NEW YORK — The NYPD is executing plans that have been a year in the making, preparing for potential protests after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial Tuesday, which came back guilty on all counts.
PIX11 News’ was inside a planning meeting with the members of the NYPD’s Community Affairs team.
“As always, our team is one notch above the bare expectations right doing things at a higher level,” said Lt. Tarik Sheppard.
The plan is to be proactive, with Community Affairs officers on the frontlines. These are the officers with special de-escalation skills, known for wearing blue shirts, a symbol they are here to help and keep the peace.
However, things change should events escalate.
“If it becomes where it’s not peaceful anymore, Community Affairs roll into intel capacity,” Sheppard said.
The more than 35,000 men and women on the force have all been trained and re-trained when it comes to handling large demonstrations. They’ve been doing table top drills and reviewing tactics.
Chief of Department Rodney Harrison says his officers will be prepared for any and everything. Harrison wants to make sure the city does not see a repeat of what happened last summer, after the death of George Floyd.
When protests turned violent and out of control, officers clashed with demonstrators and the department came under fire. Officers were said to have been too aggressive.
The department is also adding another layer to its plans for protests, clergymen who will be rotated to stand together with cops against anyone who tries to turn their First Amendment rights into something criminal.