MIAMI (WSVN) - Former President Donald Trump is days away from surrendering in downtown Miami, and that means there will be stepped up security during his arraignment.
All eyes are on South Florida as Trump will be facing charges at the Federal Courthouse.
“I did not even know. Trump’s coming here on Tuesday?” said a passer-by.
But security officials know, and preparations are underway.
Law enforcement officers were seen outside of the courthouse, Friday afternoon. A security was seen using mirrors to check a car.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said everyone’s safety will be the top priority.
“We want to make sure that all of our citizens know that they’re going to be able to express their First Amendment rights, and at the same time, we’re going to keep them safe, and we’re going to make sure that there is no disorder,” he said.
The 45th U.S. president is expected to arrive at his Doral golf course on Monday afternoon, with demonstrations planned outside.
“You’re not sure who’s going to show up,” said former Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina. “Is it going to be people that are supporting the former president? People that are upset at the former president? A hate group that wants to show up and kind of take advantage of the amount of media attention?”
Cameras on Sunday showed dozens of Trump supporters holding large flags as they lined up along Southern Boulevard near Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.
As Tuesday approaches, much more heightened security is expected in the Magic City, especially as federal agents scout out threats.
“FBI domestic terrorism agents and analysts are actively working to identify any potential threats surrounding that upcoming court appearance,” said Former U.S. intelligence officer Josh Campbell. “They are looking at online platforms that are popular with extremist groups.”
Downtown Miami is expected to mirror New York City when Trump was indicted, with barricades, rooftop security, street closures and sharpshooters.
Colina told 7News that local and federal officials have a lot of elements to consider.
“They will do a threat assessment. They’ll want to know, are there any threats against the building or anyone that’s going to be there? And are those threats viable, real credible threats?” he said. “So they’ll do that ahead of time. They’ll look to see if there’s any vulnerable points. They’ll see if anyone has pulled a permit to protest.”
Supporters and critics of Trump are expected in Doral and outside the courthouse in large numbers.
CNN reported that one group on the radar is the Proud Boys, an extremist group that was involved in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“We know that these extremist groups, they’re not going to target the former president. They’re in adherence of his message,” said Campbell. “The question comes down to what about everyone else? What about the people who work in that courthouse? What about members of the prosecutorial team?”
South Florida is no stranger to large events that attract large crowds, but this is different.
“If it’s a sporting event, you know what it is. You know the venue, you know there’s going to be a lot of people, people are going to be screened, the bags are going to be checked, that kind of thing, and then that’s it,” said Colina. “Here, quite frankly, you just don’t know who’s going to show up and try to make some sort of statement.”
The Miami Federal Courthouse has seen some big cases before, like the Bush v. Gore election case in 2000 and the Elián González custody case
However, Trump’s case is expected to be the biggest.
“Landmark cases, controversial cases, but because the world is watching what’s happening with our politics and the election, and it affects economies worldwide of what happens here, I don’t think something to this scale,” said Colina.
Miami Dade Police released a statement that reads in part, “We have not received any federal requests for security support. Along with the City of Miami Police Department, we are prepared to provide any assistance support and resources that may be needed.”
Miami Police also released a statement. It reads, “The City of Miami Police Department will work cohesively with our local, state and federal partners to provide any assistance needed in the form of personnel, resources, detours and/or road closures. We’re committed to protecting everyone’s First Amendment right and will continue to serve our residents, business owners and visitors while maintaining the safety of our community.”
With the crowd and potential chaos on the minds of many, those who frequent the downtown area seem to be thinking the same thing come Tuesday.
“I’m going to stay in the house,” said a woman.
“I work from home. I don’t really have to leave, so I’ll make sure to not leave on Tuesday,” said the passer-by.
According to social media, Trump supporters plan to hold a rally outside Trump National Doral on Monday, as well as outside the federal courthouse on Tuesday.
Trump is expected to arrive at the courthouse at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
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