Security increased around Michigan’s Capitol ahead of “armed protests”

FBI warning all 50 states of potentially violent protests starting Saturday
More security at the state Capitol
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:45 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan State Police is increasing security at the Michigan Capitol. On Tuesday, Michigan Capitol Commission Vice-Chair John Truscott confirmed that the Michigan Capitol will be installing a 6-foot fence.

The FBI is warning all 50 states “armed protests” are planned at state capitols ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.

Pictures shared first on Parler calls for people to “defend freedom” at marches in every capital city Sunday.

Wisconsin’s state capitol is boarded up and a fence was installed around Virginia’s Capitol.

Those measures weren’t taken around Michigan’s Capitol on Tuesday.

MSP wouldn’t comment on specific security details, only telling News 10 they are not all visible to the public.

There is an increased police presence in downtown Lansing this week as MSP troopers increase bike and foot patrols around all state buildings.

“There has been so much building and fomenting of hate and violence that has occurred over the last few months,” said Rep. Julie Brixie, (D) Meridian Township. “It’s disturbing.”

Rep. Brixie said she’s worried that hate could easily turn into violence in Lansing.

“The events that transpired here in April were a dress rehearsal for what happened at our nation’s capitol,” said Rep. Brixie.

“I’m not sure people were thinking that far ahead at that point, but it is certainly the same kind of action that’s been mimicked,” said Amy Cooter, Senior Lecturer of Psychology Vanderbilt University.

Cooter studies militia groups in Michigan.

She told News 10 right after the plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, she wouldn’t be surprised if there were more violent attacks.

Cooter stood by that prediction Tuesday, especially since the Michigan Capitol Commission banned open carry in the Capitol Monday.

“That’s exactly the kind of thing some of these groups will see as further incitement so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more armed folks show up in Michigan specifically,” said Cooter.

Rep. Brixie said she’s expecting a normal day when the new legislative term begins Wednesday.

However, that could change before next week.

“We’ve had our session canceled many, many times because of threats from these militia groups,” said Rep. Brixie.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and city council president Peter Spadafore asked Governor Whitmer to activate the National Guard to help keep the peace.

“We need to make sure we are prepared for whatever comes to town. We’re used this. We’re the seat of government. We host large scale protests, large scale rallies, large scale demonstrations on a regular basis. But when folks tell you they’re planning on violence, at least flirting with violence, we need to be prepared for that,” said Spadafore.

Governor Whitmer’s office told News 10 it is monitoring the situation closely and will make sure necessary security is in place.

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