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Long Island Officials Prepare For Threats Of Violence, Looting

Protesters in Shirley chanting over George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.
Protesters in Shirley chanting over George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. Photo Credit: The Shirley Drive In via Facebook

With some anti-police brutality protests turning violent across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, officials and law enforcement agencies on Long Island are preparing for the potential worst-case scenario.

Though the majority of protests and demonstrations on Long Island have been peaceful in the past week, Nassau and Suffolk County officials took steps to prevent any possible problems amid anonymous threats that have been posted online.

Several Target stores on Long Island reportedly closed over the weekend following rumors that they were being targeted for looting, while some stores at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City boarded up their windows as a precaution.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said that residents have been peaceful at protests thus far, but there have been rumors online threatening violence and looting.

“Although demonstrations on Long Island have remained peaceful, we continue to see concerning rumors circulate online threatening violence or looting in Nassau County,” she and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Tuesday in a joint statement.

“We take these threats very seriously. We want to assure residents that Nassau County PD is taking every precaution necessary to keep residents safe — including those peacefully demonstrating tonight.”

In Suffolk, which has seen multiple peaceful demonstrations by protesters, officials said they are closely following their activity to ensure that protests don’t take a turn for the worst.

“I, like other members of law enforcement and people throughout the county, am horrified by the unnecessary and tragic death of George Floyd caused by officers from the Minneapolis Police Department,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “We are closely monitoring the unrest in Minneapolis and across the country. We urge anyone who wants to express their feelings to do so peacefully.”

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