Federal officials are warning of armed and potentially violent protests at all 50 state capitals and the U.S. Capitol in the days leading up to President–elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to an internal FBI bulletin issued to law enforcement partners.
The bulletin cautioned that demonstrations could begin as soon as Sunday and are expected to continue through the inauguration, an official with knowledge of the bulletin told USA TODAY.
The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said a poster publicizing the events says, “When democracy is destroyed, refuse to be silenced.“ The poster also calls for an “armed march on Capitol Hill and all state capitols.”
This round of protests comes after five people died Jan. 6 after a mob of rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying election results for Biden.
While it is unclear how many people are expected to show up at protests across the country, “people don’t have the luxury to downplay it,” said Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL Center on Extremism. “People don’t have the luxury to ignore it.
“The president hasn’t backed down on the concept that this is a stolen election. Narratives like that, of something being taken away from you, are so powerful.”
DC, statehouses beef up security: Possibility of violence looms ahead of inauguration
Here’s a deeper look at what is happening in each state.
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U.S. Capitol building, National Mall, surrounding areas
Less than two weeks after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, the nation’s capital is preparing for another wave of demonstrations.
Metal fences standing at least 10 feet high prohibit entrance to the National Mall, as does the presence of the National Guard and Secret Service.
The State Capitol was quiet Sunday morning, with more reporters and law enforcement present than any protesters. Barricades blocked any path toward the Capitol several blocks in front of the grounds.
As many as 20,000 National Guard members are expected to be deployed to D.C. for inauguration, Washington D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser asked Americans not to come to the capital for inauguration, citing concerns over violent protests and COVID-19.
Bowser said her administration requested the federal government declare a pre–emergency disaster declaration and asked that the Department of the Interior, which oversees the National Park Service, cancel and deny any public gathering permits through Jan. 24.
– Jay Cannon and Ryan Miller, USA TODAY
Inauguration Day 2021: What now? Capitol riots, Trump supporter threats prompt safety concerns
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An Alabama state official said there was no plan to increase security at the Alabama Capitol.
Pat Harris, the secretary of the Senate, said in a phone interview that the Alabama Statehouse would be largely empty on Sunday and the state would have “normal security in and around the Statehouse” during the week and on Inauguration Day.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency spokesperson Robyn Bryan said the agency is monitoring any public safety concerns and will work with local law enforcement officials to provide safety and security to all state buildings.
Barricades, erected shortly after protests sprung up across the nation following the death of George Floyd, encircled the Alabama Capitol for several months last year. They came down shortly after Election Day.
– Kirsten Fiscus, Montgomery Advertiser
More from Montgomery: Alabama not yet planning to ramp up security
Alaska is planning to ramp up security at its state Capitol in Juneau by deploying additional Alaska State Troopers and police, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
In a Monday email disclosed by the Anchorage Daily News, Rayme Vinson, chief security officer for the Alaska State Capitol, said officials are “working to increase” security at the Capitol, but he did not specify when the heightened security would take hold.
Officials said they weren’t aware of any specific demonstrations planned for the state Capitol, but were monitoring for any possible demonstrations that develop throughout the week.
The Arizona Capitol’s perimeter was surrounded with a fence and its usually packed parking lot was closed to the public when the the 2021 legislative session began Monday.
State police are working with Phoenix law enforcement officials, and a governor’s spokesman said the Arizona National Guard would be on call as the Capitol braces for potential demonstrations.
State Senate President Karen Fann said some senators are on edge, and many have received threats.
A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which provides security at the state Capitol, said he could not go into detail about the security measures the agency had implemented but that officials are monitoring “situations locally and nationally.”
– Uriel J. Garcia, Arizona Republic
More from the AZCentral: Security boosted at Arizona Capitol as threats keep lawmakers, staffers on edge
Capitol riot fallout: Arizona’s major corporate political donors rethinking campaign contributions
Amid reports of protests scheduled at state capitols across the country, the Arkansas’ capitol grounds remained quiet Sunday morning.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday said he had directed additional state police to the Capitol but has not activated the Arkansas National Guard in response, the Associated Press reported.
“At this point there is not a particular threat of concern but we will take necessary steps to protect our Capitol and those who work or visit here,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “The Secretary of State has the first responsibility over Capitol security and we will be fully coordinated with his office.”
Protesters gathered outside the state Capitol in Little Rock on Jan. 6 to protest the certification of election results for Biden.
Some demonstrators carried guns and riot shields while listening to local speakers and the president’s speech from Washington, D.C., according to FOX16.
– Jay Cannon, USA TODAY and Misty Castile, Hot Springs Village Voice
Live updates: All quiet at Arkansas Capitol Sunday morning
The scene around the California state Capitol building was quiet and largely deserted Sunday morning, with just one man with a microphone singing and preaching in front of the chain-link fence that was set up earlier this week as some two dozen California Highway Patrol officers and vehicles stand guard just behind him in the west steps of the building.
The state Capitol remains on lockdown along with parts of downtown Sacramento as authorities brace for the possibility of violence and protests.
Security precautions ramped up Sunday, with authorities using fencing and concrete barriers to close off streets surrounding the state’s Capitol building and in front of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office and jail. The barriers had not been in place Saturday.
Fencing has surrounded the state Capitol since the spring, when Newsom’s coronavirus restrictions sparked demonstrations.
Nearly a dozen people were arrested Jan. 6 during a pro-Trump rally outside the state Capitol. Sacramento police reported 11 individuals illegally carrying pepper spray had been taken into custody after hundreds of demonstrators had gathered in front of California’s Capitol building to show support for Trump.
– Jay Cannon, USA TODAY; Cassie Dickman, Stockton Record
Late Sunday morning, the area surrounding the Colorado Capitol building and Civic Center Park appeared calm so far. Chain-link fence panels encircled the building as well as the area around the Colorado Veterans Monument.
A handful of Colorado State Patrol troopers, who are regularly tasked with protecting life and property in and around the Colorado Capitol, were on the premises.
– Sarah Kyle and Bethany Baker, Fort Collins Coloradoan
Colorado congressman: I was trapped in House chambers as rioters tried to break doors
Local authorities are aware of possible protests occurring Sunday and Jan. 20, and State Capitol Police Officer Scott Driscoll, the department’s spokesperson, said Tuesday there are plans to “maintain a high level of security throughout.”
Driscoll noted the department has not learned of any specific threats yet regarding Connecticut’s state Capitol, which has been closed to the public since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The state Capitol police have stepped up security sweeps of the complex and steel barriers have been configured around the Capitol building.
– Associated Press
A few police SUVs were stationed outside Legislative Hall and some of the streets leading up to the building were blocked off Sunday. Legislative Hall is surrounded by a 6-foot-tall fence erected Friday afternoon.
There weren’t any protesters present.
Delaware Gov. John Carney made the call to activate the National Guard to assist in the state and local areas, an order that expires Thursday, the day after the inauguration.
“Members of the Delaware National Guard have continued to step up — time and time again — to support their communities when that support is needed most,” Carney said. “This time is no different. I want to thank all of our Delaware guardsmen and guardswomen for their selfless service to our state and country.”
– Nick Siano and Brandon Holveck, Delaware News Journal
Live updates: Pro-Trump protesters stay away from Dover
More from the Atlantic region: How state capitols are boosting security amid violence threats ahead of inauguration
As many as three dozen people were outside the Capitol, of which half are law enforcement, 40% are journalists and the rest are tourists.
Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey, in an informal news conference, told reporters he was not aware of any specific threats, or of any planned protests that groups had taken out permits for.
“I hope nothing happens,” he said. “I hope that we continue to have the peaceful days in Tallahassee that we always do and that we enjoy. But hope alone is not a plan. We are prepared.”
He added that he had to “defer” questions about security preparations and plans to law enforcement.
– Jeff Burlew, Tallahassee Democrat
TPD Chief Revell: No ‘specific’ threat against Tallahassee amid warnings of violence
The Atlanta area was calm Sunday morning despite threats of an armed protest and a heavy influx of military personnel on guard.
The military, public safety officials and media members were the only ones in sight Sunday morning. Georgia State Patrol said things were clear as of around noon.
Surrounding streets closed around 10 a.m. ET to traffic.
The perimeter of the building is guarded by military vehicles and barriers are in place to keep protesters out.
– Jozsef Papp, Gary Estwick and Miguel Legoas, The Augusta Chronicle
National Guard on scene in Atlanta: Area around Capitol quiet Sunday morning despite protest threats
Georgia Capitol protest photos: National Guard stood on alert in Atlanta for protesters
Barricades blocked the entrances to the Hawaii Capitol in Honolulu as the island state prepares for possible unrest.
A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Public Safety said the agency was not aware of a substantial threat to the Capitol, according to KHON2 in Honolulu, which also reported Wednesday that the Hawaii National Guard is ready to support if needed.
About 100 protesters lined the road outside the Hawaii Capitol on Jan. 6, waving American and Trump 2020 flags at passing cars. Sheryl Bieler, a retiree in the blue state, said she came out to “support our president and support the integrity of the elections.”
– Jay Cannon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Authorities at the state and local levels were preparing for potential protests at the Idaho Statehouse in Boise the weekend before inauguration, and officials say the Idaho National Guard has additional personnel if needed, but will primarily focused on COVID–19 assistance at medical centers, CBS2 reported Tuesday.
An Idaho State Police spokesperson said the agency did not know of any plans for demonstration but is monitoring for activity.
Doors to the Idaho House and Senate chambers were locked Monday morning, and two state troopers were stationed at each entrance. In past years, the doors were propped open while an unarmed statehouse staff member controlled access.
During a special session last August, a group that included anti–government activist Ammon Bundy forced its way past overwhelmed troopers and filled the Idaho House gallery despite COVID–19 restrictions limiting the number of people allowed in.
– Jay Cannon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
A heavy police presence remained at the Illinois Capitol Building on Sunday. So far, the weekend has been quiet around the Capitol.
Backing up law enforcement will be 250 members of the Illinois National Guard, who were activated by Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday.
State and local law enforcement agencies said Tuesday they are “fully aware” of possible action at the Illinois Capitol Building this weekend.
Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell said he was aware of threats against the Capitol that were made on various social media platforms.
Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow said the public will continue to see officers have an increased presence in the downtown area, including around the Capitol and around the Bank of Springfield Center, where legislative sessions have been held due to COVID-19 regulations.
About 50 protesters gathered at the Lincoln statue at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but no incidents were reported.
– Steven Spearie, (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register
More from the State Journal-Register: Law enforcement agencies ‘fully aware’ of possible action at Illinois Capitol
Top law enforcement officials in Indiana on Wednesday said the state is “well positioned” to handle potential unrest in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
Indiana State Police has not received any threats to the Indiana Statehouse as of Wednesday and officials are not aware of “any direct information associated with events that could occur in Indiana,” police Superintendent Doug Carter said Wednesday.
Carter said there is a lot of information on social media “about what might be happening around the state” and added that state police, who guard the Statehouse, will be “all hands on deck.”
– Lawrence Andrea, Indianapolis Star
More from the Indy Star: How police are working to protect the Indiana Statehouse in the wake of the Capitol riot
FBI seeks info: Indiana heavy metal guitarist spotted at Capitol riots
Inauguration Day prep: Indiana National Guard sending 625 troops to Washington, D.C.
The adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard said he has been in touch with Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens about security at the Iowa Capitol building in Des Moines in case of protests or violence surrounding Biden’s inauguration.
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Corell said Bayens has told him that state and local law enforcement believe they have enough resources to handle any situation that develops.
“I do have National Guard forces that are trained, they are equipped and they are ready to respond,” Corell said.
Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday accompanied by an increased number of Iowa State Troopers.
“We’ve multiplied our forces, probably exponentially, is a fair statement,” Bayens said Monday. He said the increased forces at the Capitol would continue “until we’re satisfied that there’s not ongoing issues.”
Windows at the historic Polk County Courthouse have been boarded up in preparation for possible protests in Des Moines leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20.
– Stephen Gruber-Miller, Eric Ferkenhoff, Philip Joens, and Melody Mercado Des Moines Register
COVID-19. Derecho. Deployments. And now, help in DC: Iowa National Guard is serving in a variety of ways, leader says
Amid FBI reports of credible threats: Most Midwest states keep open carry laws for capitols
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Despite reports of a planned protest at the Kansas Statehouse, the only people outside were 15 members of the news media.
The Kansas Statehouse planned to beef up security measures in light of possible “armed protests,” Will Lawrence, chief of staff for Gov. Laura Kelly, said in a memo to legislative leaders Thursday.
In the memo, Lawrence confirmed a possible event planned for Sunday, as well as a potential one Wednesday.
As a result, from Friday through Jan. 22, the Statehouse will close down visitor access to the parking garage, give keycard access only through the visitor entrance and require those with keycard access to show badges.
On the same day that a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in Washington, there was also a protest at the Kansas Statehouse, but it was peaceful and protesters had permission to be in the Statehouse.
– Titus Wu, Topeka Capital-Journal
More from the Topeka Capital-Journal: ‘Armed protests’ over Biden inauguration could happen at Kansas Statehouse, FBI says
Statehouse protest last week: Pro-Trump protesters march in Kansas Statehouse
There have been no mass demonstrations so far Sunday at the closed Kentucky Capitol building, which was heavily guarded and blocked off in anticipation of “domestic terror threats against state capitols.”
As of 2 p.m. local time Sunday, there were fewer than 25 total protesters gathered in Frankfort, where dozens of state police and National Guard members are stationed. Police vehicles surrounded the property, limiting access to the building and restricting car travel.
Sgt. Billy Gregory, a spokesman for Kentucky State Police, said Sunday afternoon the agency was prepared for “anything that happens.”
Kentucky National Guard members have been activated for protection of both the Kentucky state Capitol and to assist during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden next week, the governor said.
“We will have the sufficient resources,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We will be prepared to ensure that what happened in the U.S. Capitol does not happen here in Kentucky. That’s our commitment, and we’ll be ready.”
– Matt Mencarini, Billy Kobin and Darcy Costello Louisville Courier Journal
Kentucky Capitol protest: All quiet in Frankfort amid warnings of armed protests
More from the Courier Journal: Kentucky State Police trooper reassigned after attending Trump rally that turned deadly
National Guard activated: ‘We will be prepared’: Beshear activates Kentucky National Guard for Biden inauguration
Louisiana State Police and other law enforcement personnel are on alert for a planned demonstration supporting President Donald Trump at the state Capitol on Sunday.
Varying numbers of Trump supporters have been gathering at the Louisiana Capitol in Baton Rouge for weeks, usually on Saturdays, but all demonstrations there thus far have been peaceful. Crowds at Sunday’s demonstration in Louisiana are expected to be larger.
State Police said it won’t release specific security measures and protocols at the Louisiana Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion.
“Multiple events up to now have been peaceful and I’m expecting the same thing Sunday,” said Louisiana House Chief Sergeant at Arms Clarence “Smoke” Russ.
– Greg Hilburn, Monroe News-Star
More from the News-Star: State Police on alert as Trump demonstration planned at Louisiana Capitol Sunday
Security is being stepped up at the Maine Statehouse in response to a warning of more violence leading up to Inauguration Day, the Maine Department of Public Safety said.
The department, which oversees the Maine State Police and the Capitol Police, said it’s also including the Maine National Guard in the discussions should additional help be needed. There has been no formal activation of the Guard yet, said Lindsay Crete, the governor’s spokesperson.
Capitol Police is boosting its presence in and around the Statehouse but “does not discuss more specific operational details of its work,” the statement said.
– The Associated Press
A heavy police presence encircled the Maryland State House on Sunday afternoon, but the planned armed demonstrations never materialized.
Families with children, dog walkers and joggers made leisurely paths around the historic state capitol building as police K-9 units and members of the Maryland National Guard patrolled nearby.
As of 1 p.m. local time, no protesters had made an appearance at the Lawyers Mall, a popular site for demonstrations.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency Friday, allowing extra security not only for his state, but the surrounding states as well. Protests are expected at state capitol starting Sunday afternoon.
The state of emergency declaration allows the governor to activate the National Guard, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency can activate emergency plans, and the state can implement curfews.
– Paula Ramirez and Madeleine O’Neill, Salisbury Daily Times
Boston officials told the Boston Globe on Monday that there have been no specific threats for the Massachusetts State House.
Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Boston office, also told the Globe that her office has not received “any intelligence” indicating there are planned or armed protests in the state.
State Police spokesman David Procopio told the Globe that the department is “prepared for any contingencies” and will adjust security measures if needed.
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Precautionary Measures: Mass. leaders are assessing State House security needs
Several dozen protesters gathered at the Michigan Capitol by 12:45 p.m. local time. Some are armed with long guns, which are allowed to be openly carried on the Capitol grounds.
Some protesters are wearing attire that references their affiliation with the boogaloo movement. The Boogaloo “Bois” are a far-right extremist group aiming to overthrow the government that gained strength during coronavirus lockdown protests last year.
Capitol facilities staff installed a 6-foot fence around the building in anticipation of an armed demonstration.
Lansing has closed a number of streets surrounding the Capitol until further notice.
Last week Michigan State Capitol Commissioners voted unanimously to ban the open carry of guns inside public spaces in the Capitol building.
– Lansing State Journal staff
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard on Wednesday to assist state and local law enforcement in St. Paul.
“We will always support Minnesotans’ First Amendment rights to peacefully protest, but anyone involved in violent, illegal activity will be held accountable,” said Walz in a news release Wednesday.
The state is monitoring the situation closely, according to Walz, and tracking reports. A fence has been in place around the Minnesota State Capitol since last summer, and state patrol has increased its presence.
– Clairissa Baker, The St. Cloud Times
More from the St. Cloud Times: FBI warns of credible threats by Boogaloo Bois at Minnesota state Capitol on Sunday
The Capitol Police and the Mississippi Highway Patrol were out patrolling the state Capitol and Governor’s Mansion Sunday amid warnings of possible armed protests across the country.
The grounds were quiet as of 10 a.m. local time.
An officer said he was unaware of any protests scheduled on Sunday, even as several other states expect to see demonstrations, and no permits to protest have been filed with the Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Capitol Police.
Officials from the department which oversees the Capitol Police in Mississippi said Monday they were aware of upcoming nationwide protests at state capitols over the weekend.
But when questioned, a Department of Finance and Administration official offered few details on what they are doing in response.
– Justin Vicory and Lici Beveridge, The Mississippi Clarion Ledger
More from the Clarion Ledger: Officials increase security at Mississippi Capitol amid armed protest warnings
The Missouri House approved new police powers for its security staff Tuesday, and extra law enforcement officers were called to help at the Capitol amid concerns that recent violence at the U.S. Capitol could spread to statehouses nationwide.
An email from Senate Administrator Patrick Baker to staff said Capitol Police had requested help “due to recent events occurring at various capitols throughout the country.” Capitol Police said on Twitter that security measures and staffing are regularly adjusted based on pending events and “information received from public and other sources.
The House approved a rule change sponsored by state Rep. Dean Plocher to give greater power to the sergeant-at-arms, who is responsible for keeping order in the House galleries and lobby. The sergeant-at-arms now will have law enforcement powers to arrest people for what the state constitution describes as “disorderly or contemptuous behavior” during House sessions.
– The Associated Press
Security has been increased at the Montana state capitol after the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol.
“Our security team is actively monitoring the situation. We are working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to address any potential issues if they arise here at the Montana State Capitol,” said Amber Conger, the communications director for the state Department of Administration, in an email to the Missoulian.
Conger did not share specifics, but said they have increased law enforcement presence.
Leo Dutton, the sheriff for Lewis and Clark County, told the Missoulian that his office has implemented plans, but he could not discuss details.
“We have taken it seriously and we do have plans in place to respond if the issues come to fruition,” Dutton said. “We’re prepared for it. We’re not being passive about it. But also you won’t notice us either. If things do happen, we do have people that will be ready.”
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Nebraska will take steps to ensure public safety at the state Capitol on Inauguration Day, Gov. Pete Ricketts said Monday, although he noted that last week’s rally in Lincoln to support President Donald Trump was peaceful.
Ricketts made the comments as supporters of the outgoing president prepare for protests at state capitols throughout the country. A violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to try to stop Congress from certifying that President–elect Joe Biden had won the race.
“Certainly, we will take appropriate precautions,” Ricketts said at a news conference.
– The Associated Press
Local law enforcement officials are working to ensure security at and around the Nevada Capitol in the days leading up to the presidential inauguration, said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.
Authorities have been receiving threats at the state capitol building following the riot at the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6, though Furlong says they aren’t much different from threats that his department has been receiving since the beginning of the pandemic.
Furlong said local agencies’ planning approach now is not very different than how planning has been conducted for any other protest over the last 10 months.
“It has been an onslaught for law enforcement to posture for since March,” he said. “We have to pay attention to all of those threats, whether we discount them or not.”
– Terell Wilkins, The Reno Gazette Journal
The New Hampshire Department of Safety said it “remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of New Hampshire’s residents and visitors. The Department of Safety will continue to monitor any credible threats and is prepared to respond to any emergency.”
The Department of Safety also announced it “is prepared to ensure that any protesters in our areas of jurisdiction are able to freely express their right to demonstrate provided they comply with all state laws.”
The Department of Safety said it communicates frequently with partners – both locally and nationally – to review all intelligence and to understand its potential impacts to New Hampshire.
New Hampshire State Police said the National Guard is standing ready to deploy as needed.
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
At 11 a.m. EST, an hour before a planned protest in Trenton, there was a heavy State Police presence, but no sign of anything big otherwise.
“We’re all breathing a collective sigh of relief,” Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora told reporters Sunday. “We’ve noticed that there’s more skateboarders than protesters.”
Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday officials are preparing for the worst, and Murphy has warned armed protesters not to gather on the streets of Trenton.
“If that’s their intention, they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. “There will be no corner for them, and I would hope that they understand that.”
Law enforcement and elected officials have offered few details about their plans to keep the New Jersey Statehouse safe.
New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said only that local, state and federal law enforcement are “monitoring what we’re hearing with regard to protests around the country and certainly in New Jersey, and we’ll continue to monitor that and have our assets ready.”
– Asbury Park Press
NJ capitol protests: What we know about Sunday’s pro-Trump rally in Trenton
Fencing has been erected outside the New Mexico Statehouse and other government buildings as officials prepare for political unrest ahead of the upcoming legislative session and next week’s presidential inauguration.
State police that oversee the Capitol have taken the unusual step of coordinating security with local law enforcement agencies to provide a coordinated response should any gatherings become violent.
State Police Lt. Mark Soriano told The Associated Press that security plans anticipate potential large-scale demonstrations in coming days.
“Given the current climate in our country, we will not rule out such events taking place during the upcoming legislative session, or on Inauguration Day, or in the days and weeks surrounding either event, for that matter,” he said in an email.
– The Associated Press
U.S. Capitol Support: New Mexico National Guard to deploy to D.C. in support of inauguration
Police had prepared for the worst and hoped for the best, and their hopes were realized when a rumored rally by supporters of President Donald Trump failed to materialize on Sunday.
The barricades were set up and three layers of fences cordoned off the steps to the New York Capitol — awaiting a possible repeat of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — but the statehouse area remained quiet, as did statehouses across the Mid-Atlantic states.
State, local and federal agencies said they were well prepared to address any threat at New York’s Capitol amid intelligence chatter targeting statehouses nationwide.
“Given recent events in Washington and across the country, the New York State Police has, out of an abundance of caution, taken steps to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany,” New York State Police spokesman Beau Duffy said in a statement.
“These restrictions are in place until further notice,” he said.
On the same day as the U.S. Capitol riot, two people were stabbed outside the New York Capitol after a fight broke out between supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump, State Police said.
– Joseph Spector, Candy Woodall, Dustin Racioppi and Madeleine O’Neill, USA TODAY Network
NY Capitol protests: What we know about Sunday’s pro-Trump rally
The buildings and grounds of the North Carolina General Assembly will have boosted security over the next several weeks after the riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, several lawmakers said on Tuesday.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday he had mobilized 550 members of the North Carolina National Guard.
He said 200 are being sent to Washington to assist in security there. In North Carolina starting this weekend, 350 will “support state and local authorities and protect the well-being of residents, property, and the right to peacefully assemble and protest,” the governor’s announcement says.
– Paul Woolverton and Gareth McGrath, USA TODAY Network
The North Dakota Highway Patrol is in charge of safety at the state capitol and are taking security measures to prepare for the possibility of protests.
“We are working with various agencies to try to gather any intelligence, seeing if there’s actually any threat to the Capitol. We are going to plan for the worst case scenario,” said Sgt. Wade Kadrmas, safety and education officer with the NDHP to the Minot Daily News.
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Carrying a large “Liberty or Death” flag, assault weapons and other firearms, a group of more than 50 gathered just after 11 a.m. EST outside the Ohio Statehouse.
One man from New Mexico, calling himself a Boogaloo mascot, said of the weapons: “Best case scenario, they’re just paper weights. We don’t even pull them out of the holsters.”
Gov. Mike DeWine authorized deploying up to 580 National Guard members to potentially protect the Statehouse and other government buildings in Ohio in response to planned protests opposing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
DeWine signed an order Tuesday calling the Guard members to active duty from Thursday to Jan. 21 to assist law enforcement as needed.
– Dean Narciso, Columbus Dispatch; Jessie Balmert, The Cincinnati Enquirer
Ohio Statehouse protest live updates: Protesters gather outside State Capitol
Protest preparation: Ohio activates National Guard to respond to pre–inauguration protests
Following the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, legislative leaders have been in contact with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety about enhanced security at the state Capitol. A spokeswoman for the department said she could not reveal details about enhanced security measures, but said the agency is closely monitoring national and state activities.
“There is increased security at the building already and DPS is prepared for any scenario in partnership with other law enforcement entities,” said John Estus, spokesman for House Speaker Charles McCall. “Based on the briefing DPS provided, the Speaker believes the public and those who work in this building should be safe. There are no plans to close the building at this time.”
State legislators and state employees have been advised to steer clear of the state Capitol building this weekend after law enforcement officials warned local protests could be possible across the country.
“You have likely seen the news reports about the FBI bulletin and warnings that armed protests are possible at the U.S. Capitol and state capitols across the nation,” Oklahoma Senate Chief Operating Officer Arnella Karges wrote in an email. “Due to these warnings, federal, state and local law enforcement are preparing for such a possibility of protests at the Oklahoma state Capitol.”
– Carmen Forman, The Oklahoman
More from the Oklahoman: Oklahoma capitol security enhanced as FBI warns of armed protests
The Oregon National Guard has been authorized to help local and state police officials deal with potential protests at the Oregon State Capitol ahead of inauguration.
Oregon State Police Superintendent Terri Davie requested Gov. Kate Brown to activate the Oregon Army National Guard members to assist with “potential upcoming civil unrest/protests,” state police said in a release Wednesday.
State national guard members will be deployed “as necessary” to the Capitol and other places, though officials did not specify how many members will be deployed and where.
“With the Oregon National Guard supplementing OSP ranks, we will be ready to ensure peaceful events and handle emergency situations,” added Capt. Tim Fox, a spokesperson for Oregon State Police.
– Virginia Barreda, The Statesman Journal
More from the Statesman Journal: Oregon National Guard will be deployed ‘as necessary’ during upcoming protests
Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday activated about 450 National Guard members to augment the local and State Police response at the state Capitol.
Wolf on Thursday also ordered the Capitol closed to workers for two days this week.
It is already closed to the public because of COVID-19 restrictions, and it was to be closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Wolf said the Capitol will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday around the swearing-in of three statewide officials and Biden’s inauguration.
As of 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, only law enforcement and journalists were seen outside of the Pennsylvania Capitol.
– Nick Siano, York Daily Record
Live updates: Pro-Trump protesters expected to gather in Harrisburg
‘This is not our America’: Pa. lawmakers condemn mob attack at U.S. Capitol
Colonel James Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, released the following statement last week:
“At present, the Rhode Island State Police is not aware of any organized protests or credible threats to security at the Rhode Island State House or elsewhere in our state. However, due to the events taking place in our nation’s capital, additional security measures are being implemented to include an increased State Police presence statewide.”
Legislator threatend: Cicilline inundated with threatening messages for seeking Trump’s impeachment
Tommy Crosby, a spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division, confirmed that an FBI notification had been received.
Crosby said Monday evening during a brief interview that the information had come from the FBI to SLED during “normal communications, standard, established communications” between the state agency and federal one.
“SLED has received information from the FBI regarding potential armed protests in our nation’s capitals,” Crosby said. “We are and have been in constant communications with our federal, state and local partners about this information and are prepared to provide any necessary assistance as requested.”
– Nikie Mayo, Greenville News
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is taking additional security measures at the state Capitol ahead of a planned protest Sunday by a pro-Trump Christian group, lawmakers say.
But South Dakota lawmakers say they don’t have many concerns about violence breaking out in Pierre. The group planning the protest, Jericho March, has staged multiple protests at the state Capitol previously, including one Jan. 6 when rioters breached the U.S. Capitol, and there have been no incidents.
House Speaker Spencer Gosch said he received a briefing from law enforcement on Wednesday. He said he’s confident in the state’s security plan.
“There doesn’t seem to be an imminent threat,” Gosch said. “There have been protests since fall, and they’ve all been peaceful.”
– Jonathan Ellis, Sioux Falls Argus Leader
More from the Argus Leader: SD lawmakers confident, hopeful, that planned Capitol protest will be peaceful
Law enforcement is planning a heightened presence at the Tennessee Capitol in coming days due to the risk of armed protests leading up to inauguration.
State legislative leaders and law enforcement are aware of the planned events and are urging those participating to remain peaceful.
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake wrote in a letter to Metro council members that the department will be closely monitoring the protests planned in Nashville. He wrote “there is no indication of an imminent threat of violence or danger.”
The department is participating in ongoing discussions with state and federal law enforcement agencies about the rallies. Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers will be “very visible” at the Capitol in the coming days, Drake reported.
– Brinley Hineman, Natalie Allison and Yihyun Jeong of The Tennessean; The Associated Press
Some protesters gathered outside the Texas Capitol Sunday, most of them talking about gun rights.
“We’re here to have a peaceful rally and to not allow legislators to take gun rights away,” said Jeinay LeBlanc, of Bay City, who said she is with the Hibiscus Society.
“This is not about the election at all,” LeBlanc said.
About 50 state troopers — some with bullet-proof vests and rifles — could be seen guarding the Texas Capitol on Sunday morning as authorities continue on alert amid reports of possible violent protests this weekend.
The Texas Capitol was closed starting Saturday after the Texas Department of Public Safety announced its closure Friday. The department uncovered new intelligence that intensified safety concerns which prompted the agency to further tighten security.
The capitol will remain closed through Wednesday.
– Tony Plohetski and Katie Hall, Austin American-Statesman
Salt Lake City
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox declared a state of emergency Thursday ahead of expected protests at the state Capitol building.
Cox has asked the National Guard, Utah Highway Patrol and local police departments to stand by to intervene and protect the Capitol in case protests turn violent.
“We respect the right of Utah residents to peaceably assemble as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution,” Cox said in a statement. “But we draw the line at threats to physical safety or to the Utah Capitol building. No violence of any kind will be tolerated.”
One group secured a permit to protest at the Capitol on Sunday, according to state troopers. Authorities expect 500 to 1,500 people to attend.
– The Associated Press
The scene at the Vermont Statehouse was largely quiet Sunday.
While the gathering at the Statehouse was mostly comprised of law enforcement, a group of about 50 “anti-fascists” ate pancakes and waved to passers by at City Hall in Montpelier.
A Facebook event had called on people to converge at the Statehouse Sunday as a counter-protest to any group that might show up for an armed demonstration.
Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday urged Vermonters who are considering joining protests in the run-up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden not to be used as “pawns” by extremists who are trying to undermine democracy and overthrow the government.
Scott said he and the state’s law enforcement community are aware that extremists have called for armed protests in all 50 state capitals on Sunday and on Inauguration Day.
But he said they were not aware of any specific threats in Vermont.
Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling reiterated that officials knew of the general threat, but that the law enforcement community is unaware of any specific threat against Vermont.
– April Barton and Emilie Teresa Stigliani, Burlington Free Press; The Associated Press
Gov. Ralph Northam issued a State of Emergency after the U.S. Capitol riot and on Thursday warned that Virginia is ready for what protests may come.
“I need everyone to listen very closely,” Northam said to ABC7. “If you’re planning to come here or up to Washington with ill intent in your heart, you need to turn around right now and go home. You are not welcome here and you are not welcome in our nation’s capital.”
Northam announced earlier this week he was sending members of the Virginia National Guard and 200 State Troopers to help combat the situation going on at the U.S. Capitol.
He also tweeted on Monday there are 2,000 members of the Virginia National Guard protecting the Capitol and keeping the peace. He added that they would be there as long as there is a need.
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
U.S. Capitol protest: Virginia’s political figures respond to violent takeover of the Capitol
Gov. Jay Inslee activated 750 National Guard members to help maintain order.
The capitol building is currently closed because of the pandemic, but security fencing has been installed. National Guard members were present Monday as the state Legislature convened their 105-day legislative session.
The State Patrol, which oversees security of the Capitol campus, had said there will be a robust police presence to ensure the safety of lawmakers, staff and journalists.
Inslee confirmed on Tuesday night that the National Guard would continue to support security efforts at least through Inauguration Day.
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Safety Measures: Washington state Legislature convening under tight security
The West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and the Capitol Police are preparing for any protests that may occur.
“At this time, we are not aware of any credible threats in our region or to any of the governmental employees’ buildings or any of our state legislators,” said Thom Kirk, deputy secretary and general counsel of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, according to WCHS ABC 8 station.
Homeland Security spokesperson Lawrence Messina also provided a statement to the Wheeling News-Register.
“The West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and such component agencies as the West Virginia State Police, Capitol Police and Fusion Center maintain their vigilance in coordination with other state and federal partners,” the department said. “As always, they remain committed to their shared public safety mission.”
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Gov. Tony Evers on activated the Wisconsin National Guard to protect the state Capitol building on Monday. He also ordered the ground–floor windows to be boarded up.
“Once again, our state has asked our Citizen Soldiers in the Wisconsin National Guard to answer the call to keep our state, its citizens, and its institutions safe,” Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said in a statement.
Guard members will serve in a support role to local authorities and conduct a site security mission, according to the Evers administration.
The state Department of Justice is “monitoring” the situation, according to a spokeswoman for Attorney General Josh Kaul.
– Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Sgt. Jeremy Beck, public information officer for the Wyoming Highway Patrol told Wyotoday.com that the patrol is preapred for anything that may occur.
“The men and women of the Wyoming Highway Patrol will continue to ensure that men and women in the state capitol and the public will be safe,” Beck said in a telephone interview Tuesday with Wyotoday.com. “We are working hand-in-hand with local police for the capitol and state.”
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
This file will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.