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Cities across U.S. bracing for possible Election Day violence and unrest

Cities brace for possible Election Day unrest
Cities across U.S. brace for Election Day violence and unrest 02:01

Security is being tightened across the country due to concerns about unrest linked to Election Day. New steel fencing went up around the White House Complex on Monday, and the New York City Police Department put businesses on alert as stores there and around the country board up as a precaution.

With one day to go, political tensions remain high. In Houston, vandals targeted the county's Democratic Party headquarters, spray-painting the windows with the words "elections no ... revolution yes." In Beverly Hills, protesters and counter protesters threw punches over the weekend.

Beverly Hills' police chief has warned about election-motivated violence. He told CBS News on Monday that his officers are working 12-hour shifts with no days off.

"Basically what we are doing is preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," Chief Dominick Rivetti said.

In recent weeks, the FBI has arrested militia members who were allegedly planning attacks. Starting Tuesday, officials will be monitoring events across the country from a command center at FBI headquarters.

Election 2020 — California
A woman walks past a Vote sign on wooden boards covering the exterior of Chloe Gallery in San Francisco, on Monday, November 2, 2020, ahead of Election Day. Jeff Chiu / AP

Washington, D.C., is likely to get extra attention. City homeland security officials are bracing for half a dozen protests over the next several days.

"We certainly want to make sure that those protests are peaceful and that violence or any types of violence will not be tolerated here in the District," Dr. Christopher Rodriguez, director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency in D.C., told CBS News.

Boarded up businesses all around Washington are a precaution, but there's no specific threats of violence. Businesses aren't taking any chances, as many are still feeling the effects of a summer of unrest.

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