Former President Donald Trump is set to turn himself in to authorities today at a downtown Manhattan courthouse, less than one week after his criminal indictment landed.

As media closely followed the play-by-play of Trump’s departure from Mar-a-Lago and arrival in New York City via private plane yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel like I was sitting in a theater, waiting for the curtains to draw open and an anxiously awaited show to begin.

Trump might indeed undertake the infamous perp walk today, greeting photographers, police and demonstrators – and leaving the public with visuals that will surely go down in history. Or, security concerns could push Trump to take a much quieter route into the courthouse.

The perp walk – generally considered a walk of shame for alleged criminals – has a relatively recent history in the United States, explains Mary Angela Bock, a journalism scholar and perp walk expert. But it’s “not likely to satisfy the yearnings of those who want so badly to see him punished for his alleged crime,” Bock writes.

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Amy Lieberman

Politics + Society Editor

Police officers stand outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse ahead of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment on April 4, 2023. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A public perp walk into a Manhattan courtroom could energize – not humiliate – Donald Trump

Mary Angela Bock, The University of Texas at Austin

A perp walk is often seen as a walk of shame for accused criminals. But this norm is likely to backfire in the case of Trump if he tries to create a public spectacle when he is booked in court.

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