New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea has told uniformed officers to “be prepared for deployment” soon as protests associated with the upcoming election are expected.
Shea sent an internal memo to officers saying that the Nov. 3 election will be “one of the most highly contested presidential elections in the modern era.” He said that officers should be ready for deployment and show up to work in uniform starting Oct. 25.
“There is also a strong likelihood that the winner of the presidential election may not be decided for several weeks,” the memo said, according to NBC News. “Accordingly, we should anticipate and prepare for protests growing in size, frequency, and intensity leading up to the election and likely into the year 2021.”
Shea’s memo reportedly affects several NYPD officers who don’t normally show up to work in uniform. It also instructs NYPD bureau chiefs and deputy commissioners to compile a list of all officers under their command that the memo impacts.
The United States has been rocked by protests and riots which broke out after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd. The demonstrations first started in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after Floyd, an unarmed black man, was filmed being pinned to the ground by a white police officer. Floyd, who was begging for air during the incident, later died in police custody.
Protests soon spread to other U.S. cities and have morphed into demonstrations against broader racial inequality and issues with police brutality. Some of the protests have turned into violent riots that have left protesters and counter-protesters dead.
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