At least 6,200 National Guard troops will be activated and sent to Washington, D.C., after protesters forced their way through several layers of security – including barricades and law enforcement officers – and breached the United States Capitol building, forcing Senate and House offices to shelter in place.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who is in charge of National Guard deployments, said during a press conference alongside D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser that the 6,200 troops will be deployed and remain in place for the next 30 days. McCarthy said a seven-foot “non-scalable fence” around the Capitol will also remain for the next month.
“These personnel and these security measures will be in place for no less than the next 30 days and we will be keeping all of these support mechanisms in place in constant coordination with the Capitol Hill police and the mayor’s office,” McCarthy said.
The troops will be deployed from Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, New York and DC to help meet the besieged city’s needs, CNN reported. The troops will support law enforcement efforts to secure Washington, D.C., following a chaotic day of violent protests seeking to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as president-elect.
Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and New York officials separately confirmed their top lawmakers approved the deployments of their National Guard troops to assist in the capital.
Around 1,100 D.C. National Guard troops were activated Wednesday to help secure the Capitol building as the demonstration revved up. The mayhem led to four deaths, including an Air Force veteran and mother who was shot on camera inside the federal building.
Stars and Stripes reported that none of the National Guard troops are expected to be armed with guns or nonlethal weapons, according to a defense official who requested to speak on a condition of anonymity.
The troops from nearby states could be deployed for up to a month, Stars and Stripes reported, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the roughly 1,000 troops he was sending south would only be activated for about two weeks.
Once the Capitol building was secured, Vice President Mike Pence said lawmakers could “get back to work” certifying the Electoral College votes. Joe Biden was officially declared president-elect around 3 a.m. after winning 306 votes to President Trump’s 232.
The inauguration will take place on January 20, two weeks from the Capitol demonstration.
President Trump denounced the violence Wednesday on social media, tweeting, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
In another tweet, Trump called on people to support law enforcement as the protests in the nation’s capital started to become chaotic.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” Trump tweeted.