Security measures are being strengthened in and around Michigan’s capitol in Lansing following the FBI’s warning of “armed protests” at state capitals.
“We're hoping for the best. We’re hoping for a peaceful protest. We believe in First Amendment rights, but we’re preparing for the worst,” Lansing Mayor Andy Schor told CNN.
A fence has been erected around the capitol and lawmakers will not be inside the building starting Monday through Thursday. The state's Capitol Commission banned the open carry of firearms inside the building starting Monday.
These are all “precautionary measures,” Schor said.
“Downtown is a vibrant neighborhood and residents and businesses there should feel confident knowing that the Lansing Police Department is working closely with the Michigan State Police, Ingham County Sheriff’s Department and other police agencies to ensure these planned events remain peaceful,” Andy Schor said in a statement Saturday. “I am asking residents and those who live in the Lansing area to stay out of the downtown area and to not engage with demonstrators who come to our city with ill intentions."
Schor also asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to activate the Michigan National Guard to provide additional security around the state capitol on Sunday and on inauguration day.
Some background: Whitmer was the target in an alleged domestic terror plot by members of right-wing militia groups last year.
In May, protesters — some of whom were armed — entered inside the building to demand an end to the state's state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.