Arizona Law Enforcement Braces for Demonstrations Ahead of Inauguration Day

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

By Bree Burkitt

January 18, 2021

The FBI in Phoenix said in a statement that they have not received any “specific and substantiated” threats aimed at the State Capitol or other government buildings.

Arizona law enforcement agencies are preparing for whatever might come in the days leading to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.

The FBI warned that there are “armed protests” planned at all 50 state capitols and the US Capitol. A bulletin said that the nationwide protests could start this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The federal agency also advised police chiefs to be on “high alert” for extremist activity due to concerns that the Capitol siege will be a “significant driver of violence.” 

The FBI in Phoenix issued a statement Thursday saying that they have not received any “specific and substantiated” threats aimed at the State Capitol or other government buildings. 

Arizona already saw armed protesters at the Arizona Capitol on the same day as the US Capitol siege, and officials anticipate it will likely happen again. 

Senate President Karen Fan announced that the Arizona legislature would shut down on Friday and won’t reopen until Tuesday without any building access over the weekend due to concerns about protest activity. 

The State Capitol falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Safety. The agency installed fences at the complex in recent days to “protect property,” according to DPS spokesperson Bart Graves. 

“Security procedures were previously enhanced, not for one specific event, but to ensure the safety of the public,” Graves said.

Graves couldn’t provide any additional information but noted that DPS and other agencies are monitoring the situations both locally and nationally. 

The Arizona Department of Administration, who handles the scheduling of events on Capitol grounds, did not respond to The Copper Courier’s requests for information about anticipated demonstrations. 

A National Guard in Arizona spokesperson said there are no plans to deploy any troops at this time. 

Multiple other police departments told The Copper Courier that they were monitoring the situation closely, prepared for any civil unrest, and in regular communication with other departments.

“While we can’t predict potential acts of violence or unrest, we remain alert and will have resources readily available if needed,” Tempe police spokesperson Det. Natalie Barela said.

Continue Reading: Arizona’s Extreme Far-Right Has Been Brewing for Years and the Attempted Capitol Coup Shows It Can’t Be Ignored

Two layers of security fencing is shown encircling the Arizona Capitol Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Phoenix. With the FBI warning of potential violence at all state capitols Sunday, Jan. 17, the ornate halls of government and symbols of democracy looked more like heavily guarded U.S. embassies in war-torn countries. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


Local News

Related Stories
Share This