Law enforcement officials in Washington, DC, will be in force for Saturday’s “Justice for J6” rally outside the Capitol, fearing some attendees will come armed, according to a senior city official.
âAs we browse social media, some of the disparate sites are calling for people to come armed,â DC Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Chris Geldart told a local NBC affiliate on Tuesday.
“We have already seen this at a lot of our other events,” he added. “So that reminds people who come into the district what our laws are here and that, you know, you can’t carry a gun here.”
Geldart said that while the mayor has yet to seek help from the National Guard, the United States Capitol Police could call them if necessary, according to the NBC report.
âIt will be a busy weekend in the city. MPD is on the bridge, so everyone will be in,â Geldart told NBC, referring to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Capitol Police have issued an emergency declaration that will allow the force to replace outside law enforcement as âspecialâ Capitol Police officers during the protest.
The Metropolitan Police Department also said it was monitoring and evaluating event planning and would be more present around Washington and would be ready to close the streets if necessary.
The rally is hosted by Look Ahead America, a non-profit organization led by Matt Braynard, the former director of data and strategy for the Trump campaign. Despite ties to Trump, Braynard on Tuesday asked attendees not to wear clothing in support of the former president or President BidenJoe BidenNewsom Easily Pushes Recall Efforts in California Second Senior Official Leaving DHS in One Week Top Republican: General Told Senators He Opposes Withdrawal From Afghanistan MORE.
The organization has scheduled several rallies across the country in the coming weeks to support those jailed in connection with the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6.
Earlier this week, officials approved a plan to erect a temporary fence around the Capitol for added security at this weekend’s rally, according to a press release from Capitol Police.
Lawmakers and their staff were urged to stay away from the Capitol during the protest.
The Hill contacted Geldart’s office for further information.