Capitol security tight ahead of potential protests

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 4:48 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCJB) - The US Attorney, the Florida Department of Law enforcement, Capitol Police and local officials are all on alert for potentially armed and violent protests beginning Sunday and lasting through Inauguration Day at the State Capitol.

Legislative staff are are being told to work remotely if they must work on Sunday.

Flyers circulating the internet promise fifty state capitol protests beginning Sunday.

On Monday, state Senators spent an hour behind closed doors for a classified security briefing.

“And our Senate President was dead serious when he said they would keep us safe, and I felt very good walking out of that security briefing,” said State Senator Janet Cruz.

State Senator Linda Stewart said the security briefing included tips for when Senators were not in the Capitol as well.

“There’s a bunch of crazy people out there. We can’t tell what they are doing. I’ve already gotten several flyers that are promoting violence, and we must always be on our toes and be alert,” said Stewart.

The FBI sent an alert putting all 50 state Capitols on alert.

Lawrence Keefe, US Attorney for Northern Florida, said plans are in place to keep the peace.

“We are in a 24/7 command center posture. And I’m a great believer in transparency and if you want the public to trust assurances that we believe we have the situation in control here,” said Keefe.

In the past few decades security breaches have been few and far between.

None have ended violently.

State Senator Aaron Bean said the briefing dealt with multiple threats.

“We’re just looking at anybody who wants to do harm. And that’s where the briefing was designed to have safe blanket of security,” said Bean.

Lawmakers themselves won’t be at the Capitol over the weekend, nor next week, when the chances of violent protests are greatest.

Flags at the State Capitol are currently at half staff in honor of the two officers who died as a result of last week’s protest at the US Capitol.

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