IOWA — Iowa law enforcement, local governments and the National Guard are all preparing for another round of possibly violent protests in the next week ahead of the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.
The FBI warned of possible violent protests being planned at all 50 state capitols and in Washington, D.C. in the wake of last week’s deadly riot in the US Capitol lead by supporters of President Trump. Trump still has not publicly acknowledged that he lawfully lost the 2020 election to Biden and continues to shared unfounded conspiracies of wide-spread voter fraud, including during the speech he delivered last week as his supporters began their assault on the US Capitol. The FBI has warned that violent protests could begin as soon as this weekend.
The first floor windows of the Polk County Courthouse in downtown Des Moines have now been covered with plywood. A spokesperson tells WHO 13 that “out of an abundance of caution we are taking extra steps to prevent any damage to our property.”
Thousands of National Guard soldiers and airmen from around the country have been called to active duty in Washington, D.C. The Iowa National Guard says 15 of its members have deployed to the nation’s capital.
The Iowa State Patrol says it is aware of the warnings from federal authorities and an event already planned for this weekend at the State Capitol. Troopers say they plan to have appropriate staffing and ask any Iowans visiting the Capitol “to voice their concerns peacefully.”