PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the Derek Chauvin case heads to the jury, Philadelphia is preparing for the potential for unrest. The Philadelphia Police Department has been working on plans for months in anticipation of this moment.
In email blasts and messages to businesses and community groups across Philadelphia, officials and law enforcement say there are no known threats as it relates to possible protest activity.READ MORE: 17 Residents Displaced After 2-Alarm Fire Damages Several Rowhomes In Chester
But there are still strong warnings to be prepared for potential property damage as proceedings in the trial of Chauvin wind down.
Jabari Jones is president of the organization West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative.
“From a business owner who may have suffered damage in the last rounds of civil unrest that nearly drove them to closing, they’re being traumatized by what that could potentially be as well,” Jones said.
High-ranking police sources tell CBS3 the deployment of hundreds of additional officers over the weekend was a successful stress test if demonstrations were to devolve into scenes like the ones witnessed in May, June, and October.
Plywood boarding is up in various business areas across the city. Numerous business owners declined interview requests out of fear of repercussions.READ MORE: $20,000 Reward Offered After Fire At Historic St. Leo's Church In Tacony Ruled Arson
The concern extends beyond city limits where CBS3 found some shops along Upper Darby’s 69th Street adding additional layers of protection.
A number of stores were trashed in late May as a wave of looters moved through the area.
Meanwhile, 1,200 National Guard members have been mobilized to support security efforts of the Philadelphia Police Department, including overseeing traffic control points and securing critical infrastructure.
The police department has issued bulletins on officer accountability during demonstrations as the city balances protestors’ rights.
The scenes of police dispersal measures used in early June remain fresh in people’s minds.MORE NEWS: Police: Ongoing Investigation After Body Found In Elkins Park
The show of force in West Philadelphia and on the Vine Street Expressway after 48 hours of unrest were instantly harshly criticized as excessive and are the subject of numerous lawsuits.