Skip to comments.Police: We donít expect election day riots
Posted on 10/17/2012 4:33:07 AM PDT by markomalley
Police departments around the nation are not anticipating civil unrest on Election Day despite arguments between liberals and conservatives over whether President Obamas defeat could spark riots.
In 2008, police departments in Oakland, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia revealed they were taking special precautions in case public reaction to the election spiraled out of control.
Tensions were running high four years ago after the disputed results of the 2000 presidential election and long lines at polling places in poor urban areas in 2004.
James Carville said a month before Obamas historic victory in 2008 that it would be very, very, very dramatic out there if Obama lost, a statement that some commentators interpreted as predicting riots.
Police departments appear much less concerned about this years election.
Spokesmen for the Detroit and Philadelphia police departments said no special measures would be deployed for Election Night.
Were not anticipating civil unrest on Election Night, said a spokesman for the Detroit police department who did not give his name. Were going to collect the ballots like we usually do. If a situation arises and we need to respond, well respond to the scene and assess.
In 2008, James Tate, then the second deputy chief of the department, told The Hill that extra manpower would be assigned on Election Night and noted that police had to control rioters who vandalized cars after the Tigers won the 1984 World Series.
Spokesmen for police departments in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Miami, Houston and Los Angeles likewise said they were not aware of any special preparations for civil unrest.
Civil rights leaders say they are concerned about disputes over who is allowed to vote and warn there could be a loud public response if poor and minority voters feel they are being disenfranchised.
I think there are some people that are deeply concerned that we may have something more akin to the shenanigans we experienced in 2000, said Hilary Shelton, Washington bureau director of the NAACP.
But they do not anticipate rioting.
I think you could see people demonstrating and raising concerns, as we do in our democratic process when something doesnt go right, when we feel were being short[changed] or otherwise cheated, Shelton said. I think weve seen these things happen in very nonviolent ways. If your question is about moral outrage, I think there would be a demonstration of moral outrage if we experience anything like the shenanigans of 2000.
Tensions have mounted between conservative-leaning groups on the lookout for voter fraud and liberal-leaning civil rights groups concerned that citizens could be unfairly turned away or intimidated.
There is a concern that if left unchecked, some of these practices could result in thousands of votes being denied or not counted, said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Henderson and allied advocates are concerned about poorly trained poll workers who mistakenly turn away voters for not having photo identification in precincts where they are not required by law; they are worried about third-party challengers who arbitrarily question the rights of Latino and African-American citizens.
Henderson said True the Vote, a voter-fraud group that grew out of the Tea Party movement, have in effect said theyre going to target certain states and precincts with the sole purpose of intimidating voters who might otherwise cast votes unfettered.
But Henderson said he would not venture down that path when asked whether civil unrest or riots could break out if there was a widespread perception that the election was stolen.
The American people are more thoughtful than these I think somewhat specious predictions of disruption would seem to suggest, he said. This is not the 2008 election; an African-American is currently the president. I think people expect that when citizens cast their vote, those votes will be counted fairly.
Even so, the Leadership Conference and other groups have requested that a European-based international group send monitors to oversee the U.S. election next month.
Civil rights groups met with representatives from the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe on Tuesday to discuss the monitoring of those states that have witnessed fierce disputes over election law.
Data released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling showed a majority of Republicans and Democrats in several swing states believe the other party will engage in fraud.
In Ohio, 62 percent of Republicans think Democrats will use fraudulent tactics to ensure Obamas reelection, while 50 percent of Democrats thought Republicans would resort to voter fraud.
In Florida, 60 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats suspected the opposing party of illicit manipulation, while in North Carolina, 69 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of Democrats expected fraud.
If its a close election, its safe to say its going to get ugly, Public Policy Polling stated in a memo accompanying the surveys.
Speculation about civil unrest and possible rioting following the election is a sensitive and charged topic that has sparked accusations on both sides.
The liberal website ThinkProgress.org on Wednesday accused the conservative-leaning website Infowars.com of fanning fears of riots in minority communities if Obama loses.
The Drudge Report, Mitt Romneys favorite website, is stirring up another race-baiting conspiracy theory, ThinkProgress.org wrote after the Drudge Report linked to an Infowars article that reported, Obama supporters continue to threaten to riot if Mitt Romney wins the presidential election, raising the prospect of civil unrest if Obama fails to secure a second term.
Conservative author Ann Coulter said in a recent interview with Foxs Sean Hannity that liberals are themselves spreading panic about post-election riots.
The threats to riot and the claim that abortion will somehow miraculously be illegal in places like California and New York is not going to swing the undecided voters here, Sean, Coulter said, though I will note that white liberals are always threatening black riots whenever theyre about to lose an election. Al Gore did it in 2000.
I think there will be riots in some cities either way the election goes. Some in our society are just waiting for ANY excuse to riot and loot.
just more festering anger and random violent outbreaks so thank the Great Uniter ODrama for that.
“Some in our society are just waiting for ANY excuse to riot and loot.”
From what I have seen, rioting for many is less the exercise of free speech than it is a shopping trip. So I would be on guard.
Think about it - they only have a few more months of Holder as AG if 0bama loses.
Holder as AG = no black on white crime prosecutions.
Rappers, that's who.
I live in the western suburbs of Chicago, but I commute into the city for work every day. Needless to say, I won’t be coming in to the city the day after the election.
Expected riots that did not happen? For what? Just curious.
Well, I for one am certainly relieved. The worst we can expect is “shenanigans”. Hillary Shelton, Washington bureau director of the NAACP, said it twice in the article.
My expectations were based on the ‘68 convention and the general unrest I perceived in Rat land
I misjudged the crowd. In retrospect, the OWS gatherings took the steam out of the unrest before the convention
Riiiight. And I’m sure police expected no riots after the Rodney King verdict.
Honestly, considering what blacks have rioted over in the past, I think it’s foolish to believe dear leader losing re-election will just pass by without a stir.
Funny how they mention True the Vote by name they must be doing something right. Having been to their trainings here in Houston it sure is scarry to have blue haired ladies watches election clerks to make sure they are not cheating.
Election NIGHT and the days after——
Oakland is a good example.
They should start scanning Youtube now for the Offensive Video that caused the riot.
What are they talking about? Some people need new TVs and sneakers, you know. Any excuse to go shopping!
Yeah, me too.
I am considering taking a day off on Wednesday and possibly the rest of the week depending on what happens. My preference is not to be downtown when the SHTF.
It’s not the comfy chair we have watch out for, there, Biggles. ; )~
This is ironic. The Detroit Police Department won’t hire extra police if obama loses. Why? They can’t afford to. Detroit is bankrupt because of obama’s economy.