The DC police chief says before the inauguration protests: « There are people who want to come into our city armed. «
The US capital has mobilized the National Guard ahead of planned protests by Donald Trump supporters in the run-up to the congressional vote confirming Joe Biden’s election victory.
Trump’s supporters are planning a rally Tuesday and Wednesday to support the president’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread electoral fraud.
DC police have posted signs throughout downtown indicating that it is illegal to carry firearms of any kind, and Acting Police Chief Robert Contee has asked residents to warn authorities about anyone who may be armed are. « There are people who want to come to our city armed, » said Contee on Monday.
It comes when Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the violent far-right group the Proud Boys, was arrested in DC and charged with property destruction – in connection with a previous pro-Trump protest – and a firearms crime.
Trump has repeatedly encouraged the protests this week and indicated that he could get involved personally. At the weekend he has a promotion for the rally with the message “I’ll be there. Historic day! ”
The rallies are due to coincide with the official congressional vote on Wednesday to confirm the electoral college’s votes in the November presidential election and declare Biden the winner.
A newly elected congresswoman raised the issue of firearms in the capital on Sunday and promised to carry her pistol in Congress. Republican Lauren Boebert of Rifle, Colorado was reminded by Contee that she would face « the same punishments as anyone caught with a gun on the streets of DC. ». .
When businesses in downtown DC boarded their windows, Mayor Muriel Bowser asked for a limited National Guard deployment to bolster the metropolitan police force. During a press conference on Monday, Bowser asked local residents to stay away from downtown DC and avoid confronting anyone “looking for a fight”. . However, she warned: “We will not allow people to instigate violence, intimidate our residents, or cause destruction in our city. ”
According to a U.S. Defense official, Bowser asked on New Year’s Eve to have guards on the streets Tuesday through Thursday to help with the protests. The official said the additional forces will be used for traffic control and other assistance, but they will not be armed or wear body armor.
About 340 members of the DC National Guard will be activated, with about 115 on the road at any given time, said the defense official, who provided details of the condition of anonymity for internal considerations to be discussed. The official said members of the guard are being used to set up traffic checkpoints in the city and to work with district police officers at all metro stations in the city. Contee said guards are also used for crowd management.
Since DC does not have a governor, the city’s National Guard Commander-designate is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Every D. . . Requests for guard duty must be approved by him.
The defense official said there will be no active military forces in the city and the military will not provide aircraft or intelligence services. The DC Guard provides specialized teams that are ready to respond to chemical or biological incidents. But the official said there would be no DC Guard members on the National Mall or the Capitol.
In previous pro-Trump protests, the police cordoned off the Black Lives Matter Plaza themselves, but the confrontations have only spread to the surrounding streets. Contee said Monday re-sealing the area was « a very real possibility, » but said the decision would depend on the circumstances. « We know that the BLM square has historically been a central point in the last demonstrations, » said Contee. “We want to make sure this is not a problem. ”
The National Park Service received three separate requests for pro-Trump protests on Tuesday or Wednesday, with an estimated maximum attendance of around 15. 000 people, said spokesman Mike Litterst. On Monday, a stage was put together for one of the protests on The Ellipse south of the White House.
The organizers plan to gather on Tuesday evenings and all day Wednesday, including a 1:00 p.m. march to the Capitol. Those expected to attend include senior Trump supporters such as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Republican strategist Roger Stone, a longtime Trump supporter whose three-year sentence was commuted by Trump. Stone was convicted of repeatedly lying to Congress during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
During the pro-Trump protests on Jan.. On December 31st, BLM banners were torn down and set on fire in at least two local black churches. Contee said the hate crime investigation related to these incidents is ongoing and his officials would be in place near churches to prevent similar incidents.
Donald Trump, Washington, Mayor of District of Columbia, DC, Muriel Bowser, protest, Joe Biden, United States National Guard
World News – AU – Trump protesters warned against to carry guns as Washington DC calls the National Guard
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