Michigan Capitol on alert ahead of expected protest at noon Sunday

Some buildings have boarded up

Government buildings in Lansing are boarded up in preparation of an expected armed protest at the state Capitol.

LANSING, Mich. – Government buildings in Lansing are boarded up in preparation of an expected armed protest at the state Capitol.

In addition to heavy police presence the Michigan National Guard has been activated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The Lansing Police Department announced that there is an event planned for noon at the Michigan Capitol on Sunday, Jan. 17.

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.

“First and foremost, I have to be saddened and even perhaps horrified that we got to this point,” said retired Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel, who served as the assistant general for Homeland Security, Michigan National Guard. “I think that we’re starting to see a little bit of stratification among these different groups.”

While the Capitol may be protected, McDaniel said there’s more to worry about.

“That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be on guard. When you hardened one target -- and we’re dealing with sort of an insurgency or an insurrection -- what happens is other softer targets are sought by those same groups,” he said.

“There have been thousands and thousands of threats to elected leaders in the state of Michigan,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “I personally believe we have to start cracking down on people making these threats.”

Michigan law enforcement on armed Capitol protests this weekend: ‘We will be prepared’

Law enforcement agencies across Michigan are stepping up security measures at the Capitol and in surrounding areas to prepare for expected armed protests starting this weekend.

Michigan State Police, working with the Michigan National Guard and FBI, says that have increased personnel and protective measures at the Capitol and in Downtown Lansing.

“Security enhancements that have been put in place include both seen and unseen measures,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “I can assure you that we take our responsibility for safeguarding the Capitol and those who work and visit here seriously and, together with our law enforcement partners, we will be prepared to ensure law and order.”

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About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.