New York : Police in the US city of Pittsburgh are preparing for rioting should President Donald Trump fire special counsel in Russia probe Robert Mueller, a memo said.

A memo from the police commander instructed detectives to bring riot gear to work “until further notice”, the BBC reported. The internal email said “there is a belief” that Trump will soon fire Mueller, prompting “large-scale” protests.

“The protest would be semi-spontaneous and more than likely happen on short notice,” police commander Victor Joseph wrote in the email obtained by CBS News. “Beginning Thursday, all major crimes detectives are required to bring a full uniform and any issued protective equipment (riot gear) with them to work until further notice.” Democratic advocacy group has organised the demonstration in Pittsburgh if Mueller is fired, but according to CNN, it is unclear if the police memo was a result of the planned protest.

“We are getting ready in Pittsburgh to respond quickly and forcefully to a clear obstruction of justice,” the group’s online event page said, adding that emergency protests are planned in major cities across the US. More than 2,300 people have registered to participate in the protest so far, according to the Pittsbrugh Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto confirmed that the memo had been sent to the city’s detectives.

On Twitter, Peduto responded to critics of the move, saying it was an internal email and they have no inside information on what the President might do. “The conspiracy theories are borderline crazy,” the mayor tweeted. City officials say the decision was just a precaution and not due to any insight on Trump’s plans, the BBC reported.

Mueller is leading an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

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