LA National Guardsmen head to DC as law enforcement prepares for armed protests

LA National Guardsmen head to DC as law enforcement prepares for armed protests

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It is days until inauguration day, and the memories of the siege on capitol hill are still ever-present. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is now sending approximately 174 national guardsmen to bolster security in Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration.

This, as the speaker of the house tapped Louisiana retired lieutenant general Russel Honore to lead the investigation into the security failures on the day of the riot. Honoré had strong opinions of what might have happened there days after January 6th.

“I think they were complicit in that they did not treat this crowd like a potential threat and did not secure the capitol,” said Honoré.

But the threat leading up to inauguration day extends across the country, including FBI warnings of armed protests at the state’s capitol in Baton Rouge.

“People are concerned, they ask me questions they’ve been doing that for quite some time, but they’re comfort and confident in the leadership that we have,” said Mike Edmonson.

Former Louisiana State police superintendent Mike Edmonson says folks in Baton Rouge are concerned, as they are across the state. With decades of law enforcement experience behind him, he says he still regularly checks in with those in charge, saying he’s confident in the abilities of his former agency to respond to these threats.

“They speak regularly with state police, this isn’t something that they wait until a disaster happens or something happens spin up very quickly, is something that takes place on a daily basis,” said Edmonson.

In these days leading up to the inauguration, he says law enforcement consults with what’s called a fusion center, essentially a system to streamline communication between federal, state, and local departments nationwide.

“The one thing you can’t plan for which you’ve got to try is worst case scenarios where you try to look at every situation that could possibly happen, whether if it happens someplace early on, if it happened in Louisiana, what happens if it happens during a football game and during those sporting events, during any type of major event that we have all the time in Louisiana? What about now during our new normal during the pandemic? Please know our law enforcement is doing what they need to do,” said Edmonson.

Adding that because of that ongoing communication, coordination, and training efforts the scene at the capitol will not repeat here at home.

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