Washington tightens security measures for legislative session

Law enforcement officers guard the U.S. Capitol building after demonstrators earlier stormed the building on Jan. 6. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said that the US state was tightening measures to ensure the safety and security of "Washingtonians, legislators, state employees and the buildings of the Capitol Campus" as the Legislature is set to convene the 2021 session on January 11.

"As legislators begin their work on behalf of the people of the state of Washington, we must do whatever we can to ensure that they can do that work without fear, intimidation or harassment," Xinhua news agency quoted Inslee as saying in a statement on Friday.

"The actions we saw in both Washington D.C. and Olympia earlier this week were completely unacceptable and will not be repeated in our state capital again," he said in a statement.

According to the statement, Inslee has activated the Washington State National Guard to be in Olympia in coordination with the Washington State Patrol and local law enforcement.

That included up to 750 members of the Guard and a large number of Washington State Patrol troopers, in addition to the regular Capitol Campus security contingent.

Inslee said that the state would not tolerate any actions that could result in harm, mayhem or interruption of the function of democratic institutions.

"We sincerely hope for peaceful actions, but if that does not happen, we will be prepared," he said.

The Governor's announcement came two days after protesters in support of outgoing President Donald Trump's futile efforts to reject the 2020 presidential election results breached the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, when Congress met to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Chaos and violence forced an hours-long lockdown on the Capitol grounds.

At least five people lost their lives in the violence.




(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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