Capitol police chief says officers ‘ready to handle anything' ahead of pro-Trump rally

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Fencing has been installed around Capitol Hill ahead of the demonstration

– AP

The chief of the US Capitol Police said that his department would be ready to handle whatever happens during a rally on Saturday in support of people who were arrested in connection to their actions at the 6 January insurrection.

US Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said during a press conference on Friday that the department was working with 25 partner agencies, including Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department.

“We will be ready to handle anything that occurs,” Mr Manger told reporters.

The group Look Ahead America plans to hold an event on the Capitol to protest against the treatment of people who were arrested for actions during the riot that occurred on the Hill when supporters of President Donald Trump attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The press conference comes after The Washington Post reported that Mr Manger withdrew his request to have 100 armed National Guard members on standby for the rally.

Mr Manger said it is difficult to know which threats of violence are credible.

“The chatter we heard prior to January 6 obviously, many of those threats turned out to be credible and we’re not taking any chances,” he said.

“If they decide they want to breach the fence, if they want to attack law enforcement, we’ll be ready,” he said.

Mr Manger said that the USCP has been working since January to make sure what happened on the day of the insurrection will not happen again.

“They’ve been working on making sure we have adequate resources for our police officers, training, equipment, staffing to ensure that, again, we can accomplish our mission,” he said. “Our mission tomorrow is as it is every day and that is to protect everyone’s right to free speech and to lawfully demonstrate.”

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