Local Officials Concerned About Possible Hate Crime, Violence In Coming Days Following US Capitol Riot
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Bracing for armed protests around the inauguration, the California State Capitol was on lockdown on Friday night and is expected to continue having increased security in the coming days.
National Guard troops were activated after the FBI warned that rioters are preparing to act out following the violent demonstration at the U.S. Capitol last week that involved anti-Semitic displays and other dangerous behavior.
California is just one of several states amping up security ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Hate crimes expert, Brian Levin, fears California Neo-Nazis like the Boogaloo Bois and Proud Boys, whom he says were involved in the violence at the U.S. Capitol, are becoming more of a threat.
"We have seen an explosion in threats against elected officials as well as public health officials in the U.S. and here in California," Levin said. "Before it was kind of together under an umbrella. Now, with their leader going, he's being disabled on social media, it's basically chaotic. I think what that's gonna leave is a group of leaner, meaner folks ready for action."
Levin says professionals like him are having a harder time tracking Neo-Nazis on social media because they're only on the dark web, communicating in code.
Levin worries that next week's confluence of Martin Luther King Day, inauguration and the possibility of impeachment could spark another bout of violence.
"It just keeps expanding. This period of time where President Trump's most militant and cultish supporters -- not conservative goodwill -- are going to be the most amped up," Levin said.
The Department of Justice announced on Friday nearly 300 arrests for the assault on the U.S. Capitol. Among them were some Southern California residents with ties to hate groups in the Southland.
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