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Amid nationally-planned protests, Kansas Statehouse empty Sunday

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 4:24 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The FBI issued an alert saying protests were scheduled to happen at every state capitol building but that was not the case in Topeka.

The statehouse grounds remained mostly empty Sunday, despite a social media group initially announcing plans for a rally. Kansas Highway Patrol, Capitol Police and the Topeka Police Department patrolled the area.

KHP Lieutenant Candace Breshears said they were prepared for anything.

“Today was good and we will continue to monitor things,” said Breshears. “It’s always good when things stay safe.”

Groups did turn out in other states – In Columbus, Ohio, members of the Ohio National Guard stood guard. About 50 protesters were at their statehouse at noon, with the crowd being near gone at 2:30 p.m. Ohio State Highway Patrol said no arrests were made and the protest was peaceful.

Springfield Illinois police also stood ready and National guardsmen surrounded the Illinois state capitol building. They closed all four streets surrounding the building and armed soldiers stood guard at every intersection.

In Colorado, the protest stayed relatively peaceful with law enforcement including the state patrol saying they are ready to respond in light of what happened at the U.S. Capitol last week.

The FBI alert said demonstrations could happen through Wednesday. Breshears said one group has applied for a permit, for the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration. The permit is not finalized. She said she will check with Capitol Police on Tuesday to find if it is approved or not and what the patrol plan will be.

“We’re going to continue to monitor the situation and receive Intel from our intelligence officers and we will work together with our federal, state and local partners to make sure everyone is safe,” she said. “Again, we’re going to have an increased presence in and around the capitol for the next several days.”

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