Threats prompt extra security measures ahead of monuments-related protests in New Orleans

Planned protests on Sunday in New Orleans have prompted police and other local and state agencies to enact security measures ahead of the demonstrations.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison held a news conference Saturday evening to discuss the department’s plan for the protests in response to support and opposition of the Confederate monuments in the city.

The police chief was joined by Aaron Miller, director of the New Orleans office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The two said demonstrations are set to begin Sunday morning in Congo Square, at Lee Circle and near the Jefferson Davis monument in Mid-City.

Harrison said while the New Orleans Police Department respects the right of people to demonstrate, officers will be out in full force to keep people safe and minimize the disruption to other citizens.

Sunday’s protests were planned this week as the city moves forward with plans to remove three other Confederate monuments — the statues of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis.

The city has not said when the monuments will be removed, but barricades have already been placed around Jefferson Davis after a large protest turned heated this week between supporters and opponents.

Harrison said police officers will not allow violence or threats at the protests. Police have received credible information about serious threats to people or groups, he said.

Officials will close a one-block radius around Lee Circle during Sunday’s protest. Harrison said traffic will be closed off at Calliope and Carondelet, St. Charles Avenue and Calliope, Howard and Carondelet and St. Joseph and St. Charles.

Harrison said masks and weapons will be prohibited at the demonstrations.

Additional details about the city’s security efforts were not released.


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