Capitol Police ramp up security ahead of protests planned on two-year anniversary of January 6 insurrection


The US Capitol Police is ramping up its security posture and monitoring online chatter about planned protests set to occur on Friday’s two-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Multiple sources tell CNN that USCP will have civil disturbance units on standby for several protests on the Capitol grounds that have permits and at the Supreme Court building.

Additionally, USCP is coordinating with law enforcement agencies in surrounding jurisdictions, including police departments from Maryland’s Montgomery County and Fairfax County in Virginia. Washington, DC, police will have civil disturbance units available on Friday as well.

USCP’s intelligence unit is monitoring protests on Capitol grounds planned by groups across the political spectrum, according to an internal document circulated December 27 and reviewed by CNN, including some who contend that rioters have been unjustly prosecuted and others who warn that American democracy was in peril the day of the riot.

The internal Capitol Police document suggested events at the Supreme Court and the Capitol grounds could draw hundreds of protesters throughout the day.

The Capitol Police unit also is monitoring for protesters to gather in front of the Supreme Court related to a longshot petition alleging the 2020 election was fraudulent. The case has been dismissed by lower courts for various reasons, including a lack of jurisdiction.

The US solicitor general declined to respond to the case, signaling a belief that it will not be seriously considered by the justices. The fact that the justices are considering the case on January 6 is only due to the timing of the DOJ’s decision last year to waive its response on November 23, automatically putting it on the list for this Friday.

The stepped-up posture comes out of an abundance of caution, sources tell CNN, and reflects what has become standard protocol for USCP in the wake of the deadly riot two years ago.

Over the past two years, USCP has overhauled its approach and drafted a common framework for First Amendment activity that could potentially turn volatile. Strategies the department now uses regularly include better coordination with partner agencies throughout the DC area, as well as standard tactical and medical operational planning.

USCP spokesman Tim Barber told CNN in a statement that the operational planning for Friday is based on intelligence.

“We now have tabletop exercises for command staff, we host inter-agency planning meetings, we have a defined incident command structure,” Barber said.


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