What to Know
- As fans awaited the opening of the new “Joker” movie outside NYC theaters, NYPD officers were right alongside them for different reasons
- Police, some heavily armed, were stationed at multiple theaters across the city and the country on high alert amid fears of violence
- The police department maintained that there had been no specific threat made in the area
As fans eagerly awaited the opening of the new “Joker” movie outside theaters across the city, NYPD officers were right alongside them — but for a very different purpose.
Police, some heavily armed, were stationed at multiple theaters across New York City — and the country — on high alert in response to fears of an act of violence breaking out at some screenings. The concerns stem from the 2012 mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The police department maintained that there had been no specific threat made in the area, but the speculation leading up to the premiere was that the film could glorify violence and make the twisted titular character, played by actor Joaquin Phoenix, a sympathetic character to be idolized or mimicked.
While many in line said the worries were “overdramatized” and were not concerned about any violence, the NYPD stated that anyone going to see the film can expect to see uniformed officers out in the open — an intentional decision to help discourage potential troublemakers.
“To send out the message they hey, we’re not going to tolerate any acts of violence,” said Manny Gomez of MG Security Services. “We’re here in uniform and in plainclothes as well, to ensure public safety.”