NYPD suits up, expands patrols for mass protests, possible violence … – New York Daily News

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Top elected officials promised a “surge” in law enforcement presence throughout the Big Apple on Friday as New York State braces for mass protests and potential violence stemming from the war between Israel and Hamas.
The MTA’s top cops said Friday morning that they were prepping for violence on the region’s transit network due to the ongoing war.
Still, Mayor Adams, Gov. Hochul and top NYPD brass assured New Yorkers there are no credible threats to the city or state.
“With large-scale protests planned for tomorrow, we must remain vigilant,” Adams said at a Thursday evening news conference. “New York City is the most diverse city in the world, and protecting our residents is the most sacred responsibility that we have.”
Transit police said Friday they would nonetheless be increasing the presence of uniformed officers throughout the system in an effort to calm fears.
“Listen, we’ve said this for the last few days –– we’re well aware of the events going on around the world,” NYPD transit chief Michael Kemper said Friday during a press conference at Grand Central Station. “Our presence is here to deter anyone from even thinking of doing anything.”
Police Commissioner Edward Caban did not attend a City Hall briefing Thursday because he was out of the country, a source told the Daily News. He is visiting Qatar, according to a second source, though it’s unclear what he’s doing there.
The NYPD will be sending additional resources to schools, houses of worship and “key neighborhoods,” which the city is not disclosing to ensure anyone plotting potential attacks is not “planning around” the deployment, Adams said.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Rebecca Weiner urged New Yorkers to go about business as usual as the city ramps up security.
“New Yorkers and everybody visiting out city should certainly stay vigilant and aware and we always urge that but really should also stay calm and not alter your daily routines,” she said.
“It’s really important to reassure folks that we have this situation under control,” Weiner added. “It’s very easy from far away to instill fear and we’re not going to fall for that as a city, we’re not falling for it as a department and we are collectively going to work through this.”
National Guard troops are ready to be deployed in the event of a threat, according to Hochul.
“There’s no reason to feel afraid,” she said. “No one should feel they have to alter their normal lives or their routines, and, indeed, when we change our behavior without a serious, credible threat, we’re letting the terrorists win.”
At one point in the press conference, Caban was called on by the mayor’s staff to speak via an online connection. However, he did not answer. During a closed-door meeting with lawmakers later in the evening, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Tania Kinsella divulged that Caban was out of the country, a source told The News.
The NYPD’s press office did not immediately answer an inquiry about Caban’s travels and when he plans to return to the city.
NYPD officers have been ordered to “perform duty in uniform” and be “prepared for deployment” at a moment’s notice, according to an internal department memo shared with The News.
“No excusals will be granted on any platoon,” the memo read, adding that all in-service training sessions scheduled for Friday and the weekend have been suspended.
City cops were also ordered to “assign adequate staffing to station house security” in the chance that protesters decide to damage NYPD facilities, which happened during protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
The extra precautions were ordered a day after former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called on Palestinians to conduct a global “day of action” on Friday. He asked Palestinian supporters to “show anger” and “send a message of rage to Zionists and America,” which some see as a call to violence against Jews and Jewish supporters in the U.S.
“Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan … this is a moment of truth, and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility,” Meshaal said during an interview with Hamas’ Aqsa TV outlet.
Hamas has also called for a “day of general mobilization” to be held on Friday. Protesters, they said, should “shake the ground beneath the feet of the Zionist invaders and their settler gangs.”
The calls for action come as Israel vowed to escalate its attacks against Hamas as the Israeli war enters its second week.
On Wednesday night, police responded to two acts of violence against Palestinians in Brooklyn, including an incident in which an 18-year-old Palestinian man was attacked by a group of men waving Israeli flags.
At Columbia University, a 19-year-old was arrested for striking an Israeli student in the head with a stick during an argument over posters hung on the campus bearing the names and pictures of people held hostage by Hamas
At the Thursday press conference, Hochul said she was “outraged” over the “unacceptable and reprehensible” local violence.
“We have no tolerance for your hate,” Hochul said. “I condemn violence of every kind in New York, and I want to be clear when I say ‘every kind’ that’s exactly what I mean.”
In a message to members of NYPD Shield, an organization that links the Police Department to commercial businesses throughout the city, the department said that Meshaal’s call to action is “not indicative of any specific or credible threats of violence to New York City or the broader U.S. homeland.”
“However, these latest statements have the potential to resonate and spark reactions and explosive violence, warranting elevated vigilance on the part of law enforcement personnel,” the department said. “The NYPD has planned enhanced protective deployments out of an abundance of caution at large gatherings, cultural sites and houses of worship among other locations to ensure public safety and security.”
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