News & Politics

DC Police Have Fully Activated Ahead of a Rally Supporting Accused January 6 Rioters

The rally will be held on September 18 on the Capitol's West Lawn.

Police guard the Capitol in the aftermath of rioting on January 6. Photograph by Evy Mages

The entire Metropolitan Police Department has been fully activated ahead of a rally on September 18 supporting those accused of participating in the Capitol riots. WUSA9 first reported the news on Friday. The “JusticeForJ6” rally—organized by Conservative group Look Ahead America—plans to gather on the Capitol’s West Lawn, the scene of the January 6 attack.

In response to a request for comment, MPD released the following statement to Washingtonian:

In anticipation of First Amendment activities on Saturday, September 18, 2021, the Metropolitan Police Department will be fully prepared. As with all First Amendment demonstrations, MPD will be monitoring and assessing the activities and planning accordingly with our federal law enforcement partners. MPD will have an increased presence around the city where demonstrations will be taking place and will be prepared to make street closures for public safety.

Former Trump campaign official and #JusticeForJ6 organizer Matt Braynard posted a video last week outlining his expectations for attendees in regards to interacting with the police.

“Number one request is to be respectful and kind to all law enforcement officers who may be present,” says Braynard. “I ask you to please be kind to them, to be respectful, and if they ask you to do something, please do so.”

DC’s law enforcement community is still experiencing the pain of January 6. Five policemen have died in connection with the riots; three of the officers worked for MPD and died by suicide.

The rally on September 18 isn’t the first occasion this year when MPD has fully activated its force. Ahead of the Derek Chauvin verdict in April, officers in DC’s police department began working 12-hour shifts in anticipation of potential protests. Instead, people gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza to cheer and celebrate the ruling.

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Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.