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Albany, state police prepare for violent protests

Jan 12, 2021 3:30 pm
Steve Hughes is reporting for the Times Union the Albany city and New York State Police are preparing for possible armed protests in the week leading up to the presidential inauguration. An FBI internal bulletin dated January 10, warned that protests were possible at all 50 statehouses and in Washington D.C., according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. Investigators believe some of the people are members of extremist groups, the officials said. State Police spokesman Beau Duffy said the agency is aware of reports regarding possible protests ahead of the inauguration and is in touch with federal law enforcement. “Given recent events in Washington and across the country, the New York State Police has, out of an abundance of caution, taken steps to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany,” Duffy said in a statement . “These restrictions are in place until further notice.” On January 6, a double stabbing took place outside the state Capitol when suspected Antifa supporters clashed with members of the right-wing Proud Boys during a pro-Trump rally in Albany, as the state Legislature opened its first session. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s office said the city police department is working with state and federal law enforcement to monitor threats of violence and residents are urged to sign up for the department's Nixle alerts for updates. After the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol last week, concrete barriers were placed around the state Capitol in Albany to block off vehicle traffic. Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said authorities in state capitals and other major cities besides Washington should prepare for the possibility of violent protests in the coming week. Posts on social media have promoted a “Million Militia March” on January 20, inauguration day. Pitcavage said the event, apparently organized by a promoter of the pro-Trump “QAnon“ conspiracy theory, appears unlikely to draw a massive crowd. Read the full story in the Times Union.