The U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state and local law enforcement groups are preparing for the possibility of public violence on and after Election Day, MSN reports.
Large cities such as Chicago, New York, Portland, and Seattle are developing plans to deal with violent reactions to the election outcome, Fox News reports.
The state of Washington is preparing for the possibility of violence by training 300 National Guard troops in civil disturbance response techniques.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said, “Instead of being caught off-guard we are planning for that [reaction] to happen and we have operations in place to ensure that they don’t destroy property, that they don’t cause any further violence, and that they’re held accountable.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced “local, state and federal authorities have been working to establish a mutual aid agreement to address potential violence or disruptions on election night,” The Oregonian reports. Wheeler has continually sided with mobs that have done uncalculated damage in his city since the riots began.
“Less than three weeks from election day, federal and state officials have been warning of a rising tide of extremism that could crest into a wave of violence, especially if there’s an ambiguous result or if the preferred candidate of right-wing extremist groups, President Donald Trump, appears to be losing,” The Jewish News of Northern California reports.
At a recent rally supporting President Donald Trump, a group called Jews for Trump was attacked by “violent, antifa thugs,” writes Beth Baumann for Townhall. When the caravan arrived in Manhattan, antifa activists attacked Trump supporters both inside and outside of their cars. Video shows attackers throwing rocks from an overpass on to the Trump caravan below.
The violence is ultimately aimed at intimidating voters, says U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr.
“They were trying to impeach him [President Trump] from Day One,” Barr told Mark Levin in an interview on FOX News. “They have done everything they can, and I think it’s because of the desire for power that the Left wants. They’ve shredded the norms of our system to do what they can to drive him from office or to debilitate his administration.”
“It’s interesting that one of the cofounders of Black Lives Matter said that one of her focuses is to bring down the Trump administration.” Barr said. “In the United States, Antifa’s immediate aim is to bring down the demise of the Trump administration.”
Intimidation tactics against Trump supporters include murder threats and a terrorist tone, writes Stella Morabito for The Federalist.
“Many leftists have directed some deeply disturbing rhetoric at conservatives and Trump supporters in recent months, claiming President Trump’s bombast is responsible for the political polarization of today’s America. This is pure nonsense,” Morabito writes.
Morabito cites examples of “high profile leftists” advocating violence against the president and his supporters, including threats to murder Trump supporters.
“I’m referring here to voices that normalize and promote open terror against any freedom-respecting person who has different views from those blessed by left-wing leaders, media, and Big Tech,” Morabito writes.
Former MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann called President Trump a “terrorist” on a YouTube video and referred to the president and his supporters as “Trump and the maggots,” FOX News reports. Olbermann called for then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett (now a member of the Court), Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, and others to be “prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society.”
CNN Contributor Reza Aslan tweeted a call for the eradication of all Trump supporters, The Federalist reports. “The President is a white nationalist terror leader,” Aslan’s tweet states. “His supporters—ALL OF THEM—are by definition white nationalist terror supporters. The MAGA hat is a KKK hood. And his evil, racist scourge must be eradicated from society.”
Although USA Today says experts are predicting eruptions of violence will not occur on a large scale, people are purchasing guns, food, and other items to prepare for potential unrest, the paper reports. After months of seeing mob violence and looting in the streets, many people are concerned that Antifa or BLM groups will show up in their neighborhood.
People across the country “are stocking up and preparing to hunker down to ride out a possible wave of sustained election-related chaos,” the paper reports. “They are buying guns and ammunition in record numbers and getting ready to peel off political bumper stickers and yank out yard signs to make themselves less of a target in case the other guy wins. Some are fleeing for remote areas or custom-built bunkers.”
Preparing for possible violence makes great sense after a summer of riots, political violence, and reductions in personnel and other resources in police departments across the country, says historian and political analyst Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution.
“If you call 911 in a large American city, there is no guarantee that anyone will answer promptly and send out police to aid the endangered,” writes Victor David Hanson at Townhall.
“After the summer protests and rioting in many large cities, activists demanded a defunding, or at least radical pullbacks, of the police,” Hanson writes. “So-called crime experts often concurred. So some city governments ignored public warnings and diminished their police presence despite a sharp rise in crime in many cities. Looting and arson were often ignored.
“Experts, not common-sense citizens, have been failing America,” Hanson writes.
Some cities are now reversing course and deploying additional resources for law enforcement in response to the contentious nature of this election. The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. purchased $100,000 worth of nonlethal weapons in preparation for protests and potentially violent unrest, Time magazine reports.
Indiana and Florida have created emergency command centers to combat post-election unrest. Phoenix has rejected all time-off requests for police officers during the days after the election. The state of Michigan has banned open carry of weapons near polling places.
“Since the 2020 presidential election comes on the heels of a tumultuous summer that saw widespread protests and intense anger at police following George Floyd’s death, law enforcement agencies will face the nearly impossible task on Nov. 3 of protecting voters from potential violence without inflaming tensions by their presence alone—all while confidence in the police has reached a record low” Time reports.
Ultimately, the public must hold governments accountable for failing to protect people, Barr says.
“The American people need to understand that they control their own destiny,” Barr said at the Major Cities Chiefs Association Conference earlier this month. “They are ones who determine the level of their own safety.”
“If they want an effective criminal justice system, they are going to have to pay attention to who they elect to be District Attorney,” Barr said. “They are going to have to pay attention to the judges they elect or vote to retain. And they are going to have to select mayors, and select people who understand that public safety is the primary duty of government.”