Michael Jackson Documentary Cops On Alert for Protesters ... At Sundance Premiere

1/18/2019 1:00 AM PST

Cops On Alert for Protests During Michael Jackson Sundance Documentary

EXCLUSIVE

The blistering Michael Jackson documentary premiering at Sundance will also feature angry pro-Jackson protesters, and we've learned local police are gearing up for possible confrontations.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the Park City PD is aware of an anti-documentary protest being organized on social media, so cops are going to beef up their presence both inside and outside the premiere with uniformed and undercover officers.

We're told law enforcement is most concerned about disruptions taking place during the Q&A portion of the screening -- historically, that's when protesters have caused the biggest disturbances. However, we're told cops won't stop people from exercising their First Amendment rights, so long as protesters don't block sidewalks or entrances.

As you know ... the doc, "Leaving Neverland," explores alleged sexual abuse by the King of Pop, and the film is already being slammed by the late singer's estate. Despite outside pressure to pull the film, Sundance officials say it's full steam ahead.

All Sundance events have increased security -- including bag checks and bomb dogs -- but extra resources will be allocated to the MJ screening when it premieres Friday, Jan. 25.