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FBI warning of armed protests at state capitols taken seriously in Frankfort

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:46 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The FBI is warning of armed protests at all 50 state capitols and the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., next week during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday he is ready to do whatever necessary to protect government buildings and everyone in them. Kentucky State Police leaders said they aren’t revealing their security plans so as not to help anyone considering acts of violence.

On Tuesday, outside the Capitol building, flags flew at half-staff, recognizing the officer who died during last week’s Capitol mayhem, and a second officer who took his own life several days later.

“In honor and in mourning for D.C. Capitol Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, who passed away after defending the U.S. Capitol from a terrorist attack,” Beshear said.

Protesters gathered in Frankfort three days after what happened in Washington.

“Self-proclaimed militia groups gathered at this Capitol,” Beshear said.

Some even had zip ties and were armed. One of the organizers of the rally said they were only there to peacefully protest.

Beshear spoke candidly to anyone planning anything other than a peaceful protest in Frankfort.

“My goodness, you aren’t a patriot; you are a thug and terrorist,” he said. “We will not allow what happened at the U.S. Capitol to happen here.”

Senate President Robert Stivers said it’s crucial for the state’s security plan to remain under wraps.

“Those types of things need to be kept close and not discussed in open because then people know how they can circumvent protocols,” he said.

Stivers gave this message to anyone who has plans to gather at the Capitol:

“For those who want to come here and speak their peace do a peaceful protest, you are welcome,” Stivers said. “For those who who want to come here and riot, disrupt and destroy property, you should go to jail. It is not protected speech It is not welcome.”

The FBI said it doesn’t matter what your ideology is, but if you commit violence and engage in acts that they consider terrorism, then investigators will pursue charges.

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