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Georgia court heightens security amid potential 4th Trump indictment

The road in front of the courthouse is closed, barricades line the street, and officers from both the sheriff's and marshal's offices are present.
Georgia court heightens security amid potential 4th Trump indictment
Posted at 9:23 AM, Aug 14, 2023

In Atlanta, security is tight outside the Fulton County courthouse as the nation sits waiting to hear what charges former President Donald Trump could face in the investigation into his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state. 

"I think that it would be irresponsible to not prepare for the worst," said Andra Gillespie, an Emory University law professor.

Gillespie said the security looks similar to what has been seen for previous Trump indictments. She said she hopes the response to any possible charges will be the same, too.

"There are some people who show up," said Gillespie. "There have been shouting matches, but thankfully, we have not seen violent outbursts. And so, I pray that that is the same thing that we're going to experience here." 

In Atlanta, the road in front of the courthouse building is closed to traffic, orange barricades and metal barriers line the street, and officers from both the sheriff's and marshal's offices are present.

Bomb-sniffing dogs also are present to check media cars and the streets surrounding the courthouse.

SEE MORE: Who is the 'formidable' DA investigating Trump?

So far, there have been no reports of protests or violence in Atlanta. But, District Attorney Fani Willis and her team have received numerous threats from the public, so many so, that Willis warned her prosecutors to "stay alert."

Then, last Tuesday, former President Trump himself lashed out at Willis at a campaign rally calling her a "young racist in Atlanta."

Gillespie said this is similar language used against special counsel Jack Smith and New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg. 

"That in some ways is the 'X' factor," said Gillespie. "That's the unknown, that when you have a president who makes intemperate comments against a prosecutor who is prosecuting a case against them, that that might actually incite somebody to do something that would be ill-considered. And so, we pray that that isn't the case."

Another difference in Georgia: The Fulton County Sheriff said he is prepared to take a mugshot of the former president, which Gillespie said could draw a reaction from the public. 

Despite Georgia being a state with more relaxed gun laws and a large number of voters who may arrive to support the former president, Gillespie said law enforcement in Atlanta is prepared.

"Even if you were in a state with very strict gun laws, you should still do everything that Georgia, Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York have done to try to mitigate the possibility that there would be some type of violent outbursts. It's just the most responsible thing to do," said Gillespie.

SEE MORE: 2 witnesses in 2020 election probe asked to appear before grand jury

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