WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police have requested the National Guard's assistance ahead of a rally planned at the Capitol on September 18 in support of the hundreds of people charged in connection to the riots on Jan. 6.
The planned rally is known as "Justice for J6" and is expected to take place in the Union Square area of the Capitol grounds.
"The United States Capitol Police is aware of concerning online chatter about a demonstration planned for September 18," a spokesman said in a news release late Monday.
Capitol Police say they are preparing extra security ahead of the planned rally.
A temporary fence will be put up around the Capitol Building Wednesday evening. Officials say the fence will take about 24 hours to put into place. Another fence will be placed around the perimeter of the Supreme Court as well. Officials believe the fence will be taken down beginning Sept. 19.
"I think lessons were learned from the Capitol insurrection that we don’t want to see repeated," Dr. Scott White, a criminal justice professor at George Washington University, said. "It may even appear disproportional to a demonstration with this crowd size but I think that’s just a show of force that the Capitol Police want to have demonstrated to these particular individuals."
In addition to the fencing, Dr. White said visitors can also expect to see undercover officers and federal agents, as well as cameras surrounding the crowd monitoring who is coming to the rally and watching for any violence.
"They are going to be monitoring the traffic on the Internet to see what organizations are disseminating the invitation to this event," said Dr. White.
In a tweet Wednesday, U.S. Capitol Police said the department has asked the Department of Defence (DOD) for the ability to receive assistance from the National Guard should they need it on September 18.
"I think there’s always concern with this kind of event because the organizers of it really have no control over who’s going to participate," said Dr. White.
USCP confirmed that multiple local, state, and federal agencies had been contacted to provide backup support in the city on the 18th.
In February, the Department of Defence released a three-page timeline following the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, including the request for National Guard support and the decisions that may have allowed the insurrection at the Capitol to get as far as it did.
According to the documents, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser first requested National Guard assistance on New Year's Eve. That request was approved to help with traffic control and at metro stations.
However, in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 riot, when asked multiple times, Capitol Police leaders said "there is no request for DOD support."
According to the timeline, it took nearly two hours after the DOD first heard something may be wrong to send all available DC National Guard forces to help take back the Capitol. Four minutes after that decision was made, crowds grew more violent and lawmakers huddled in safe rooms as the National Guard began to fully mobilize.
A DC Council statement claims the Justice Department initially denied a request to send additional National Guard troops to D.C.