State Capitols Step Up Security Amid New Safety Concerns
UNDATED (AP) -- State capitols across the country are under heightened security after the siege of the U.S. Capitol last week.
The FBI has warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
Minnesota’s public safety chief says he’s taken steps to ensure that the state Capitol is safe, despite recent and planned protests there by supporters of President Donald Trump. But Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington is urging legislators to consider their rhetoric, saying the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol proves that words matter.
Harrington wrote to legislators after a peaceful “Storm the Capitol” protest by about 500 people, including at least three Republican lawmakers, on Wednesday.
Rally organizers have announced a “Stop the Steal” event at the state Capitol Saturday, with plans for protests outside the homes of unspecified public officials afterward.
State capitols were reinforced with extra police officers and National Guard units Monday as some legislatures returned to business. Fencing had already gone up around some capitols during racial injustice protests last summer, and it is being added at others.
In Michigan, where armed demonstrators against coronavirus restrictions entered the capitol last year, a state commission voted to bar the open carrying of weapons in the Capitol building.