July 24, 2024

NEW YORK — New York City officials plan to close key streets in lower Manhattan as a security measure when former President Donald Trump appears in court on Tuesday to be arraigned, said a person familiar with the situation.

Several streets surrounding the Manhattan courthouse, including Centre Street and Baxter Street, are expected to be closed to traffic, while other adjacent streets such as Worth Street and Canal Street, may also experience intermittent closures, the person said. Vehicles could also be prohibited from parking in the immediate area, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter isn’t public.

Trump is expected to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon, the first former U.S. president to be indicted. A grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who had been investigating Trump’s role in hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign, determined on Thursday that there was enough evidence to bring criminal charges against him.

Trump, who is running for the Republican nomination for next year’s presidential race, has denied any wrongdoing and called the probe and the indictment a partisan attack. Bragg is a Democrat.

Preparations were already visible on Friday afternoon as court officials in the lower Manhattan courthouse readied for Trump’s arraignment.

A team of Secret Service agents accompanied by New York Police Department officials toured the courthouse and its entrances Friday, apparently mapping the former president’s transit through the building. The public was later barred from entering the floor where New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, the judge who will preside over Trump’s case, has his courtroom.

Just before sunset Friday, at the city park located across the street from the courthouse, a parks department employee shooed out visitors and locked the gates, announcing the venue was now closed. It typically closes at 10 p.m.

Trump already warned there could be violence if he was indicted, saying on his Truth Social platform on March 24 that if he was charged there could be “potential death and destruction.” Ahead of the indictment, he also called for protesters to “take our nation back,” echoing his rhetoric before the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The NYPD issued a statement Saturday saying there are “no credible threats to New York” and that the department remains “ready to respond as needed.”

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said on Twitter Thursday that “NYPD and other law enforcement agencies have been planning and coordinating intensively for this moment. New York City is ready. If there is a Trump mob, they have lost the element of surprise.”

After Trump predicted he’d be indicted March 21, the New York Police Department deployed additional officers on foot and in police cars to monitor the immediate area around the courthouse. The NYPD installed temporary flood lights around the building, which also includes the offices of Bragg.

As soon as word of Trump’s indictment began to filter out, additional metal barricades were placed around the building and teams of officers were posted at each corner and across the street where the Manhattan grand jury worked.

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