by: Andrew Doud Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
For the first time, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police discussed threats and potential violence from a group called Anonymous.
"We've seen the video," said Chief Rodney Monroe, referring to a YouTube video posted by the group. "We've made our plans accordingly."
The video urges protestors to "fight back" at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week and further states "how you fight back is up to you."
It, along with an advisory from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security about anarchist groups targeting Tampa and Charlotte, rank high on a list of concerns for Monroe.
"It stays up there," Monroe said. "But I don't want it to overshadow the majority who are just coming in to express their views and going home."
While CMPD hopes the demonstrations remain peaceful, the department is preparing for all possible scenarios. Monroe said he expects plenty of loud protestors, but police won’t let it escalate to a violent level.
Monroe indicated that a few thousand officers from departments all over the country are coming to Charlotte to assist during the Democratic National Convention. Many of the officers will be from cities that hosted past conventions or G-8 Summits.
Officers will also be coming in from Durham and Winston-Salem. Some of those officers will be responsible for patrols in neighborhoods while CMPD officers working the DNC in Uptown.
Monroe said officers have been trained in First Amendment law and how to handle civil disturbances. He said he is confident officers would appropriately handle unruly protesters or potential trouble from anarchists group.
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