LANSING, Mich. – Airbnb is reviewing booked reservations in Lansing due to safety concerns over a Capitol protest scheduled to begin at noon Sunday.
Government buildings in Lansing are boarded up in preparation of the expected armed protest at the state Capitol. In addition to heavy police presence the Michigan National Guard has been activated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“Due to increased law enforcement and safety concerns, we are reviewing recently booked reservations in Lansing set to take place during Inauguration week. If we confirm that guests are associated with a violent hate group or otherwise not allowed on our platform for violating certain community policies prohibiting violence or engaging in criminal activity, we will cancel those reservations and ban them from Airbnb. We are in contact with Governor Whitmer’s team, Mayor Schor and Chief Daryl Green about this plan, and if appropriate, we may bring information to the attention of local law enforcement. This is complementary to our ongoing efforts to keep our hosts, guests and communities safe by working to identify individuals who may present a risk of violence such as members of violent hate group members and others publicly confirmed to have been responsible for the violent criminal activity in the U.S. Capitol Building,” read a statement released by the company on Saturday.
“I appreciate Airbnb’s partnership in helping to keep the City of Lansing safe amid expected demonstrations at the Capitol Building leading up to Inauguration Day. Their work could help deter visitors who are planning to come to Lansing with ill intentions. Airbnb has always been a fantastic partner with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and this effort continues to demonstrate their civic mindedness and high standards of quality,” said Lansing Mayor, Andy Schor.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also commended the company for their efforts to keep Lansing safe.
“I want to commend Airbnb for taking this important step to help keep our Capitol safe in light of this coming week’s activities,” Nessel said in a statement. “I appreciate their concern with our public safety and I am grateful.”
Police are encouraging anyone not attending the event to avoid the Downtown Lansing area. Those attending the event are being asked to follow all traffic laws and guidelines.
“The Lansing Police Department is appreciative for the assistance Airbnb is offering to help with potential future criminal investigations related to hate crimes here in Lansing,” Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green.