WASHINGTON (AP/WWLP) – President Donald Trump is issuing an emergency declaration for the nation’s capital amid growing concern among local and federal authorities about violence in the lead-up to and during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as needed. An FBI bulletin is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals.
22News talked with a man from Holyoke who said what happened in Washington didn’t surprise him, and it could happen again, anywhere.
“There are always these groups. I call them fanatics, and they’re everywhere,” said Eduardo Melendez of Holyoke. “I don’t doubt anything honestly.”
In a statement, Massachusetts State Police said, “To date, we are aware of no specific threat to government venues or to public safety generally in Massachusetts.”
They said State Police are in contact with the FBI and continue to share information.
The declaration from Trump comes five days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress began formally counting the Electoral College votes to certify his defeat to Biden. Five people died.
Trump has spent months complaining that he was cheated out of an election victory by widespread voter fraud, which election officials say does not exist.
Earlier Monday, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan urged people to stay away from inaugural events because of “last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
Trump’s emergency declaration is in effect from Monday through Jan. 24.