More states prepare for potential violent protests at Capitol buildings

U.S.

(NewsNation Now) — States across the country are increasing security measures ahead of Inauguration Day. Last week, supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol so state officials are implementing extra measures to avoid more violent protests.

In Arizona, the Department of Public Safety says it is monitoring developments both locally and nationally. Chain link fencing now surrounds Arizona’s Capitol building, which public safety officials say is out of an abundance of caution.

In nearby New Mexico, fencing is also up around the Capitol and authorities are monitoring social media and a possible credible threat in Sante Fe.

“We see a call to arms by groups wanting to protest and invade state capitals all through the country,” Brian Egolf, NM Speaker of the House said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday mobilized 1,000 members of the National Guard amid other security precautions over concerns of civil unrest.

The state also erected a temporary chain link fence around the state Capitol, bolstering other temporary and permanent barriers, and the California Highway Patrol has refused to issue permits for rallies that had been planned there.

“We will respond to any potential violent civil unrest leading up to or during the inaugural, if required,” Newsom said in a video message. “We’re treating this very seriously and deploying significant resources to protect public safety, critical infrastructure and First Amendment Rights, but let me be clear: there will be no tolerance for violence.”

Oregon, Washington, Ohio and Pennsylvania are among states that also have deployed the National Guard. 

In North Carolina, the Governor has activated 350 National Guard members to Respond to any potential violence in Raleigh.

“We want to make sure that we maintain a high level of vigilance, that we’re well partnered and that we’re well positioned to address any threat that comes our way,” Erik Hook, North Carolina Public Safety Secretary said.

Preparations have been underway all week in New York. Extra patrols are already making the rounds in Albany, New York.

Officials said barricades will be in place and more security measures are expected ahead of the inauguration.

“State Police are working on it. We’ll have increased security during that period of time,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Meantime, crews are fortifying the Capitol building in Richmond, Virginia. All lower windows and entrances are being boarded up.

Law enforcement is also at the ready in Georgia where lawmakers are genuinely concerned about potential violence.

“I think the choices that are being made now are the correct choices. But I think as threats evolve, I think we need to keep reevaluating the security,” Sen. Randy Robertson said.

NewsNation spoke to Tim McCarthy, Chief of the Orland Park Police Department in Illinois and a former Secret Service agent who protected President Ronald Reagan. Watch his interview in the player below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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