LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the National Guard Friday morning, and state workers started boarding up windows at the Capitol to prepare for the possibility of armed protests over the weekend.
Far-right extremists launched an assault on the nation’s Capitol last week that sent shockwaves through the country.
Now federal law enforcement agencies say far-right anti-election protests are expected to take place in capital cities across the country between now and Inauguration Day.
Lansing is taking those threats seriously.
The Michigan State Police announced they are working with both federal and local law enforcement to keep the Capitol and surrounding areas safe and secure.
Security enhancements to the state Capitol and surrounding areas “include both seen and unseen measures," said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police.
A fence has been installed around the Capitol.
“I hope this is a hyperbolic response," Lansing City Council President Peter Spadafore said earlier in the week, after asking Mayor Andy Schor to request assistance from the National Guard to help tamp down any violence. "But, if someone tells you they’re going to turn to violence you believe them.”
Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green says officers are prepared and encouraged people to stay home if they don't have a reason to be downtown.
Guard officials say protecting the capital won't get in the way of their work with the COVID-19 response.
The increased security will last through Wednesday's inauguration and on into February.
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