LANSING, Mich. — Lansing Mayor Andy Schor asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to have the National Guard on standby as capital cities across the nation prepare for protests from this weekend through Inaugration Day.
Law enforcement officials have reported plans for protests in Washington, D.C. and all fifty state capitals.
CNN Law Enforcement Analyst James Gagliani says law enforcement agencies are actively seeking out threats ahead of big demonstrations.
“They’re obviously looking through some of these open-source things. They’re looking through some of these chatrooms and some of these places where extremists tend to coalesce in the dark corners of the web,” Galiani explained.
Lansing City Council President Peter Spadafore called on Schor to request the National Guard, saying the city should prepare for the worst.
“We’re the state capital. We’re used to holding large-scale demonstrations and protests but, when someone tells you they’ll turn to violence, you take them seriously,” Spadafore said.
In a written statement, Schor said, “I am a firm believer in the First Amendment right to protest at our state Capitol but let me be clear: this does not mean that anyone has a right to incite violence or destruction in Lansing's downtown.”
Spadafore remains hopeful the protests will carry on peacefully.
“I hope that this ends up being a hyperbolic response, but we need to be prepared so that we wake up the next day relieved instead of disappointed,” Spadafore said.
Schor is assuring Lansing residents that the Lansing Police Department is working with the Michigan State Police and other police agencies to ensure the safety and security of downtown residents through the weekend.
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