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NYPD to reduce security around Trump Tower, says Mayor de Blasio



NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

After years of guarding Trump Tower like a fortress on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, the New York Police Department (NYPD) will begin to scale back its security presence around the skyscraper now that Donald Trump‘s time as president has come to an end, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday, according to The New York Post.

“It’s still obviously a sensitive site, but it’s going to be a much lower security profile,” the New York City mayor said during a press conference. “A lot more of the space around it is going to be opened up, which is a good thing for the people of that neighborhood and for the city.”

De Blasio’s announcement comes one day after President Joe Biden was sworn in. Trump opted not to attend his successor’s inauguration, instead trading Washington’s winter winds for Florida’s sunny skies at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. While Trump has a residence high up in the tower, the former president has moved to Florida for the time being, though the frustration of Palm Beach locals has thrown his living situation into the air.

Throughout Trump’s tenure as commander-in-chief, the NYPD and federal agents have operated a strict security zone around the skyscraper on Fifth Avenue between East 56th and 57th streets.

With New York City and many areas in its orbit having voted overwhelmingly against Trump, Trump Tower has become a major spot for protests in the nation’s largest city over the past few years, rivaling historical protest spaces like Washington Square Park and Union Square. On top of that, Fifth Avenue has become the most popular route for marches and protests, with the final stop along the northbound route often being Trump Tower.

Amid last summer’s racial justice protests following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in May, de Blasio ordered that the section of Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower be renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” be painted across that stretch of road.

According to The Post, the NYPD had previously mentioned that it would “re-evaluate” security around Trump Tower following Inauguration Day, with sources telling the publication that the section of East 56th Street immediately south of the tower is expected to re-open to vehicular traffic.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Information emerges on ‘conspiracy-minded former Democratic campaign staffer’ who lit himself on fire outside Trump trial



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As the jury selection for former President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial was being finalized, Max Azzarello set himself on fire Friday afternoon outside the Manhattan courthouse. The event was caught on video by multiple media outlets, and police officers can be seen in the videos dousing Azzarello’s body with a fire extinguisher.

National Review reports on the bizarre occurrence:

Azzarello appears to be a conspiracy-minded former Democratic campaign staffer and operations manager who threw pamphlets into the air before self-immolating that directed bystanders to his Substack blog, “The Ponzi Papers.” Azzarello writes on his Substack of a supposed “totalitarian con” and identifies himself as the man who set himself on fire outside of the Trump courthouse.

Azzarello warns of what he believes to be cryptocurrency ponzi scheme being manipulated by economic elites, most notably tech billionaire Peter Thiel. He claims the government is a “secret kleptocracy” full of financial criminals and highlights The Simpsons as a tool supposedly used by elites to brainwash the American people.

His LinkedIn page features a picture of himself with former president Bill Clinton, a subject of his conspiracy theories, and lists his various marketing and operations positions in politics and tech.



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