Over Halloween weekend, New Yorkers walking in Soho and down Fifth Avenue were alarmed—not over spooky Halloween costumes but about stores being boarded up before the November election.
New Yorkers watched workers with buzz saws board up stores like Bloomingdales, Tiffany & Co., Dior, Alexander McQueen, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Louis Vuitton. More were spotted in Times Square on Monday, including the Hard Rock Cafe and an AT&T store.
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Times Square is pretty boarded up, but most of the ads are still visible pic.twitter.com/eGalrjdjIt— Ben Feuerherd (@benfeuerherd) November 2, 2020
Macy's flagship store in Herald Square boarding up ahead of Election Day ... preparing for potential unrest ... store will remain open to shoppers #NYC #nbc4ny pic.twitter.com/6Z6rLVhRBJ— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) October 30, 2020
NYC is prepping for election day riots hunnnny pic.twitter.com/uyFo2bpL33— ri (@ritaaabee) November 1, 2020
Asked about high number of boarded up #NYC businesses, @NYCMayor says the city has no specific information about post-election violence and has given no guidance to business owners to fortify. But he says he respects their decision to take precautions.— Pat Kiernan (@patkiernan) November 2, 2020
Photo: @NY1 @JustineReTV pic.twitter.com/wTjrme8Ym0
By boarding up, New York City stores are bracing for the possibility of unrest on election night and the days following, similar to what took place in June when people looted Macy's and a few Soho stores.
Soho's more expensive shops were especially targeted. Windows were shattered and their inventory was looted.
Seeing shops boarding up their storefronts now is alarming to a lot of New Yorkers because it gives off the impression they're are bracing for one particular outcome, but the New York Post says the NYPD advised businesses in the last week in these areas to take extra precautions.
The NYPD also has its rapid deployment unit—trained for civil unrest and other bad situations—with about 600 officers, standing by, The Post says.
“We aren’t against peaceful protests,” Deputy Chief John J. D’Adamo said. “The last thing we want to do is make arrests. We want people to be able to scream at the top of their lungs about whatever they want — and we also want them to finish what they have to do safely and get home safely.
“I want our officers to get home safely, too.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio warned people during his Monday press briefing that we may not know the election results on the night of the election or even the following day, but whatever happens, New Yorkers should express their opinions in a peaceful manner.
"I want folks to know this city is prepared for those who want to express themselves about the results the right way to do that is peacefully. That is always honored," he said.
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