Stores in New York City are bracing for possible Election Day unrest

Posted at 9:10 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 10:09:57-05

NEW YORK CITY — From Times Square to Herald Square and along Fifth Avenue, stores across the city are boarding up window displays in preparation for possible chaos surrounding the presidential election.

The sight of boarded-up windows has some New Yorkers feeling tense and anxious about the Democratic process.

Incidents in the New York area over the weekend served as a preview of potential unrest on Election Day or the days following.

Tensions flared between protesters and police in Chelsea on Sunday, resulting in 11 people arrested, the NYPD said. A Black Lives Matter group had gathered waiting for a caravan of President Donald Trump supporters that never showed.

Meanwhile, hundreds of vehicles draped with flags and banners in support of Trump snarled traffic around the New York metropolitan area Sunday.

According to The Associated Press, a large caravan of Trump supporters traveled through Rockland and Westchester counties and Queens, in some cases stopping traffic without further incident.

In addition, videos posted online showed hundreds of vehicles at a standstill around noon in the northbound express lanes of the Garden State Parkway near Lakewood, New Jersey. Police say the incident caused a 5-mile backup.

A separate caravan is being investigated by the FBI in San Antonio, Texas after swarming a Joe Biden campaign bus and allegedly trying to run staffers off the road ahead of a rally.

Trump, in a Sunday tweet, called the supporters in that caravan "patriots" who "did nothing wrong."

The Associated Press reports that more than two million people in New York state have already cast in-person ballots during the state's early voting period.

Additionally, over a million New York voters have already returned absentee ballots, election officials said.

This story was originally published by Anthony DiLorenzo on WPIX in New York City.