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Security Tightened, Roads Closed Near State Capitol As Inauguration Day Nears

The New York State Capitol in Albany.
The New York State Capitol in Albany. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Though “no specific threat” has been identified, security around the New York State Capitol in Albany has been beefed up in the wake of the deadly pro-Trump Capitol Hill riots in Washington D.C. and in advance of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Additional law enforcement patrols began increasing security on Thursday, Jan. 14 at the Capitol, with some nearby roads closed down as a precaution as the state prepares for any potential threats.

In advance of the inauguration, State Police troopers have also ramped up security at the state Capitol, some entrances will be temporarily closed, and there are now cement barriers blocking some of the streets leading up to the building.

Earlier this week, the FBI issued a warning to states that armed protests by violent supporters of President Donald Trump were being planned in all 50 capitals leading up to Inauguration Day, though no specific threat has been made in or to Albany.

“That said, between now and Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, we will be maintaining a heightened posture to monitor any threat that may come into our region,” FBI Special-Agent-in-Charge Thomas Telford said this week, while noting the investigation into the riots at the U.S. Capitol is still ongoing.

“We remain dedicated to ensuring that everyone who broke the law last week is held accountable,” Relford added. “Our office is using every resource and tracking down any potential threats.”

Officials made note that they have no intention to infringe on free speech rights, and peaceful protests will be permitted, they are only concerned with potential violence following last week’s riots.

“We are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting any individuals looking to ignore the law and incite violence or engage in criminal activity,” Relford added. “Anyone who does should be prepared to be met with the full force of our office and the United State Attorney’s office.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James also issued a warning this week to anyone considering a riot at the state Capitol in the next week, saying that her office is monitoring any potential threat and will take legal action against anyone who turns to violence.

“After last week’s deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol, my office is closely monitoring all threats against our state Capitol in Albany,” she said in a statement. “While I am working with law enforcement on the ground to ensure the chaos that we saw in Washington, DC does not take place right here in New York, we will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone who seeks to terrorize or harm legislators, Capitol staff, law enforcement, or members of the public.

“Our system of government may not be perfect, but it works, and we will not allow those fueled by lies and unhinged conspiracy theories to run wild as they violently seek to overthrow the government through sedition and insurrection,” she continued. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, our duly elected president and vice president, will assume office on January 20th and history will remember all who sought to destroy our democratic republic.”

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