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NYPD Gearing Up For Possible Protests Over Chauvin Verdict

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After mounting tensions with peaceful protestors, the NYPD said their tactics will be different this time. CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports.

Video Transcript

- As the Derek Chauvin trial comes to a close the NYPD is gearing up for possible protests. CBS 2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas live for us in Times Square with more on that. Aundrea.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Oh Kristin and Dick, Times Square is one of a handful of places across the city the NYPD is specifically targeting because of the unrest last summer. But because of tensions with peaceful protesters, the NYPD says this time around its tactics will be different.

With Derek Chauvin's case in the hands of a Minneapolis jury, many across the city are bracing themselves for the verdict.

- If he's found not guilty, I think it's going to be a problem.

- If the verdict is not like, hey, he's going to like prison forever, then I know everyone's going to protest.

- If he's acquitted, that would be-- I think there'd be a lot of riots.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: According to the NYPD, officers have been preparing for potential unrest. Specialized units will mobilize from fixed locations, with bike patrols deployed to areas like Soho, Times Square, and the Berkeley center, where small groups vandalized businesses in June. Police say it's a different tactic after lawsuits, including one from the attorney general, alleged the use of excessive force and other techniques that injured peaceful protesters last summer. At the end of March CBS 2's Maurice DuBois asked chief of department Rodney Harrison how the NYPD was addressing the criticism.

RODNEY HARRISON: I don't think community faith was out in front of a lot of these protests in the beginning. Going forward they're going to be leading the charge regarding working with the protesters.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Lessons learned that also changed the approach for businesses.

- I think that that was a sad day in New York when we had to board up. That we've come a long way.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: This time the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce says businesses are prepared, without having to board up.

- We feel confident that the verdict will be just, and we can move on.

AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: For now they wait while all eyes are on Minneapolis. Now when it comes to tactics, Mayor de Blasio wants the NYPD to scale back the use of helicopters to monitor crowds. The NYPD says it has plenty of officers on standby to respond when necessary. It is also monitoring social media, no matter what the verdict is. Reporting live from Times Square, Aundrea Cline-Thomas, CBS 2 News.

- All right, Aundrea. Thank you. Stay with CBS 2 for continuing coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial. For real time updates and a look back at testimony, go to CBSNewYork.com.