“We received a request from Capitol Police for assistance with this weekend’s protests, the scheduled protests. I won’t go into the specific request,” Kirby said. “We do the analysis, we receive it, we analyze it, and if it can be validated and supported, we will do it and we will look at the sourcing within the department to see what is most appropriate.”
Kirby did not give details but said “this is not an exorbitant demand,” adding that “it is not of a particularly large size or major capacity. I think it is more. in the form of labor support “.
U.S. Capitol Police said Monday they were in contact with the military ahead of the protests, as the Capitol Police Board approved the return of security fencing around the Capitol building.
“We have spoken to the military and several agencies are helping us. We cannot provide details as we do not want to release security sensitive information,” Capitol Police said in a statement to CNN.
The planned rally has sparked a new wave of concern about more potential violence on Capitol Hill as law enforcement prepares for various scenarios.
But it’s still unclear how many protesters plan to attend. And the rally takes place on a Saturday, when both houses of Congress are on vacation, which means far fewer lawmakers or staff will be in the area.
The “Justice for J6” rally aims to support the insurgents indicted during the deadly riot of January 6 on the Capitol. Organizers say it is expected to start at noon ET on Saturday.
A source familiar with the conversations said there were ongoing discussions between the DC National Guard and the Capitol Police about the role the guard can play in assisting law enforcement and how best to deal with it. establish and use a rapid reaction force in an emergency.
A rapid reaction force is a predetermined number of guards who stand on standby to respond in different situations. Prior to January 6, the DC National Guard had a force of 40 soldiers on standby to assist with traffic tasks and crowd control if needed. As the situation on Capitol Hill deteriorated that night, it took precious minutes to give the force a different role.
A source close to the demand described it as a “much more deliberative process” than before January 6 so that there is a better understanding of what the Capitol Police really need and how to meet that need. Prior to the insurgency, the role of the DC National Guard was limited to traffic and crowd leadership assistance, not riot control and law enforcement. This resulted in a critical delay in modifying the Guard’s orders and in its equipment to handle the riot on Capitol Hill.
These discussions also focused on the rapid reaction force, the source said. Prior to January 6, the force had the specific task of assisting with traffic control and the deployment of force necessary to cross the chain of command. This led to a series of questions about why the force couldn’t deploy faster as insurgents stormed the Capitol building.
Last week, the Capitol Police Council issued an emergency declaration, which will go into effect at the time of the protest and allow the department to replace outside law enforcement officers as special law enforcement officers. the United States Capitol Police.
CNN’s Jennifer Hansler, Zachary Cohen and Paul Leblanc contributed reporting.