Federal officials warned 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.”
On Sunday, law enforcement members and journalists outnumbered the few people who showed up at state capitols across the nation.
A few states like Michigan and Ohio had large groups show up, some wearing attire or affiliating themselves with the boogaloo movement. Other than that it was a peaceful Sunday for most.
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.
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
The nation’s capitol was quiet Sunday amid unprecedented security measures as Americans braced for possible violence ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
More reporters and law enforcement members were present than protesters. Barricades blocked any path toward the Capitol several blocks in front of the grounds.
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.
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.
– Jay Cannon and Ryan Miller, USA TODAY
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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 ramped up security ahead of potential protests at the state’s Capitol building in Juneau, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Organizers of one potential protest might have been confused, the Daily News reported. Instead of planning a protest at Juneau’s Dimond Courthouse, across the street from the Capitol, organizers planned a protest at the Dimond Center mall in Anchorage, the outlet reported.
Both the FBI’s Anchorage field office and the Department of Public Safety told the Daily News they’d received no specific threats. Still, the general manager of the Dimond Center told the Daily News he was prepared for a Sunday event – and hopeful nothing would happen.
– Jordan Culver, USA TODAY
In Phoenix, where the copper-domed state capitol and its majestic winged victory were fenced off and streets were barricaded, the 10 or so protesters who filtered in and out throughout the afternoon were far outnumbered by the media.
Two men who identified themselves as the hosts of the rally complained that the FBI warnings had kept people away from the rally, which they said had been planned since November.
“The FBI and, you know, everybody else made this to be some big huge thing like we’re terrorists or something like that for wanting to bring our communities together,” said one of the men, who identified himself as Brandon Jackson. Both men said they were members of the Boogaloo Bois.
“We are mostly a group of libertarians, we’re not right or left, we’re not Trump supporters, we’re not Biden supporters,” one of them said. “We’re just your average American people that are kind of fed up and tired of things and want to come out and talk to the community, bring them together.”
Arizona Department of Public Safety state troopers were among those who’d been placed on alert and could be seen behind the fencing at the Capitol, but DPS spokesperson Bart Graves said no incidents had been reported.
– John D’Anna and Chelsea Curtis, Arizona Republic
More from the AZCentral: Security boosted at Arizona Capitol as threats keep lawmakers, staffers on edge
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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.”
– 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 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 last week as some two dozen California Highway Patrol officers and vehicles stood guard just behind him in the west steps of the building.
The state Capitol remained 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 Gov. Gavin 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 into Sunday afternoon, the area surrounding the Colorado Capitol building and Denver’s Civic Center Park remained calm.
Chain-link fence panels encircled the building. 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.
While a handful of demonstrators were present in Colorado, few appeared to be there expressly to support President Donald Trump. Some present carried signs decrying the deadly riot that happened at the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying election results for Biden on Jan. 6. Most left the area just before 3 p.m.
– 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.
– 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 a 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
Two armed protesters arrived shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and confronted Georgia State troopers and Georgia National Guard members on the steps of the Capitol in Atlanta.
The protesters remained peaceful and simply expressed their disgust with the law enforcement presence. They said they were from the Constitutional Brigade group.
Black Lives Matter protesters also arrived and expressed their displeasure with law enforcement, especially with the way officers responded to the riot in Washington.
Members of the Divine Deliverance Life Center church in Atlanta prayed for the law enforcement officers.
All three groups left the area by 3 p.m. and the roads around the Capitol began to reopen shortly after.
Earlier in the day, the military, public safety officials and journalists were the only ones in sight.
– 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
The scene at Hawaii’s Capitol in Honolulu remained peaceful, according to Hawaii News Now. The outlet reported no major gatherings and added, “It seemed police officers were the only people outside the state building Sunday.”
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.
– Jay Cannon and Jordan Culver, 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, fortified by members of the Illinois National Guard called up by Gov. JB Pritzker, remained at the Illinois Capitol on Sunday.
Barricades closing off streets around the Capitol went up about 8 a.m. Sunday.
Springfield Police Deputy Chief Joshua Stuenkel said the barricades were put up “out of an abundance of caution for possible events.”
Illinois State Police spokeswoman Mindy Carroll said ISP wanted to have “all available resources” in case of any incidents at the Capitol or any other State of Illinois buildings. “It’s always better to prepared than not be prepared.”
– Steven Spearie, (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register
More from the State Journal-Register: Law enforcement agencies ‘fully aware’ of possible action at Illinois Capitol
Downtown Indianapolis streets remained quiet Sunday.
Just after 2 p.m., there were no signs of protesters at the Indiana Statehouse, Monument Circle or other downtown locations that typically play host to such demonstrations.
Outside the Statehouse, members of the media outnumbered the dog walkers, joggers and other Hoosiers out for a stroll along North Capitol Avenue.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers, who have been coordinating with federal authorities in the lead-up to Wednesday’s inauguration, made their presence felt Sunday. Marked and unmarked patrol cars, often in pairs, cruised through Monument Circle and parked at key points near the city’s major gathering points. Many windows on the Circle also were boarded, an increasingly common sight in Indianapolis.
Chris Bavender, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Indianapolis office, said Sunday morning there were no substantiated threats of violence but “all agencies continue to monitor the situation.”
– Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star
Indiana statehouse: After fears of unrest, Indianapolis remains quiet Sunday
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.
All was bright and quiet after a morning snowfall Sunday at the Iowa Capitol, despite concerns that armed protesters could gather there.
Around noon Sunday, there were no protesters at the Iowa Capitol complex on the east side of Des Moines. Several reporters and photographers were there and a handful of joggers ran outside of the building.
– Phillip Joens, Des Moines Register
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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, the Statehoused closed down visitor access to the parking garage, allowed keycard access only through the visitor entrance and required those with keycard access to show badges through Friday.
– 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 were no mass demonstrations 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 were 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.
– 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
Protesters were expected to gather at Louisiana’s capitol building Sunday to show their support for President Donald Trump ahead of president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. But by mid-afternoon, the day had been largely uneventful.
Fewer than 10 people came to the state capitol to make their views known.
An enhanced police presence was around the capitol. Officers with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety were posted near the front steps of the building.
Three men in Hawaiian shirts and military vests arrived at the Louisiana Capitol Building with guns around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. One who called himself Mr. Galaxy, and said he was from the Shreveport area, said they were not affiliated with any specific organization but rather “likeminded people who believe in the same things.”
About 12:30 p.m., 30 minutes after a protest at the Louisiana State Capitol had been said to begin, only one man had arrived at the Capitol steps in downtown Baton Rouge.
– Ashley White, Leigh Guidry and Victoria Dodge, Lafayette Daily Advertiser
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.
– Paula Ramirez and Madeleine O’Neill, Salisbury Daily Times
As a precaution, several streets in Beacon Hill in Boston around the Statehouse were closed off and barricaded by workers, state troopers and Boston police officers Sunday.
Dozens of police officers surrounded the Capitol in an area mostly closed to the public.
The State Police said the Statehouse “is protected by a rigorous, multi-layered security operation” that includes their own troopers, Department of Conservation and Recreation Rangers and building security.
As of about 11:30 a.m. Sunday there appeared to be no protesters of any kind around the State House.
– Joe Difazio, The Patriot Ledger
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 were armed with long guns, which can be openly carried on the Capitol grounds.
Some protesters wore attire that referenced 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 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
About noon Sunday, there was a heavy police presence at the state Capitol in St. Paul, but demonstrators were few and outnumbered by members of the press.
Between 75-100 state patrol troopers were stationed outside the front of the building and dozens more were covering the perimeter of the Capitol. Less than 10 demonstrators were seen outside the building.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard on Wednesday to assist state and local law enforcement in St. Paul.
A fence has been in place around the Minnesota State Capitol since last summer, and state patrol has increased its presence.
– Sarah Kocher, Dave Schwarz and Anna Haecherl, St. Cloud Times
Minnesota capitol protests: What we know with live updates Sunday
More from the St. Cloud Times: FBI warns of credible threats by Boogaloo Bois at Minnesota state Capitol on Sunday
Security was high Sunday as Capitol Police, Mississippi Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies prepared for a protest that never happened.
FBI officials had warned of possible armed protests at state capitols across the country in advance of President-elect Joe Biden’s Wednesday inauguration.
In Jackson, it was relatively quiet around the Mississippi State Capitol, like many other capitols across the country, save for law enforcement and a handful of journalists and passersby.
– Justin Vicory and Lici Beveridge, The Mississippi Clarion Ledger
More from the Clarion Ledger: Officials increase security at Mississippi Capitol amid armed protest warnings
At about 11 a.m. local time, the only people on the South Lawn of the Capitol in Jefferson City were residents snapping photos of themselves in front of the landmark building and news photographers talking shop.
The peaceful scene continued into the lunch hour as some light precipitation began to fall.
Missouri Highway Patrol and Capitol Police SUVs made regular laps around the Capitol complex and at one point officers brought out a dog to make a sweep.
– Austin Huguelet, Springfield News-Leader
KXLH-TV in Helena reported things were quiet Sunday around the state Capitol. The TV station reported an increased law enforcement presence, but no protesters.
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.
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Extra Nebraska State Patrol troopers were on hand to help with potential protests at the state’s Capitol in Lincoln, however just two people showed up, according to KOLN-TV. One was carrying a rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest, the other carried a sign supporting President Donald Trump.
Nebraska took extra 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.
– Jordan Culver, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Despite law enforcement concerns of potentially violent protests at state capitols across the nation, Nevada’s grounds were remarkably quiet on Sunday.
With spring-like picnic weather, the only people gathered at or near the Capitol were a group of news reporters and a lone protester with a handwritten “Trump lost! Be adults. Go home,” sign.
A handful of Capitol Police were seen outside the Nevada Legislature. Several officers from Carson City Sheriff’s Office stood guard outside the Nevada Attorney General’s offices as well.
“It’s been nice and quiet, there really hasn’t been a demonstration to speak of,” said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.
He noted that the office will continue to staff the area appropriately throughout the week as the presidential inauguration nears.
– Terell Wilkins, Jenny Kane and Kristin Oh, The Reno Gazette Journal
Protest? What protest? Nevada Capitol quiet on Sunday despite law enforcement concerns
A small group of armed people showed up to Concord, WMUR-TV reported. Five men carrying rifles and handguns protested in front of the State House amid an increased law enforcement presence, the TV station reported.
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.”
– Jordan Culver and 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.”
– Asbury Park Press
NJ capitol protests: What we know about Sunday’s pro-Trump rally in Trenton
State police, Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies and National Guard troops were prepared for political demonstrations to begin around noon outside the New Mexico State Capitol on Sunday, but not so much as a MAGA hat or Trump flag were in sight.
The Capitol building, known as the Roundhouse, has been encircled with chain link fencing for a week, and Jersey barriers and police vehicles stopped vehicle traffic, although pedestrians were still permitted to walk through.
Hundreds of protesters appeared at the Capitol, some on horseback, on Jan. 13 as the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for a second time, charging him with inciting an insurrection on the day rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
– Algernon D’Ammassa and Bethany Freudenthal, Las Cruces Sun-News
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.
– 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
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from various agencies gathered in downtown Raleigh ahead of possible protests, but things remained quiet, WRAL-TV reported.
A few protesters showed up and were peaceful, according to WRAL.
“It’s better to be prepared than not,” said Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker told the television station.
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.
– 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.
He said Jan. 13 that “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.”
And even though state legislators and state employees have been advised to steer clear of the state Capitol building this weekend, the State House was largely quiet.
There was a small prayer gathering in the parking lot, and cars passed by to see what was happening, reported The Duncan Banner.
– Carmen Forman, The Oklahoman
More from the Oklahoman: Oklahoma capitol security enhanced as FBI warns of armed protests
The Oregon National Guard had been authorized to help local and state police officials deal with potential protests at the Oregon State Capitol ahead of inauguration.
But by the early afternoon Sunday, only a small group of protesters gathered at the Oregon State Capitol.
They identified themselves as the “Liberty Boys” or part of the “Liberty movement” but none would give their names. The group of about 15 walked back and forth in front of the building for a while — several carried guns, one carried an American flag.
A few group members interviewed by the Statesman Journal said they were there to defend their rights, including the First and Second amendments. One said they were not there to support either political party.
Law enforcement officials kept an eye on the small gathering from afar, with the occasional Salem police cruiser circling the Capitol grounds. But a few hours later, the Capitol grounds were empty.
– Virginia Barreda and Connor Radnovich, Salem 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 was 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
As a second group of Rhode Island National Guard personnel traveled to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, a contingent of troops patrolled the area of the Capitol State House and the streets surrounding it, supporting a defense force that grew noticeably through the weekend.
The increased presence of state troopers and Guard troops at the State House came in response to recent warnings about the potential for violence at all state capitol buildings on Sunday, officials said, emphasizing that they were not aware of any credible threats regarding the Rhode Island State House.
“That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t just discount it,” said the commander of the Rhode Island State Police, Col. James M. Manni.
“We take every threat seriously,” he said.
– Mark Reynolds, Providence State Journal
Legislator threatend: Cicilline inundated with threatening messages for seeking Trump’s impeachment
About 30 people gathered on the grounds of the South Carolina for what organizers called a free speech rally Sunday afternoon.
As many as 40 people listened to the people who took turns behind the bullhorn on the grounds of the Statehouse. They listened quietly and huddled near fencing blocking the steps to the Capitol. On the other side of the barrier, law enforcement watched from the steps of the capitol behind a fence barrier.
The speakers who hailed from Georgia, Minnesota, and Texas addressed a wide range of issues in about 90 minutes, from the need to support veterans to concerns over social media bans to denouncing the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Statehouse is closed to the public through Wednesday’s presidential inauguration “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a statement from the South Carolina Public Safety Department.
– Carol Motsinger, Greenville News
South Dakota lawmakers say they don’t have many concerns about violence breaking out in Pierre.
And Sunday, no violence occurred in the State Capitol. A group of 20 marchers from the Jericho March, which has staged multiple protests at the state Capitol previously and had filed a permit for their protest today, marched around the statehouse with American flags, reported local news The Dickinson Press.
Members of the nationwide organization were in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 5 and 6 taking part in a march to support President Donald Trump before the storming of the U.S. Capitol building. They released a statement on their website condemning the violence that followed, saying their mission is about “peace and prayer.”
The South Dakota chapter of the organization has met at the state Capitol every Sunday since the start of December, according to Bureau of Administration spokesperson Leah Svendsen.
– Stephen Perez, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY Network
More from the Argus Leader: SD lawmakers confident, hopeful, that planned Capitol protest will be peaceful
Law enforcement braced for the possibility of armed protests at the Tennessee Capitol on Sunday. Due to the risk of armed protests leading up to inauguration, they have planned a heightened presence at the Tennessee Capitol in coming days due to the risk of armed protests leading up to inauguration.
But Sunday, no crowd assembled outside the state Capitol. Troopers remained in position on the top of the Capitol steps well into the afternoon. Barricades are still up, too.
Passersby were enjoying the nearby Legislative Plaza. Children played a game of tag as other people walked through the area.
In the morning, only two older protesters showed up, who sat quietly for about 20 minutes and then left. Another man walked through the plaza, heckling a television camera crew as “fake news” before going on his way.
– Brinley Hineman, Natalie Allison, Yihyun Jeong, Natalie Neysa Alund, and Holly Meyer of The Tennessean; The Associated Press
Some protesters gathered outside the Texas Capitol on 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 continued on alert amid reports of possible violent protests this weekend.
The Texas Capitol was closed starting Saturday after the Texas Department of Public Safety 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. Authorities expected 500 to 1,500 people to attend
Yet, by Sunday afternoon, it became clear that those crowds wouldn’t materialize. Though there was some Boogaloo presence as well as other armed protesters only identified as the “Bois of Liberty,” their numbers were small. Only about 15 anti-government protesters materialized from both groups, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Boogaloo event organizer Tyson Reese told the Tribune that the event would remain peaceful and was meant to be a “morale booster” for citizens upset with their government. The “Bois of Liberty” said that their ranks would also remain peaceful.
Still, Cox 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.
– Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY Network
The scene at the Vermont Statehouse was largely quiet Sunday.
The only people visibly armed at the Statehouse in Montpelier were law enforcement, in what was ultimately a non-event at Vermont’s capital.
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 on Sunday as a counter-protest to any group that might show up for an armed demonstration.
– April Barton and Emilie Teresa Stigliani, Burlington Free Press;
Did an armed marchers show up in Vermont on Jan. 17? No, but protesters with pancakes did.
About midday Sunday in Richmond, the streets were quiet and the roads were closed surrounding the Virginia State Capitol and the Robert E. Lee monument.
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 last 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.
– Laura Peters, Staunton News Leader; Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Virginia Capitol protest: Everything quiet in Richmond on Sunday
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 at the Capitol. But only a small group of protesters showed up on the grounds Sunday.
Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans.
“I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said.
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.
– Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network; The Associated Press
Safety Measures: Washington state Legislature convening under tight security
Though the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and the Capitol Police prepared for any protests that may occur in the State Capitol, security officials told local news outlets that there was no threat to the capitol.
“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.”
– Elinor Aspegren and Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
Armored vehicles, barriers to stop unwanted vehicles, and National Guard troops in full riot gear stood at the entrances to the Wisconsin State Capitol on Sunday to protect the statehouse against anyone planning to attack it in opposition to the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
As of 11:30 a.m., joggers and dog walkers accounted for most of the activity around the statehouse. There were no signs of a protest assembling.
Police guided a bomb-sniffing dog around the Capitol square, leading it to each garbage can and doorway across the street from the building. Law enforcement from Madison and Dane County, Milwaukee, and the state were on the Capitol’s grounds in addition to National Guard troops.
Police parked armored Humvees at each Capitol entrance and borrowed barricades from the University of Wisconsin-Madison that can quickly be stood up to stop vehicles from approaching the building.
– Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
There were no protesters at the Capitol building, though state troopers kept watch from balconies just in case, reported the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
Sgt. Jeremy Beck, public information officer for the Wyoming Highway Patrol told Wyotoday.com that the patrol was prepared 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.”
– Elinor Aspegren and Chastity Laskey, USA TODAY Network
This file will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.