WASHINGTON, Sep 18 (AP) In a city still on the edge since the January 6 uprising, law enforcement was upset at large numbers at the Capitol on Saturday over concerns that a rally in support of jailed rioters would turn violent. It didn’t. The crowd was less and the incidents were few. The only apparent parallels to the riots that took place more than eight months earlier by supporters of Donald Trump were the false claims made by rally organizers about the violence in January when Congress met to ratify the election of Joe Biden.
The low turnout also raised questions about whether such rallies would have any power as organizers attempted to tap the January 6 rage without the former president’s presence. Law enforcement had prepared for the collision by erecting temporary fencing around the Capitol and deploying heavy dump trucks to surround the rally site. The local police department and the US National Guard were on standby.
Security may be unnecessary in the end, but the instability surrounding the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and the presence of extremists and white nationalist groups on 6 January made it impossible to predict how such events would take place. US Capitol police said they had received intelligence over the weekend that was similar to information it missed in January, when law enforcement was only expecting a free speech protest and Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol.
Republican lawmakers, including those who voted that day to challenge Biden’s election, avoided Saturday’s rally. Rally organizer Matt Brainard lashed out at elected officials for not supporting the jailed people and introduced candidates running for elected office. The protesters stood up and made fun of him. Some people had anti-Trump signs and a man who had confronted some of the pro-Trump protesters was quickly removed by police, who used a bicycle to save him from the crowd as he took to the street.
One man from the crowd was arrested for carrying a knife and another man was arrested after someone told officers they saw him carrying a handgun, police said. . Two other men who police say were wanted in Texas on firearms charges and probation violations were also arrested after being pulled over near the Capitol on Saturday morning. Brainard, a former Trump campaign employee, opened up in a calm and deliberate tone. He said the event was for the defendants behind bars.
On January 6, dozens of law enforcement officers were left covered in blood and beaten up as a crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol, quickly outnumbering the overwhelmed police force. One officer was repeatedly beaten with a stun gun and jolted until he suffered a heart attack; Another was foaming from his mouth and shouting for help as the rioters crushed him between two doors and hit him on the head with his own weapon. The Associated Press reviewed hundreds of court and prison records for Capitol riot defendants to find out how many were detained and about 63 held in federal custody awaiting trial or sentencing. Were.
At least 30 are jailed in Washington. The rest are locked in facilities across the country. He has said he was being treated unfairly, and a defendant said he was beaten. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sets standards for judges to determine whether to send a Capitol riot defendant to prison. A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in March that rioters were in a different category of dangerousness than those charged with attacking officers, breaking down windows, doors and barricades, or taking a leadership role in the attack. , who merely cheered on the violence or entered the building after the breach.
Officials said among the speakers at the rally was the girlfriend of Jonathan Melis, who was seen on camera on January 6 using a stick as they tried to stop a crowd outside the Capitol. According to court documents, Melis was heard telling her to take off her mask, and the video shows her repeatedly striking and stabbing officers with sticks. Officials said in court documents that he appeared to be trying to hit the officers’ necks between their helmets and body-armour, where they had no protection.
The other defendants ordered closure while they awaited the trial, which accused a police officer of dragging a police officer to beat him with an American flag and another man leading a group of rioters. was accused of doing. But judges have released the vast majority of defendants, including more than a dozen members and allies of the Oath Keepers, a far-right group charged with assault in perhaps the most serious case ever brought has gone. Only three people accused in the conspiracy of oath-taking have been locked up as the judges said they played a leadership role in the alleged conspiracy.
Officials have said that in the weeks leading up to January 6, sworn guards dressed as if they were on their way to war came to Washington prepared for violence and dressed in combat gear that day, wearing helmets and tactical vests. (AP).
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