June 14, 2024

D.C. buildings, stores boarded up in preparation for 2020 election

In advance of the end of the 2020 election season, stores near the White House are being boarding up for protection in case of violent protests. 

Photos taken from the district, posted to TMZ, show construction crews nailing wooden boards over windows. 

Protections get installed on building facades Sunday near the White House as building managers and local businesses fear violent demonstrations ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. (Photo by Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

The District of Columbia is not alone. Retail shops in Beverly Hills, California are also planning to board up some windows ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3. 

The state of Texas is planning to dispatch 1,000 National Guard troops to cities across the state to deter civil unrest that may arise after the election. In Washington, 300 National Guard troops are currently undergoing training to handle potential unrest in Seattle. 

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“It’s fair to say the police are preparing in ways they never would have had to for Election Day,” Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank told Time magazine. “This year is unlike any other year.”

In New York City, more than 1,200 police officers will be stationed at polling locations on Election Day. NYPD chief Terence Monahan said it’s “no secret that this election is more contentious than in years past.” 

Read More: LeBron James, Barack Obama partner for conversation on Black voter turnout

WUSA9, a Washington, D.C. news outlet, is reporting that the district’s police chief, Peter Newsham, purchased $130,000 worth of “less lethal munitions,” which include rubber bullets. Newsham also bought tear gas canisters and “training kits,” purchases made on June 1 following protests related to the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

“In law enforcement circles, it is widely believed there will be civil unrest after the November election regardless of who wins,” Newsham said. “Now is not the time to restrict the police department’s ability to effectively deal with illegal rioting.” 

Time is reporting that one of the biggest drivers of potential violence is the presence of armed, right-wing militant groups near poll sites. 

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