Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated the Michigan National Guard to help with security around the State Capitol in Lansing. This is part of a wave of concern across the country following the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol and prior to the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Armed protests have been called in all 50 states, but it remains unclear how many of them come about and whether they are at risk of violence.
Of particular concern are Michigan, where gunmen streamed into the state capitol last year in protest of the state’s coronavirus restrictions and 13 men were arrested in October on terrorism, conspiracy and gun charges. At least six of them, officials said, had devised a detailed plan to kidnap Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat who has become a focus of anti-government views and anger over coronavirus control measures.
California Governor Gavin Newsom approved the use of on Thursday 1,000 National Guard troops and surrounded the State Capitol in Sacramento with a six-foot-high, covered chain link fence to “prepare and respond to credible threats.”
In Lansing, a six-foot fence is being erected around the state capitol and windows of state office buildings that are boarded to protect themselves from potentially violent protests expected on Sunday and Wednesday.
The state legislature, which just had its first session of the year and should meet several times next week, canceled these sessions out of caution.
The increased law enforcement presence will last at least until mid-February, said Michigan State Police director Col. Joe Gasper. He declined to reveal how many other police and National Guard members would protect against violence.
“The security improvements we have made are both visible and invisible, such as the increase in uniformed personnel and a perimeter fence being installed around the Capitol today. These are things that we do not want to discuss or disclose because of these efforts are undercover, ”he told reporters on Friday.
Tim Waters, Special Agent for the F.B.I. The Detroit office said the agency had opened “numerous” investigations into Michigan residents who were implicated in the riots in the US Capitol last week, and picked up both gossip and numerous tips about protests that were planned as a result .
Ms. Whitmer said Friday the state would send hundreds of Michigan National Guard members to help with Washington DC security.
“Ensuring a peaceful transition of the president’s power is essential to our democracy,” she said in a statement.