DC police department will be 'all hands on deck' for J6 protest, official says

DC police department will be 'all hands on deck' for J6 protest, official says
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Law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., will be out in full force for Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally outside the Capitol amid concerns that some participants may come armed, according to a senior city official. 

"As we look across social media, there are calls on some of the disparate sites for folks to come armed," D.C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Chris Geldart told a local NBC affiliate on Tuesday.

"We’ve seen that before on a lot of our other events," he added. "So, this is reminding folks that come to the District what our laws are here and that, you know, you can't carry a gun here." 

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Geldart said that while the mayor has not requested the National Guard's assistance yet, U.S. Capitol Police could call them in if necessary, according to the NBC report. 

"It's going to be a busy weekend in the city. MPD is all hands on deck so everybody will be in," Geldart said to NBC, referring to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The Capitol Police have issued an emergency declaration that will allow the force to deputize outside law enforcement as “special” Capitol Police officers during the demonstration. 

The Metropolitan Police Department has also said it is monitoring and assessing event planning and will have a greater presence around Washington and be prepared to close streets if necessary.

The rally is being organized by Look Ahead America, a nonprofit organization led by Matt Braynard, the former director of data and strategy for the Trump campaign. Despite the ties to Trump, Braynard asked attendees on Tuesday not to wear clothing in support of the former president or President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE

The organization has several rallies planned across the country in the coming weeks to support the people who have been imprisoned in connection with the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Earlier this week, officials approved a plan to erect a temporary fence around the Capitol for added security at this weekend's rally, according to a press release from the U.S. Capitol Police. 

Lawmakers and their staff have been asked to stay away from the Capitol during the protest. 

The Hill has reached out to Geldart's office for additional information.