WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A small crowd of Trump supporters gathered Saturday near the US Capitol to rally for those criminally charged in the Jan. 6 riot.
- Event attendees were outnumbered by local, state and federal law enforcement, and the media.
- The US Capitol police said there were a few arrests made in an otherwise nonviolent rally.
A small crowd of Trump supporters gathered in Washington to rally for those criminally charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The rally was dubbed “Justice for J6” in reference to the date on which supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of the 2020 election results.
The hundreds of protestors who attended Saturday’s event were outnumbered by local, state, and federal law enforcement and members of the media.
U.S. Capitol Police’s made a few arrests in an otherwise nonviolent rally, according to the department’s Twitter account. Arrests included weapons violation, possession of a firearm and probation violation.
Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee told NBC News the crowd was “about what we expected” and the heightened police presence may have prevented high attendance.
Police ramped up security around the Capitol days before the event, building fences around the Capitol grounds, Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and other congressional office buildings.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday that 100 hundred National Guard troops were on standby to help protect the Capitol.
Matt Braynard, the ‘Justice for J6’ rally organizer, previously told CNBC he expected the event to be peaceful. Braynard is Trump’s former campaign staffer.
On Jan. 6, Trump spoke at a rally outside the White House and urged his supporters to march to Congress and protest the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president.
Four people died that day in connection with the riot, including a woman shot by a police officer as she tried to crawl through a window toward the House of Representatives chamber.
The next day, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after collapsing hours after he was attacked by rioters. Four police officers who responded to the attack have died by suicide since the riot.
On Thursday, Trump said he sympathized with the ‘Justice for J6’ protestors in condemning the criminal prosecution of the Jan. 6 riot participants.
Over 600 people have been arrested since the Jan. 6 insurgence, and more than 50 of them have pleaded guilty to a variety of crimes. Six have been found guilty in court, according to the Department of Justice.