(The Center Square) – After a protest turned violent at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday and reports forecasting protests at all 50 capitols this weekend, the Michigan State Police is securing the Capitol.
The building was closed to the public Wednesday morning.
Michigan Capitol Commission member John Truscott told The Center Square he’s following ths MSP’s advice to enact a six-foot fence in front of the building.
There’s a construction fence behind the building.
“This is similar to what was done in the mid '90s when there was there were KKK and … a Nazi rally as well - there were only a few of them, but hundreds showed up in opposition,” Truscott wrote in an email. “It got pretty violent.”
MSP spokesperson Shanon Banner said they’re aware of the upcoming marches on state capitols.
“We are in communication with federal officials and other states to share information, and we are working cooperatively with local law enforcement agencies to develop plans to respond to any incidents either at the Capitol or in the downtown area,” Banner wrote in an email.
“We continually monitor for security threats and maintain situational awareness of what is happening in Michigan and across the country. Our security planning is fluid and adjustments are made as needed, from day-to-day.”
Banner said the MSP wouldn’t disclose all security measures taken so that any possible agitators won’t have an advantage. Still, the MSP has increased presence at the Capitol and enacted both seen and unseen security enhancements that will remain for at least the next couple of weeks.
On Tuesday, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and Lansing City Council President Peter Spadafore requested Whitmer activate the National Guard for possible protests this weekend.
House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, said that any threats of violence and against elected officials are “despicable.”
“There’s a difference between people who peacefully protest and those who attempt to take over a Capitol building,” Wentworth said.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said any possible threats “will not be taken lightly.”
The MSP, Michigan National Guard, Ingham County Sheriff Department, and Lansing Police Department are coordinating to protect city residents and the Capitol.
“It’s not to say there is an impending threat, but simply that we’re prepared to respond to one accordingly,” Whitmer said Wednesday.