While police erected barricades around the courthouse where any criminal case would be brought, the retired New York University professor packed a bag and prepared to leave town
Former US President Donald Trump’s impersonator Neil Greenfield directs traffic on 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower Tuesday. Pic/AFP
As the world waits to see whether a grand jury in lower Manhattan indicts former President Donald Trump, neighbourhood resident Barbara Malmet decided to give up her front-row seat. While police erected barricades around the courthouse where any criminal case would be brought, the retired New York University professor packed a bag and prepared to leave town.
Malmet, 70, lives a few blocks from the city’s civic center and said she is concerned about “a smaller repeat of Jan. 6” if Trump incites “his cult followers into violence.” She wants ”a little more peace of mind not being within walking distance of the courthouse.”
So far, Trump’s call for protests has not resulted in any lawlessness, and life has generally gone on as usual in the neighborhood of government buildings and office towers on the edge of Chinatown.
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Another day passed Wednesday without a decision on possible legal action. Asked if the situation was straining city resources or the New York Police Department, Mayor Eric Adams said it had not. “The NYPD is fully equipped to deal with whatever circumstances may come about in the city,” he said. “We’ve shown that throughout the years.”
TV camera tripods and lights have sprouted on sidewalks. Metal barricades are in place to keep people out of the streets. Demonstrators — some supporting Trump, some opposing him — have come and gone.
A trickle of activists visited the courthouse for demonstrations that were partly performance art. One person tried to enter the building carrying a large cross, like Jesus. Another man sat on the ground wearing a Trump flag as a cape and a hat with antlers. A demonstrator held a placard saying “Trump is over.”
Philippe Lejeune, 38, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, walked up and down the street carrying a sign chastising Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “There’s some people here for the cameras,” he acknowledged, but said it was too important to let the moment pass without speaking out. “You want to skate by in a pink flamingo costume? You can do that.”
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