Chicago police release plan for mass arrests in case of civil unrest at DNC 2024

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Chicago police release mass arrests plan for DNC 2024
Police said as many as 3,000 officers will be specially trained to deal with potential civil unrest at the DNC

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The head of the Secret Service was in Chicago on Tuesday talking about security preparations for the Democratic National Convention.

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The Secret Service has the overall responsible for security during the 2024 DNC. However, Chicago Police are responsible for security outside of the event.

Chicago police won't say how many protesters they are expecting for the DNC, but a coalition of groups planning to march on the convention said there will be as many as 40,000.

"Even if it's not an act of violence, and it appears peaceful, but it's a violation of the law, blocking roadways, blocking venues, things of that nature, we will declare mass arrests in those situations and make those arrests," Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said.

Snelling claimed he cleared the policy with a coalition of groups overseeing the consent decree on police reforms. They are not allowed to comment publicly, but one source said they do not support the mass arrest policy, despite what Snelling says.

"That kind of formulation, threatening mass arrests, when, you know so far nothing has actually happened. It's designed to have a chilling effect on those that would want to come out," Coalition to March on the DNC Joe Iosbaker said.

Police said as many as 3,000 officers will be specially trained to deal with potential civil unrest.

"Training is designed to help the officer understand that we need to de-escalate, be proactive, to prevent the possibility of violence and vandalism," Snelling said. "We want to put a stop to those things before they start if that's at all possible."

Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle toured the United Center to see the places that will be used as secure holding areas for dignitaries.

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"Our focus is to ensure that we cover off on all the potential challenges that we may face during this event and make sure that we are fully prepared for it," Cheatle said. "I do believe that we are."

On Thursday, the Secret Service Director will be in Milwaukee to talk about plans for the Republican National Convention. She said the security plan itself will be very similar to the DNC.

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