Pence meets with black pastors, refuses to acknowledge Black Lives Matter

The mayor of Tulsa prepared for a “civil emergency," while the Oklahoma governor called in hundreds of National Guard troops.
3:00 | 06/21/20

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Transcript for Pence meets with black pastors, refuses to acknowledge Black Lives Matter
Good evening. Thanks for joining us on this Saturday. I'm whit Johnson in for Tom llamas. We begin tonight with the civil emergency in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where president trump is holding his first major rally in three months, the largest indoor event in America since the coronavirus pandemic began. Health officials warned against it, but the president said we have to move on, promising it will be a, quote, wild evening. At this hour, thousands of enthusiastic supporters are crowding into the B.O.K. Center, many coming from miles away, everyone going through tight security, temperature checks, and masks offered though it is optional to wear them. The rally is also a magnet for protesters. They are gathering not far away. A security zone set up around the National Guard standing nearby. The city announced a curfew in an attempt to keep the peace, but the president's campaign pressured them to remove it. So it will be an anxious night in Tulsa when the rally ends and people flood the streets. ABC's Marcus Moore leads us off in Tulsa. Reporter: Tonight, crowds building in downtown Tulsa, a city on high alert. The mayor issuing a civil emergency. Oklahoma's governor calling in hundreds of National Guard troops. We've seen them on every corner around the B.O.K. Center, where president trump's holding his first rally in months. And it's drawn counterprotesters as well. We'll let them peacefully protest, but as soon as they start damaging other people's property, that's when we'll step in, and we're not going to have that kind of nonsense in Oklahoma. Reporter: One black lives matter protester arrested today at the B.O.K. Center, hours before people were let in. You're putting cuffs on me! Reporter: Less than a mile away, in Tulsa's historic Greenwood district, there is anger after hearing vice president pence might tour the area, residents covering up monuments and the mural commemorating the 1921 massacre at what was known as black wall Street. If you really want to talk about unity, right, and bringing communities together, then we have to sit down and talk about reparations honestly and have a discussion and develop a plan for that. Otherwise, it's just a photo op. Reporter: The vice president also facing new criticism today after refusing to acknowledge the phrase black lives matter during an interview with our station WPVI. "Black lives matter" -- can you say those words? All of us are created equal and endowed by our creator with inalienable rights so all lives matter in a very real sense. Reporter: The vice president meeting with black pastors ahead of the rally. Emotions are high, and there are fears the situation could turn to chaos tonight. We have all of the ingredients for disaster. Tulsa is a powder keg. Reporter: Law enforcement officials very concerned over the possibility of violence. The president even tweeting, any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene. ABC news obtaining an intelligence analysis from the department of homeland security, warning police departments across the country, saying, we expect to see an increase in violent exploitation of otherwise lawful protests, as well as threats of targeted violence against law enforcement. That threat right there. Marcus Moore joins us from Tulsa. We're already seeing heavily armed -- and people heading into the rally? Reporter: That's right, they set up this tape. They're using that as a buffer between the entrance to the B.O.K. Senter and all the protesters who I'm sure you can hear in the distance. They have confronted a number of people trying to get into the rally and police are using this line to make a smooth path for them to get into the arena, and there's a lot of high emotion here in Tulsa tonight. And whit, it seems like it will be a long one here for authorities and anyone attending this rally. We see the police line behind you. Marcus Moore, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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