Minnesota leaders lay out plan to protect State Capitol from potential protests

Emily Ness
Updated: January 15, 2021 10:37 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 07:00 PM

From the steps of the State Capitol, to its streets and surrounding neighborhoods, Minnesota is ramping up security in preparation for potential protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

“There has been nothing left undone to keep the capital safe,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said.

According to Harrington, Minnesota’s State Capitol does not have any credible threats at this time, but he and other state leaders have been in close communication with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the BCA to formulate a plan should that change.

So far, Harrington said they have identified vulnerabilities in security at the Capitol and worked to strengthen those vulnerabilities by placing the right people in the right places.

“We stand ready to protect the people’s house here in Minnesota. We stand ready to protect the people’s elected representatives whether they are at the capitol or in their home districts and we stand ready to protect our community and that word community is written large,” Harrington said.

Harrington went on to warn that anyone who does threaten the Capitol will be punished.

“If you come to the capitol with criminal intent on your mind, if you come to the capitol to commit violent crimes, we will stop you, we will hold you accountable,” Harrington said.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said that protecting the safety of Minnesotans was the state’s number one priority—adding that the state would not stand for what happened in Washington.

“Shame on this country if we try and normalize what’s happening here, shame on this country if we don’t hold those that made this situation accountable,” Walz said.

Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan said all should feel safe in the state of Minnesota and at the Capitol, especially.

“This is your house and you should feel safe in your house,” Flanagan said.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter called for unity in keeping everyone safe.

“We must in one clear voice as Americans speak up and share that those first three words of our democracy: ‘We the people’ are words that we take seriously and when we say them, we mean all of us,’” Carter said.

WDIO will continue to follow any and all updates from the State Capitol and bring viewers the latest information.

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Emily Ness

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