NEW YORK, NY – The New York Post reports that the New York Police Department (NYPD) has been prepping for almost a year for potential protesting and rioting that could take place depending on the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.
Both the prosecution and defense in that landmark trial have rested their respective cases and will be presenting closing arguments on Monday, followed by jury deliberation and, eventually, a verdict.
Based on the violence, rioting, and looting that took place during some of last summer’s George Floyd protests, the NYPD noted that they wanted to be prepared for the possibility of similar circumstances occurring in the wake of Chauvin’s trial, and have done so by training officers, reviewing tactics and personnel deployment, performing tabletop exercises, and considering which units to activate.
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Last summer, many protestors across the country were criticized for breaking into businesses, looting them, and – in some instances – even burning them down to the ground. In contrast, some have criticized the NYPD, and in particular their Strategic Response Group (SRG), of being overly aggressive with non-violent protestors.
Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke to reporters at a press conference at NYPD headquarters recently, saying that offering the correct response to any protests that may occur is the department highest priority.
As a result, Shea said, the city’s 35,000 police officers have been training in anticipation of protests since May or June of 2020.
“We’ve certainly been preparing. We certainly have a tough week or two up ahead. A lot is going to obviously hinge on the outcome in Minneapolis,” he said. “But I think, you know, when we like everyone else, like the whole country, whether you’re in law enforcement or not, is kind of watching with bated breath to what comes out of that trial. I certainly hope justice is [served]. But we have to be prepared for anything in the law enforcement world.”