Washington, D.C., officials are asking shopkeepers to remove plywood boards protecting their stores, claiming that "no credible threats of violence" exist despite left-wing groups' planned post-election demonstrations.
Businesses and government agencies in the nation's capital, dozens of which were damaged during anti-police protests this summer, boarded up windows and entryways in preparation for potentially violent post-election protests.
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On Saturday, the Associated Press declared Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden the election's winner, leading D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser's (D.) administration to make the request.
According to Christopher Rodriguez, director of the district's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, business owners should not be fearful of another wave of rioting or looting.
"Our suggestion and our ask of the businesses is that, given our threat environment, that they should take down all the boards or cardboard that has been put up there," Rodriguez said.
City officials also maintained that businesses should not be fearful of any riots or protests during election week—despite planned demonstrations. Local anti-police activist group #ShutDownDC planned to gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza, target Trump campaign officials, White House staffers, and Republican lawmakers, and, based on the vote count, block roads, highways, and intersections leading into the city.
Dozens of D.C. businesses, monuments, and memorials were vandalized in anti-police protests this summer, leading business owners to exercise caution during a hotly contested presidential election. While widespread outbreaks of rioting and looting have not yet occurred as a result of the election, three people were stabbed outside of the White House on election night.