Tulsa officials announce precautions ahead of Trump's 'unprecedented' rally
Officials fear violent protests.
While police initially enacted a curfew of 10 p.m. local time starting on Thursday in a large swath of Tulsa, officials reversed course on Friday at the request of the Secret Service.
"Last night, I enacted a curfew at the request of Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, following consultation with the United States Secret Service based on intelligence they had received," Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement Friday afternoon. "Today, we were told the curfew is no longer necessary so I am rescinding it.”
Trump tweeted Friday afternoon to thank the mayor for lifting the curfew, telling his supporters, "Enjoy yourselves."
Meanwhile, just blocks from where Trump is slated to hold his rally at the the 19,000-seat BOK Center, some Black residents say the president is not welcome in the Greenwood District.
"Unequivocally, the president is not welcome in Greenwood," Gary Taylor, a Black Tulsa resident, told ABC News' Rachel Scott.
Chloe Harris Jr., one of few black businesses owners left on Black Wall Street -- the site of a 1921 race massacre -- added he would close his doors if the president tried to show up.
"He wants our black votes. How do you want Black votes, but not show the respect and bring equality to the Black community?" Harris said. "So you hate the Black man, but you want his Black vote."
"Do you understand what happened to our ancestors who died?" he added, referencing the massacre. "It's not a good feeling in the Black community for him to show his face here. Period."
The curfew was initially in place as worries mounted over the possibility of violent protests, according to Tulsa police.
The rally begins at 7 p.m. at the BOK Center. Police said those who had camped out in the area, waiting for the rally, were being removed.
There is concern among officials about whether people "from organized groups who have been involved in destructive and violent behavior in other states are planning to travel to the City of Tulsa for purposes of causing unrest in and around the rally."
Bynum previously signed an executive order stating that the manufacturer, transfer or use of Molotov cocktails or any explosive device is prohibited in the city.
The mayor wrote on Facebook on Friday that he is aware some people think the rally "is great" and others think it "is reckless."
"Tulsa will be the first city in the country to host a major event on Saturday. We do this as our positive COVID-19 cases are rising, but while our hospital capacity remains strong," he wrote. "Some think it is great, some think it is reckless. Regardless of where each of us falls on that spectrum, we will go through it as a community. "
Tulsa police wrote in a statement, "This is an unprecedented event for the City of Tulsa and has hundreds of moving parts, we are asking for everyone’s help in making this a safe event for all citizens."
Trump has pushed forward with the rally despite concerns about the coronavirus's spread in the city.
Vice President Mike Pence has applauded Oklahoma for its handling of the pandemic, saying the state "has really been in the forefront of our efforts to slow the spread, and in a very real sense, they've flattened the curve."
However, data released by state and local public health departments paints a different picture.
The daily number of coronavirus cases statewide have actually increased over the last week, while the number of tests conducted each day has declined slightly, according to the state's health department.
The number of daily cases in the Tulsa area has also trended upward over the past two weeks, while the rate of testing has remained about the same, according to Tulsa County's health department.
Beyond virus concerns, Trump also faced criticism for the original date of his rally, which fell on Friday, the day of the Juneteenth holiday.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery. For many Black Americans, it is celebrated as an Independence Day.
Trump changed the date "out of respect."
The Trump campaign said each attendee will receive a mask and hand sanitizer, and will have to undergo a temperature check before entering the BOK Center.
BOK's management company said they are requesting a health and safety plan from the Trump campaign to detail how social distancing will be addressed, according to ABC Tulsa affiliate KTUL.
The company also said the center has installed 400 hand sanitizing stations and plexiglass partitions at concession stands, according to the affiliate. However, the company said they are only encouraging the masks handed out by the Trump campaign, not requiring them.
ABC News' Ben Gittleson and Rachel Scott contributed to this report.
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