The Dallas Police Department says they are prepared for and are expecting large protests and counterprotests as the National Rifle Association holds their annual convention in downtown Dallas Thursday through Sunday.
“We have done extensive planning with all our law enforcement partners and we are ready,” said Dallas Police Assistant Chief Paul Stokes.
The event, held at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in downtown, is expected to draw 80,000 people.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to attend and speak Friday.
The Dallas Police Department said one permitted protest is scheduled for Saturday morning at Dallas City Hall Plaza and another has reserved the plaza that afternoon.
Stokes said Wednesday he anticipates “numerous” additional unplanned protests and counterprotests on public property over the next four days.
Stokes said the department expects both protestors and attendees to handle themselves with “decorum and civility.”
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“They (protestors) will not be able to take the street, we will not tolerate property destruction, we will not tolerate violent behavior,” said Stokes.
On Saturday, Dallas police will be shutting down the following downtown streets:
- Young Street between Griffin and Ervay.
- Akard from Young to Canton.
On Friday, Dallas police will be intermittently closing streets ahead of both the president’s and vice president’s motorcade.
Additional local and federal law enforcement resources will also be brought in to assist but Dallas police declined to comment on staffing or strategy, as is standard ahead of a high profile event.
Dallas police said Wednesday they will be honoring state laws allowing both open and concealed carry of firearms on public property surrounding the convention center; the Secret Service will not allow guns inside where Trump and Pence will be speaking.