Photo: Tennessee State Capitol Building in Nashville
Published January 19, 2021
Nashville, TN – On Wednesday, January 20th, President-elect Biden will be sworn into office at the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. and Vice-President Harris will take the oath of office as Vice President.
Leading up to the inauguration ceremony, there have been warnings issued by the FBI to police about potential armed protests in all 50 State capitols.
Nashville is no exception with armed protests that were scheduled to take place over the weekend.
Much of the information regarding the protests came from a hack of the social media platform, Parler, by a group calling themselves the “internet warriors.”
This group managed to gain administrative authority they used to access and archive all posts and profiles related to the pro-Trump movement and then released the information to the FBI.
Acting on the warnings from the FBI, Tennessee State and Local Law Enforcement prepared for a protest at the State Capitol, with the potential of violence, beginning on Tuesday of last week with the first day of the convening of the Tennessee General Assembly’s 2021 Legislative session.
A Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesperson reported that there were warnings of a protest at the state Capitol scheduled for Tuesday morning, but the morning was uneventful other than two peaceful protests.
One of the protests on Tuesday was a silent protest by the “People’s Plaza” and the other was a combined effort by two groups.
One group was from Knoxville called “Black Coffee Justice” and the other was from Chattanooga called “Hip Hop for Humanity”. Both groups messages revolved around the demand for change.
In addition to increased presence in the capitol and tighter security measures in place, the Tennessee Highway Patrol placed barriers around the Capitol grounds. However, the rest of the week proved uneventful as well.
Davidson County District 54 Representative Vincent Dixie said, “They have done a great job at keeping us safe and making us feel safe, and have been very communicative between all the agencies that there will be an increased security presence.”
The spokesperson for Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton issued this statement regarding the enhanced police presence:
“While we all respect the rights of Tennesseans to peacefully assemble, our expectation is for these events to remain peaceful. The speaker has confidence in and he fully supports Gov. Lee and his administration, as well as state and local law enforcement to use the resources available and required to preserve public safety.
On Sunday, a few demonstrators walked through legislative plaza, but nothing escalated.
Although last week and Sunday went by peacefully, Nashville Metro Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol say they will be monitoring future planned protests with heightened security as a precaution.
Meanwhile in the U.S. Capitol, Police, Secret Service and National Guard troops have flooded D.C. in preparations for whatever comes their way.
National Guard Commander Major General William Walker said, “I have 25,000 Guardsmen here to support the Federal Law Enforcement. That should tell everybody that we’re prepared for pretty much anything.”