Maryland Law Enforcement Prepares For Violent Protests Over Supreme Court Draft Opinion
BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Heightened concerns over the fear of violence breaking out triggered by the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion to potentially overturn federal protections of abortion rights has some churches, clinics and conservative Justices working with state and local law enforcement.
Over the weekend, protestors gathered outside of the private homes of Supreme Court Justices. This included Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Law enforcement confirmed there were no violent incidents that stemmed from the protests but it prompted both the White House and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to respond.
"We understand the passion. We understand the concern," Press Secretary Jenn Psaki said during a conference Monday. "But the president's position is that it should be peaceful."
The White House also condemned violence, threats, intimidation or vandalism of any kind.
Gov. Larry Hogan's office issued a statement that reads in part:
"The governor directed state law enforcement leaders to work with local and federal partners and be prepared to assist in the event there is a need for increased security and protective measures," staff for Hogan said.
The concern for violence breaking out stretches beyond the private Supreme Court Justices, but also to abortion clinics and churches.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Baltimore wrote in part that "all parishes are encouraged to strengthen their relationship and communications with local law enforcement and alert them to the concerns of possible protests or disturbances."
The diocese went on to write that parishes are being alerted of any trends when it comes to the safety of parishioners, clergy, and staff.
"We ask local law enforcement to be in a position of readiness to assist our parishes if needed," the Archdiocese of Baltimore said in the statement.
The Maryland State Police, Anne Arundel County Police Department, and Harford County Sheriff's Office all confirm their agencies are monitoring for any reports that might suggest an uptick in violence and will respond appropriately. The departments would not disclose any tactical or operational details for safety reasons.
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