Police in L.A., N.Y. and beyond brace for protests if Trump indicted

Barricades are unloaded from a truck reading "NYPD Police."
Barricades are unloaded from a truck Monday near the courts in New York.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

The New York and Los Angeles police departments and other law enforcement agencies nationwide are taking steps to prepare for possible protests and disruptions if former President Trump is indicted.

Outside the Manhattan courthouse where Trump would appear if he is indicted by a grand jury for a hush money payment to a porn star, the NYPD on Monday morning put in a place a steel crowd control fence, and a heightened law enforcement presence since the weekend has been seen at Trump Tower.

Then-President Trump stands by a "Make America Great Again" banner.
Then-President Trump talks to the media in 2017.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

In Los Angeles, the LAPD and federal authorities are preparing for a protest Tuesday evening by various groups supporting the former president outside the federal building in Westwood.

Behind closed doors, an array of New York, federal and other law enforcement officials began preparing over the weekend for what would be an unprecedented indictment. Mayor Eric Adams and the police chief planned a briefing of city leaders as to preparations.

Despite no evidence that Manhattan prosecutors have given official notice to him or his lawyers, Trump declared in a post on his social media platform that he expects to be taken into custody.

March 18, 2023

“We are monitoring comments on social media, and the NYPD is doing their normal role of making sure that there’s no inappropriate actions in the city,” Adams told reporters, according to the New York Daily News. “We are confident we are going to be able to do that.”

Two people hold signs reading "Trump Won" and "Finish the Wall."
Supporters of former President Trump stand outside Trump Tower in New York.
(Ed Jones / AFP/Getty Images)

In Los Angeles on Tuesday, all the officers will be in uniform but it is officially because an employee strike will shutter the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Several law enforcement sources familiar with the planning said they are preparing for the worst but expect a muted response.


New York police at the highest level huddled after Trump on Saturday claimed he received a “leak” of information that Manhattan Dist. Atty. Alvin Bragg plans to bring a criminal case against him this week. The case involves a payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged relationship Trump had with her. The former president has denied the allegation.

In a post on his Truth Social site Saturday morning, Trump called for “PROTEST” and implored his supporters to “TAKE BACK OUR NATION!” He particularly keyed in on Bragg, labeling the case politically motivated.

In an email to staffers first reported by Politico, Bragg told his staff he was working with the NYPD and court officials to ensure they remained safe, saying, “We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York.”

Stormy Daniels in 2018
Stormy Daniels arrives for an event in Berlin in 2018.
(Associated Press)

Law enforcement agencies saw a wave of pledges on social media to block an arrest related to indictment including an armed group to protect the former president’s Florida Mar-a-Lago estate.

But a prominent organizer of rallies that preceded the Capitol riot posted on Twitter that he intended to remain on the sidelines.