Joker: New York screenings to have 'undercover police presence' over threat concerns

Film has received some criticism for its depictions of violence and mental health

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 02 October 2019 08:31 BST
Joker - Trailer 2

Screenings of Warner Bros’ controversial film Joker will have an increased police presence amid concerns around potential violent situations, according to reports.

Earlier this week, the NYPD’s chief of patrol Rodney Harrison told officers that the department will station officers at cinemas showing the film, which stars Joaquin Phoenix.

Deadline now reports that a significant undercover patrol will be deployed around Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

“This is a 360-degree policing approach to ensure safety for ticket-buyers in their seats, as well as on the streets,” a law enforcement official told the publication. “If something happens inside one of the screenings, we intend to be able to pacify the situation quickly and conclusively.”

Joker has received criticism by relatives of the victims of the 2012 shooting at The Dark Knight Rises screening in Aurora, Colorado.

Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, whose 24-year-old daughter Jessica was killed when a gunman opened fire on cinema-goers, called on Warner to devote more resources to combatting gun violence ahead of Joker’s release.

Warner Bros has said it takes the situation seriously, commenting: “Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies.

“Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bipartisan legislation to address this epidemic.”

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