Brooklyn Boro

NYPD ready for possible Donald Trump protests

Misinformation attempts to rile up the MAGA crowd

March 20, 2023 Mary Frost
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After reviewing threats on social media from supporters of former President Donald Trump, NYPD and other government agencies are quietly preparing to deal with possible violent protests.

The NYPD’s state of readiness remains a constant at all times, for all contingencies,” an NYPD spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle on Saturday. “Our communications and coordination with our partners in government and in law enforcement are fundamental tenets of our commitment to public safety.”

Trump, who is back on Facebook and Twitter (along with his social media site Truth Social and other disinformation sites), claims he received a “leak” that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office plans to bring criminal charges this week in connection with his hush-money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

NYPD sources told The Daily Beast that if “a significant demonstration” materializes in the next week, the force may deploy the Strategic Response Group, a unit trained in “disorder control.”  This is the same controversial group that was deployed against racial justice protestors in 2020.

Donald Trump. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

Trump and his sometimes-violent supporters have called for demonstrations in New York City and Florida. Some of the more extreme social media posts have framed the confrontation between Trump and law enforcement agencies in apocalyptic terms. 

The actor and conspiracy activist Randy Quaid tweeted, “If Trump is arrested on Tuesday, there will be a Spring Awakening in this country that will make J6 look like a children’s birthday party.”

While Trump’s own posts and emails have sometimes urged demonstrators to be peaceful, his language is typically inflammatory. He has continued describing the investigations as “witch hunts,” and is back to posting disproven voter fraud and conspiracy claims. 

“…The more they attack us, the more I see just how rotten the Deep State has become and how desperately it must be OBLITERATED. If you’re with me, show the Deep State that you will also NEVER SURRENDER,” reads one typical email Trump sent directly to supporters on Saturday.

An email from Trump on Friday claimed the “Deep State” was engaged in a “witch hunt” to bring him down, adding, “Right now, President Trump is counting on patriots like YOU to help him FIGHT BACK against these vile attacks.” (His emails always end with a request for money.)

On Twitter, at least, a portion of the Trump protest news is clearly misinformation planted to rile up Trump supporters. One TikTok video reposted on Twitter around noon on Sunday, which received almost 30,000 views in three hours, showed what it claimed was a protest in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan, with cars flying Trump flags blocking traffic. 

“Today in front of Trump Tower NYC!” the tweet proclaimed. 

While some commenters applauded the “protest,” others pointed out that the video showed trees with green leaves in full summer growth and was obviously not taking place during New York City’s winter.

At least one real, confirmed protest will take place on Monday. New York City’s Young Republicans Club and the Long Island Loud Majority have publicized their plan to hold a joint rally in lower Manhattan. 

The YRC says their gathering will protest “Alvin Bragg’s heinous attack on President Donald J. Trump and the legitimacy of the American judicial system.”

But authorities are less concerned with the city’s latte Republicans, and more worried about threats against the Manhattan DA’s office. 

Politico published on Saturday night an email from Bragg to staffers saying that “proper safeguards” had been put in place to protect agency employees.

“Our law enforcement partners will ensure that any specific or credible threats against the office will be fully investigated and that the proper safeguards are in place so all 1,600 of us have a secure work environment,” Bragg wrote, adding that the office has been coordinating with the New York Police Department and Office of Court Administration, the administrative arm of the court system in New York.

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