Pittsburgh police, city leaders preparing for possible ‘Day of Rage' protest

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police and city officials are preparing for a possible protest called for by the activist group Anonymous.

Reports indicate that the group is calling for “Day of Rage” protests on Friday in 37 cities across the country, including Pittsburgh.

“We are in close contact with the FBI, almost to the point of an hourly update. We are monitoring the intelligence along with our federal partners,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.

The reported protests are in response to police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Hissrich said he is not sure whether protesters will descend on the city Friday, but the city will be ready just in case.

“It appears it's similar to a similar threat that occurred a year ago, and it turned out to be nothing. But at that same time, we cannot take that as people will not show up,” Hissrich said.

Reports of the protest come after “blue lives murder” graffiti turned up at several locations in Pittsburgh and Zone 5 police received an unconfirmed threat against officers.

“There's a lot of chatter out there, and it's our job to figure out whether or not there's any credibility to it. And it's not only the locals, we are working with the state police, we’re working with the county sheriff's, the county police, I mean, it's a group effort, so we are looking at things very seriously,” Hissrich said.