Video from the riot in the US Capitol shows that a police officer was dragged up the stairs of the building and beaten.
At least 10,000 National Guard troops must provide additional security in the coming days at the US Capitol, the site of last week’s deadly riots. Similar steps are being taken in capitals across the country amid FBI reports of possible armed protests beginning Sunday with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20th.
In Michigan, where six men were indicted last month on charges of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gitchen Whitmer, a state commission banned the open carrying of weapons at the Lansing Capitol. Attorney General Dana Nessel warned people to move away.
“It is not my job to provide government officials and residents or other visitors to our Capitol with a false sense of security, especially given the current state of affairs in Michigan and across the country,” Twell wrote on Tuesday. “I repeat – the Michigan Capitol is not safe.”
Read more: DC, state houses are stepping up security as there is a possibility of violence
Washington, DC, remains the center of the protests. The rally, which turned into a violent siege last week, was seen as a free speech event in previous days, despite numerous warnings about the potential for violence by far-right extremist groups.
Driven by President Donald Trump’s debunked allegations that the election had been stolen, a mob headed to the White House near the Capitol, where it occupied the building for hours on Jan. 6 to try to prevent lawmakers from confirming Biden’s election victory. Five people were killed, including a police officer.
Authorities said they were ready to take office, which has been described as a “national special security event” that allows for close coordination between Capitol police, the Pentagon, Homeland Security and the district police.
Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pitman has promised a “comprehensive, coordinated” plan to protect the Capitol. Army General Daniel Hokanson, head of the National Guard Bureau, said 10,000 National Guard personnel would be in Washington and another 5,000 troops would be ready if needed.
“We will have enough resources, staff and plans,” said Michael Platti, a special agent for the US Secret Service in charge of security.
Preparations are underway across America. At the New York State Capitol in Albany, concrete barriers block the street that surrounds the 7-acre state house. In Pennsylvania, the Harrisburg Capitol State Police Force is “increasing its visible presence” – although the Capitol is closed to visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions.
How state capitals increase security against the background of threats of violence before taking office
Dover, the capital of Delaware, Biden’s home state, is less than 100 miles from Washington, DC
“We know about the protests planned in Dover,” said Governor John Carney’s spokesman Jonathan Starkey. “Law enforcement will monitor the conditions on the ground. I have no comment on additional Guard placements. “
In New Jersey, Jared Maples, director of the state’s National Security and Preparedness Service, said his agency had not identified specific threats, but only “many leaflets” and “online chatter” about protests.
“We check every single lead we get,” he said. “We make sure we follow all these down.”
The FBI said it supported local, state and federal law enforcement while respecting the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights.
“Our efforts are aimed at identifying, investigating and disrupting those who incite violence and engage in criminal activity,” the agency said in a statement. “Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those who threaten their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”
Sixty-five percent of Americans want the government to do more to deal with the rise of far-right extremism, according to a study published Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.
“Violent domestic extremism is a global threat that will outlive President Trump’s time,” said ADL Executive Director Jonathan Greenblatt. this internal terrorist threat. “
The topic of the inauguration will be America United, an issue that has long been Biden’s focus and one that is gaining additional weight.
“This inauguration marks a new chapter for the American people – that of healing, unification, reunification, a united America,” said Tony Allen, chief executive of the Presidential Inauguration Committee. “The introductory activities will reflect our common values and remind us that we are stronger together than we are divided, just as the motto ‘e pluribus unum’ reminds us – of many, one.”
Contributors: Joseph Spector, Candy Woodell, Dustin Ratiopi, Madeleine O’Neill, Kevin Johnson and Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY; Associated Press
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