Montgomery mayor issues statement on potential protests

Montgomery mayor issues statement on potential protests
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed released a statement in light of the possibility of protests leading up to next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“Our residents and businesses can take comfort in knowing we are taking every step to ensure their safety and security this weekend. I am directing Chief Finley and the Montgomery Police Department to use every resource at their disposal and authorized extra manpower. We have open lines of communication with the Governor’s Office and have been actively engaged with ALEA for months. In addition, we are working with federal agencies, including the Secret Service and FBI, who have been a source for insight and consultation. Regardless of the challenge, Montgomery is Ready,” Reed said.

The Associated Press reports that the FBI has warned that armed protests were being planned in all 50 state capitals and Washington in the days leading up to the inauguration on Jan. 20.

Earlier this week, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said they are monitoring such threats to protect the state Capitol and other government buildings.

ALEA issued the following statement this week:

“The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) in conjunction with local law enforcement continue to work together to provide overall safety and security to all state buildings within the Capitol complex. ALEA also works closely with the Department of Finance who manages all operations of state buildings including the Capitol.

ALEA continues to monitor activity for public safety concerns and possible threats related to the ongoing protests across the nation.

ALEA recognizes that United States Citizens have constitutionally protected rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government. ALEA safeguards these first amendment rights, and reports on only those activities where the potential use of rhetoric and/or propaganda could be used to carry out acts of violence. Additionally, potential criminality exhibited by certain members of a group does not negate the constitutional rights of the group itself or its law-abiding participants to exercise their individual liberties under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The threats and subsequent precautions follow the deadly riots at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6 that left five dead and others injured.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.