WASHINGTON — Online threats from the alt-right to take a stand Friday, ahead of this weekend’s ‘Justice for J6’ rally, will lead to more U.S. Capitol and Metropolitan police officers on duty around the Capitol complex tomorrow, according to officers from both departments and sources directly familiar with the matter.
The additional show of force comes as Washington remains on high alert, taking no chances before Saturday’s rally in support of Capitol riot defendants. U.S. Capitol Police shifts will be extended Friday, with Metropolitan Police supporting the force.
The Friday threat and mobilization have not been previously reported.
Crews quickly reconstructed the inner perimeter of 8-ft. high fencing around much of the Capitol Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, after the Capitol Police Board voted to return the security measure for the weekend rally.
Law enforcement expect approximately 700 people to attend the gathering starting at noon Saturday, with organizers from the alt-right demanding the release of jailed January 6 defendants. Matt Braynard, a former 2016 Trump campaign official, has called the defendants, “political prisoners,” and the insurrection a fiction contrived by the left.
WUSA9 first reported in August that Metropolitan Police will be fully activated Saturday, meaning, all days off are canceled, and all sworn members of the department will be working. The Capitol Police will also have an “all hands on deck” approach, Chief J. Thomas Manger confirmed to members of Congress earlier this week.
USCP contacted Maryland State Police asking for assistance ahead of the rally. MSP said they plan to provide troopers from the Special Operations Division / Mobile Field Force, who will assist with crowd control-related duties and remain on alert for any civil disturbances, according to a statement released by MSP Friday.
Braynard announced the September gathering on Steve Bannon’s podcast, issuing a clarion call for his followers to seek justice for Jan. 6 defendants.
“As we continue to raise the profile of these individuals, it makes it harder and harder for the left’s phony narrative about an insurrection to stick,” Braynard said on Bannon’s podcast released July 30. “What’s going to define [the rally] is where it’s going to take place: we’re going back to the Capitol.”
In a YouTube video, Braynard specifically asked rally attendees not to bring signs re-litigating the 2020 election, including visible markers of support for specific political candidates.