent civil unrest that authorities are anticipating could be sparked by the outcome of the presidential race. Businesses throughout the city are also preparing, boarding up windows with plywood to ward off violent demonstrators.
According to Manahan, NYPD officers will be focused on protecting everyone’s right to vote and peacefully protest. The chief asked protest organizers to avoid looting, as well as violent conflicts between demonstrators and police.
“When you see those who are trying to turn your protests into something that it was not meant to be, to turn it into violence, that’s the time to police your own people,” he said.
The city has seen destructive riots rage throughout the city all summer, driven by the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Chief Monahan has seen the violence first-hand. In July, rioters attacked him and a number of other officers who were trying to arrest an individual on the Brooklyn Bridge.
“What happened at the end of May and the beginning of June, you know, hopefully, was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence in the city,” he said. “Literally thousands upon thousands were out on those streets, and there was a lot of people who were intent on causing damage.”
President Trump echoed the chief Monday during a rally in Kenosha, a Wisconsin town ravaged by riots earlier this year, warning that election rioters and looters would “be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” the New York Post reported.
“As I’m sure you’ve heard, [Democratic candidate Joe] Biden’s far-left supporters are threatening to loot and riot tomorrow if they don’t get their way,” Trump said to thousands of supporters. “If they know we’re ready, and if they know we’re not playing games, they won’t even be here, they won’t show up.”
President Trump said Americans should not have to board up their businesses, adding, “It shouldn’t be like that…We are a country of law and order, we have to be and we are.”