Law enforcement and Connecticut’s military are reinforcing the barriers on the state Capitol grounds in preparation for possible armed protests at the state capitol and other nearby state buildings.
Rallies at the state Capitol over the last year have increased 275% but none of them have been violent and ended with only one arrest.
“With the current climate of America today, I’m not going to sugarcoat this I think this is going to look different from what we’re used to,” Capitol Police Chief Luiz Casanova said.
Law enforcement is expecting about 2,000 people to come to the state Capitol Sunday and they don’t plan on letting down their guard. The barriers that went up last week for the outdoor swearing in ceremony have multiplied and the perimeter around the state Capitol has been strengthen.
“However, with the social media going dark it became a lot more complicated for us to gauge that. But we are overplanning, we are preparing, we have contingency plans in place,” Casanova said.
Casanova said he hopes groups come on Sunday and air their grievances and they end the day with no arrests.
“Those that are coming to protest and air their grievances we’re asking they do that in a peaceful manner, but for those outliers for those individuals who would hope to agitate and create some type of disturbance, we will be aware of it, we know who you are and we will take appropriate action,” Trooper Jose Dorelus said. “Those individuals will be located, identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent."
While the security has been ramped up, there still isn't certainty about what could happen this weekend.
“The law enforcement community has not identified any credible threats to the capitol complex,” Casanova said.
The security measures extend beyond the Capitol to the nearby state office buildings and will be in place until after the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden Jr.
“The overarching goal is to allow folks to express their passion and to keep everyone safe,” Casanova said.