RICHMOND, Va. (WJZ) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency ahead of Monday's demonstration at the State Capitol.
Northam said they have credible intelligence from law enforcement agencies of threats of violence including"extremist rhetoric" similar to what was seen before in major incidents such as Charlottesville in 2017.
"This intelligence suggests militia groups and hate groups, some from out of state, plan to come to the Capitol to disrupt our democratic process with acts of violence," Gov. Northam said.
He said the state of emergency includes a ban on weapons of any kind in Capitol Square. It extends from Friday, January 17 at 5 p.m. until Tuesday, January 21 at 5 p.m.
"We support citizens' rights to peacefully protest and express their views to their elected officials. But we must also keep the public, as well as those who work around Capitol Square, safe," he added.
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