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.”
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.