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Skip to comments.Police prepare for unrest
Posted on 10/23/2008 8:15:49 AM PDT by TaraP
Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.
Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nations first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.
Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large black populations. Others based the need for enhanced patrols on past riots in urban areas (following professional sports events) and also on Internet rumors.
Democratic strategists and advocates for black voters say they understand officers wanting to keep the peace, but caution that excessive police presence could intimidate voters.
Sen. Obama (Ill.), the Democratic nominee for president, has seen his lead over rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grow in recent weeks, prompting speculation that there could be a violent backlash if he loses unexpectedly.
Cities that have suffered unrest before, such as Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia, will have extra police deployed.
In Oakland, the police will deploy extra units trained in riot control, as well as extra traffic police, and even put SWAT teams on standby.
Are we anticipating it will be a riot situation? No. But will we be prepared if it goes awry? Yes, said Jeff Thomason, spokesman for the Oakland Police Department.
I think it is a big deal you got an African-American running and [a] woman running, he added, in reference to Obama and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Whoever wins it, it will be a national event. We will have more officers on the street in anticipation that things may go south.
The Oakland police last faced big riots in 2003 when the Raiders lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. Officials are bracing themselves in case residents of Oakland take Obamas loss badly.
Political observers such as Hilary Shelton and James Carville fear that record voter turnout could overload polling places on Election Day and could raise tension levels.
Shelton, the director of the NAACPs Washington bureau, said inadequate voting facilities is a bigger problem in poor communities with large numbers of minorities.
What are local election officials doing to prepare for what people think will be record turnout at the polls? said Shelton, who added that during the 2004 election in Ohio voters in predominantly black communities had to wait in line six to eight hours to vote.
On Election Day, if this continues, you may have some tempers flare; we should be prepared to deal with that but do it without intimidation, said Shelton, who added that police have to be able to maintain order at polling stations without scaring voters, especially immigrants from police states.
The only foul play happening is on the Barack side. I guess that does not count though.
Irony is so....ironic.
“Officials are bracing themselves in case residents of Oakland take Obamas loss badly”.
...Oakland, San Fran, Detroit, DC, Houston, Baltimore wherever there is an over abundance of section 8 housing and food stamps, you’ll have riots.
More donuts boys?
A senseless statement. If his lead is growing why is there a possible defeat? And if there's possibility of a defeat, then how could his lead be growing?
Yes, I know the answer, but whoever writes this stuff needs to further their education...
The really ironic thing is, the rioters burn down their own neighborhoods. Could that be because they know the residents of OTHER neighborhoods (like mine) are armed and ready?
Wow - this one’s been posted as many times as there are fraudulant ACORN votes!
Sure hope we don’t have another *Rodney King * event...
And the left doesn’t see anything at all racist about saying in code that Blacks will riot is Comrade Zero doesn’t win?
Doesn’t the author have just the teensiest bit of insight into his own writing?
It doesn't take much.
The Democrats in those "minority communities" can't run an election and it's our fault?
Just like Florida in 2000---the Democrat county clerk screwed up and it was Bush's fault! They repeat their lies 'til they believe them!
I work in the section of town in D.C. that saw the last bunch of riots in the 60s. Hoping it doesn’t happen again.
The only violence/unrest has been/will be caused by Obama fanatics. I have yet to hear a story about a McCain supporter destroying property, threatening harm or harassing an Obama supporter. If I’m wrong, I’d love to see the story.
But I have no doubt if McCain wins (praying everyday he will), there will be some serious trouble within the fanatical Obama community.