Even as former United States President Donald Trump arrived in New York to surrender to unprecedented criminal charges, the city's police force have thrown up metal barriers around Trump Tower and blocked roads near Manhattan Criminal Courthouse as they brace for potential protests.
The former president is set to be arraigned at the courthouse later today after a grand jury issued an indictment against him over hush money paid to a porn star during his 2016 Presidential campaign. Trump is the first ever former US President to face criminal charges.
He touched down at LaGuardia Airport after a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Florida on board a private Boeing 757 emblazoned with his name on the fuselage, nicknamed Trump One.
Trump has described the probe as a political witch hunt, and top supporters, including Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, say they will go to New York to protest. The downtown courthouse, home to criminal and supreme courts, will shut down some courtrooms ahead of Trump's expected appearance, a court official said.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said there were no credible threats to the city.
Some social media users have called for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the jury that indicted Trump to be executed, according to Site Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremism.
After Trump falsely claimed he won the last election, his supporters stormed the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021, sparking a deadly riot. However, many Trump supporters online have expressed wariness about public demonstrations, even after Trump called for them, concerned they could be arrested.
"(The) department remains ready to respond as needed and will ensure everyone is able to peacefully exercise their rights," the NYPD said in a statement.