United States of America: Law enforcement and federal agencies nationwide are preparing for the United States Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being held on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021.
The inauguration will start at 10:30 a.m. ET outside the United States Capitol Building in Washington, District of Columbia, with the swearing-in of Joe Biden as United States President and Kamala Harris as United States Vice President reportedly at 12:00 p.m. ET.
*** Pictures: Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals, FOX 5 San Diego, NBC Palm Springs, and KTNV 13 Action News (Courtesy): ***
Following the storming of the United States Capitol building on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 by a mob of pro-Trump extremists that left five people dead and many people being arrested, and recent reports from the FBI – who have been monitoring and tracking potential threats on several online platforms ahead of Inauguration Day – warning officials of plans for armed protests in Washington, DC as well as at all 50 state capitals, security measures has been increased for the inauguration.
According to Michael Plati, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Secret Service, the inauguration is designated as a “national special security event,” which clears the way for communication, funding and preparation between multiple agencies in Washington D.C., like the Capitol Police, Pentagon, Homeland Security and District-area police.
In the last few days, Downtown Washington D.C. has been turned into an armed camp, the National Mall has been sealed off to the public, the Washington Monument has shut down and non-scalable fence has been put up around the entirety of the U.S. Capitol grounds; which the fence will be up through the end of January 2021.
In a statement on the National Guard troops protecting the Nation’s Capital, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said, “As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C. While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital. This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case, the scope of military participation is unique. The D.C. National Guard is also providing additional training to service members as they arrive in D.C. that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command. We appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their Nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the NCR.”
According to the U.S. Secret Service, prohibited items at the inauguration on Wednesday include: Glass, thermal, or metal containers; Laser pointers; Mace / Pepper spray; Packages; Recreational motorized mobility devices; Selfie Sticks; Signs exceeding the size restrictions (20’ x 3’ x 1/4”); Structures; Supports for signs and placards; Toy guns; Weapons of any kind; Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards; Aerosols; Ammunition; Animals other than service/guide animals; Backpacks and bags exceeding size restrictions (18” by 13” by 7”); Bicycles; Balloons; Coolers; Explosives; Firearms; Flammable liquids; and Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems.
The Federal Aviation Administration have recently declared a strict ‘No Drone Zone’ over Washington DC ahead of US president elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
*** Picture: U.S. Secret Service (Map Courtesy): ***
The U.S. Secret Service posted publicly a map of road and bridge closures for the inauguration, starting 6:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 19 through 6:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 21.
*** Pictures: DC Police Department (Courtesy): ***
According to the Metropolitan Police recently, multiple road closures for the inauguration include: Independence Ave. between Washington Ave. and Second St. SE; East Capitol St. between First and Second Streets; Constitution Ave. between First St. NW and Second St. NE; 18th St. at Constitution Ave. NW; 17th St. at Independence Ave. SW; 11th St. at Independence Ave. SW; 12th St. at Independence Ave. SW; 7th St. at Madison Dr. NW; and 7th St. at Jefferson Dr. SW, with more road closures expected.
Also, Interstate 66 and Interstate 395 bridges into D.C. are closed and traffic will be diverted, and bridges connecting D.C. to Virginia over the Potomac are expected to be also closed.
MARC Train has recently announced that they will suspend all service on the Penn, Camden, and Brunswick lines until Jan. 21 ahead of the inauguration.
United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest, Frontier, Spirit, Alaska Airlines and Delta have temporarily banning firearms ahead of inauguration on flights to Baltimore/Washington International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport; only law enforcement officials will be exempt from the ban.
The Federal Aviation Administration has enacted a safety order, effective immediately, that states any airline passengers who disrupts a flight with violence or intimidation will face up to a $35,000 fine and possible jail time.
“We have zero tolerance for threatening or violent behavior by passengers and will take the strongest possible enforcement action against any passenger who engages in it. Flying is the safest mode of transportation and I signed this order to keep it that way,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
Airbnb has also announced they will be canceling all reservations in the D.C. metro area during inauguration week.
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington D.C., has recently extended the initial public emergency order for a total of 15 days through Inauguration Day, which gives her the ability to call for a city-wide curfew at any time.
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen recently released a statement on the justice department’s effort to ensure the peaceful transition of power on Inauguration Day, saying “The Justice Department will have no tolerance for anyone who attempts to mar the day with violence or other criminal conduct. Anyone who does that will be caught, and they will be prosecuted.”
Security measures have also been increased at state capitals across America prepare for the potential of violent disruptions related to the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; here are a few places:
- In Sacramento, California:
*** Picture: NBC Bay Area (Courtesy): ***
The state Capitol remained on lockdown along with parts of downtown as authorities brace for the possibility of violence and protests. California Governor Gavin Newsom has recently mobilized 1,000 members of the National Guard. National Guard troops and trucks lining the streets under the State Capitol dome and armed guardsman protecting the State Capitol and other government buildings. The California Highway Patrol is also refusing to issue permits for rallies at the State Capitol.
- In Phoenix, Arizona:
*** Picture: FOX 10 Phoenix (Courtesy): ***
Double row of chain-link fencing have been put up circles the State Capitol. Arizona Department of Public Safety state troopers have been placed on alert, and are seen behind the fencing at the State Capitol.
- In Carson City, Nevada:
A handful of State Capitol Police were seen outside the Nevada Legislature, and several officers from Carson City Sheriff’s Office stood guard outside the Nevada Attorney General’s offices.
- In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
Extra security are in place at Independence Hall and other sites across Philadelphia and the entire tri-state area. All members of the Philadelphia Police Department are on notice to work through Thursday. The Office of Emergency Management in Philadelphia was activated on Saturday.
- In Atlanta, Georgia:
*** Picture: FOX 5 Atlanta (Courtesy): ***
State troopers and Georgia National Guard members on the steps of the State Capitol, and large dump trucks were in place to block off any streets leading to the State Capitol.
- In Austin, Texas:
*** Picture: FOX 7 Austin (Courtesy): ***
The State Capitol was closed starting Saturday after the Texas Department of Public Safety uncovered new intelligence that intensified safety concerns which prompted the agency to further tighten security. The State Capitol will remain closed through Wednesday.
- In Springfield, Illinois:
Windows at the State Capitol building were boarded up Friday as authorities prepare for potential protests ahead of the inauguration.
- In Chicago, Illinois:
Officials have announced security preparations, activating the city’s emergency operations center for the inauguration. Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management said the operations center will be activated Wednesday “in order to coordinate the city’s public safety response to the events surrounding the presidential inauguration, as needed.”
- In Las Vegas, Nevada:
*** Picture: KLAS 8 News Now (Courtesy): ***
The entrance to the Foley Federal Building was boarded up and gated off. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police is preparing for the worst case scenario leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. LVMPD said that they are speaking with federal law enforcement and police in Carson City on the latest developments or possible threats ahead of inauguration. The Nevada National Guard Adjutant General Major Ondra Berry said, “The governor has taken the safety of this state as the number one priority. We have been in contact with his office every single day. We have members who are prepared in the event that something would happen here.”
- In Columbus, Ohio:
Extra security is in place at Statehouse. Windows are boarded up and metal fencing is all around the statehouse. Governor Mike DeWine has authorized deploying up to 580 National Guard members to potentially protect the Statehouse and other government buildings in Ohio in response to planned protests opposing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Governor Mike DeWine signed the order Tuesday calling the Guard members to active duty until Thursday, Jan. 21 to assist law enforcement as needed.
- In Dover, Delaware:
State Capitol police in Delaware are working security around the clock. Legislative Hall is surrounded by a 6-foot-tall fence well police patrol vehicles are seen outside the Legislative Hall as well as some of the streets leading up to Legislative Hal. Governor John Carney has ordered to activate the National Guard to assist in the state and local areas; which the order is said to expire the day after the inauguration on Thursday.
- In Los Angeles, California:
*** Picture: FOX 11 Los Angeles (Courtesy): ***
City officials in Los Angeles are taking precautions ahead of President-elect Biden’s inauguration. On Friday, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez announced that she has canceled the city council meeting for Wednesday, and urged staff at Los Angeles City Hall to work remotely amid threats of violence surrounding Inauguration Day. In a statement, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez said, “After the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the subsequent reports that armed protests are planned at state capitols throughout the country, the FBI has urged police chiefs to be on high alert for threats on Wednesday. In light of this concerning information, I am urging all departments in City Hall whose staff work in these buildings that they work remotely on January 20 to ensure their safety and allow LAPD and other law enforcement to focus on safety concerns outside the buildings and throughout Los Angeles.” Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said, “We are going to ensure that the safety of our sites, the safety of our elected officials are secure. We will have added presence, highly visible presence, that will begin by the end of this week and early next week.” The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said, “This week our Nation will welcome a new president and his staff, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is poised and prepared to respond to any call for service – large or small.”
- In Riverside County, California:
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Chad Bianco said on Thursday that inauguration protests are expected in the county, but that the department will not tolerate violence or destruction. Speaking to the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Sheriff Bianco said protests are expected in Riverside County as Inauguration Day approaches, but he repeatedly assured Coachella Valley business owners that his department will maintain order.
- In San Bernardino County, California:
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, there are no known direct threats or planned demonstrations in San Bernardino County, but the county’s current threat level was higher because of the recent national events. Officials with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said that in additional to deputies are heightened alert as they patrol the county, they are prepared for civil unrest by mobilizing our Mobile Field Force units and placing them in strategic locations around the county.
- In Trenton, New Jersey:
Police are working with federal and state agencies, and the Statehouse was barricaded. Governor Phil Murphy said on Friday that officials are preparing for the worst, and warned armed protesters not to gather on the streets of Trenton. “If that’s their intention, they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. There will be no corner for them, and I would hope that they understand that,” said Governor Phil Murphy.
- In Boston, Massachusetts:
*** Picture: WBZ CBS Boston News (Courtesy): ***
Boston police have set up two row of barriers outside the main entrance to the statehouse, and the parking lot at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is packed with military trucks and police cruisers. Governor Charlie Baker activated 500 National Guard members to protect Massachusetts specifically through the inauguration. Lt. Col. Bryan Pillai, with the Massachusetts National Guard Police said that all of our military police officers are trained at federal law enforcement standards, and hold a military occupational specialty in law enforcement.
- In Lower Manhattan, New York:
City Hall in Lower Manhattan, as well as other government buildings in NYC, will see additional security. The NYPD has send 200 officers to the State Capitol for Inauguration Day. NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said, “I think you will see additional police resources around city hall between the 17th and the 20th, not because we have specific intelligence or any information that there will be activity there, but out of an abundance of caution, because during this time it is prudent to protect government installations and sensitive locations.” Also, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said that more than 100 NYPD detectives in the NYPD-FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force are running down leads “until we have identified everybody we can in the New York area who took part in illegal activities on Jan. 6 in Washington.”
- In Albany, New York:
*** Picture: NEWS10 ABC and News 4 Buffalo (Courtesy): ***
New York State Police have increased security at the New York State Capitol amid reports of possible protests across the nation leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
- In Olympia, Washington: the campus of the State Capitol is heavily guarded and will remain so through at least the Inauguration Day. There are 600 Washington National Guard troops protecting the State Capitol are armed with shields and batons. The Washington Military Department said a second unit of guardsmen with weapons will be held in reserve in case they are needed.
Stay tuned to ZachNews for any breaking news as well as for the latest information regarding the inauguration of Joe Biden as United States President and Kamala Harris as United States Vice President.