The New York Police Department (NYPD) plans to station undercover police officers in screenings of the upcoming film “Joker” over concerns that violence could break out.
“This is 360-degree policing approach to ensure safety for ticket buyers in their seats, as well as on the streets,” a law enforcement official told Deadline. The officers will be stationed beginning with Thursday previews of the films and during the opening weekend.
An NPYD spokesperson told The Hill that “There are no specific or credible threats at this time and these events will continue to be closely monitored. Any additional personnel will be deployed as needed. Members of the public are encouraged to help police in the shared responsibility of public safety. If you see something, say something by calling 911.”
Several movie theaters have banned masks at screenings of the movie, which follows the violent rise of Batman’s nemesis.
The security precautions follow the 2012 mass shooting at a Colorado screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises,” which left 12 dead and 70 wounded.
Last week, the U.S. military warned service members of the potential for a mass shooting at showings of “Joker,” according to notices from the Army, particularly pointing to the possibility of extremists trying to replicate the 2012 attack.
“Posts on social media have made reference to involuntary celibate (‘incel’) extremists replicating” the shooting “at screenings of the Joker movie at nationwide theaters,” according to the notice from Army Materiel Command, which was sent to service members in an email to service members last month, Gizmodo first reported.
Another memo sent by officials in the Army’s criminal investigation arm said a “credible” threat has been identified by the sheriff’s office in Travis County, Texas. Working with the FBI, the offices “discovered disturbing and very specific chatter in the dark web regarding the targeting of an unknown movie theater during the Joker release,” according to the memo.