With street demonstrations over this Tuesday’s election being viewed as nearly inevitable, Mayor De Blasio said Monday that the NYPD will take a different approach than it did during protests that rocked the city in May and June.
The focus will be to more quickly address instances of police misconduct and better protecting legal observers and journalists covering civil unrest, de Blasio said.
“Of course there are adjustments being made,” de Blasio said at his Monday morning press briefing. “What we saw that needed to be better was clear, fast response in the instances — and they were few, but they needed to be addressed more quickly — where an officer did something inappropriate.”
The mayor said he wants to see better and more clear guidelines on protecting credentialed reporters and people with the legal authority to observe protests, as well as “close coordination” between uniformed cops handling protests and NYPD brass.
“Those are all areas that I think there’s been a lot of work done, and obviously a lot more training for officers to deal with the protest situation,” he said. “A lot of that training has proceeded over the last few months. So I think there will be a number of areas where you’ll see a different approach.”
Businesses throughout the city are now bracing for more protests as voters are poised to decide who will be their president with many boarding up their windows in anticipation of unrest.
De Blasio said there are no “specific” threats regarding violence on the immediate horizon, and that the NYPD is prepared for “all sorts of challenges.”
“A lot of preparation has been happening over the last few weeks,” he said. “I’m meeting with city officials, PD officials today to continue that preparation.”
Mayor de Blasio reassured New Yorkers on Tuesday that there were no early indications widespread unrest would sweep through the city as election results come in — saying businesses don’t have “a particular reason” to board up their windows.
De Blasio was addressing a question about the NYPD instructing store owners to secure items outdoors in preparation for potential demonstrations and whether owners should board up their windows.
“Based on what we are seeing, there’s not a particular reason to do that,” de Blasio said on 1010 WINS. “It’s up to each storeowner, obviously.”
De Blasio’s words came as droves of business owners are nailing up plywood to protect against rioters and looters who might see opportunity in demonstrations tied to the outcome of the contest between President Trump and Joe Biden.
Many proprietors are still stinging from the looting and chaos that ensued in May and June as New Yorkers took to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd.
De Blasio said Tuesday that the city is “ready for different situations,” but he did not provide much detail about how the city would handle any of them.
“If anything changes, we’ll certainly let people know,” he said. “Right now, I think the focus is on a safe Election Day and maximizing everyone’s participation.”
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