Pittsburgh Police Prepare For Possible Riots If Trump Fires Mueller
Above Photo: Special counsel Robert Mueller. Donald Trump has signaled that he is in no rush to fire either Mueller or the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein. Photograph: AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
It is counterproductive that police are preparing for a riot when no riot has been announced. Groups who are allied with the Democratic Party have announced they are organizing nationwide protests if Trump fires Mueller but no one is calling for riots. The groups involved have never been involved with riots, indeed few riots have occurred in the US. These groups are known for peaceful protests that often do not even violate the law. Trump has not fired the independent prosecutor or the deputy attorney general who oversees him, so this public announcement of preparations for a riot is very premature. Now that the Pittsburgh police have made this public, other police will follow suit. The announcement could create a self-fulfilling prophecy of police violence which could lead to violence by protesters. Police violence, especially killings of people, are the most likely cause of riots in US history. Announcing preparations for a riot is very poor police behavior that is creating the potential for escalating violence based on police fears of something that does not exist. The Pittsburg police action is not based on a real riot or on the threat of a riot. KZ
Pittsburgh police have issued a memo to department detectives to prepare for possible protests should President Trump fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
The memo, issued by Victor Joseph, commander of the Pittsburgh bureau of police, instructed detectives to begin wearing a full uniform and carrying riot gear “until further notice”.
“There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller. This would result in a large protest within 24 hours of the firing,” the emails states.
“The protest would be semi-spontaneous and more than likely happen on short notice,” the memo read and was issued based on “information of a potential large scale protest in the Central Business District”.
The police department appeared to be acting on information gathered from a group, Nobody is Above the Law, that has been preparing for demonstrations should the president move to fire Mueller.
More than 2,300 people have reportedly registered to participate in a potential rally at the Pittsburgh City-County building if the special counsel is removed.
However, Pittsburgh’s public safety director, Wendell Hissrich, seemed to back off from the police department’s warning, saying that the decision was precautionary and not based on any specific intelligence.
Hissrich released a statement about the possible protests: “Often the events we prepare for do not occur. However, through an abundance of caution, we attempt to adequately prepare for an appropriate response.”
The safety director added that city officials “do not have any knowledge of the President’s decision-making process”.
On Wednesday, Trump signaled that he is in no rush to fire either Mueller or the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, blocked bipartisan legislation that would make it harder for Trump to fire Mueller, calling it unnecessary because he did not believe Trump will move to fire the special counsel.
On its webpage, Nobody is Above the Law warned that “Donald Trump could be preparing to put himself above the law. We won’t allow it,” the group says on its web page.
“Our response in the hours following a potential power grab will dictate what happens next – whether Congress will stand up to Trump or allow him to move our democracy toward authoritarianism,” the group says. It added that it currently has more than 800 protest rallies planned and had received 300,000 RSVPs.