Capitol Police Prepare For "Justice For J6" Rally

Local governments and the National Guard spent at least $792,500 to assist U.S. Capitol Police in its response to the Sept. 18 “Justice for J6” rally, a small right-wing rally supporting those arrested during the insurrection that prompted a massive law enforcement response and the reinstallation of the temporary Capitol perimeter fencing.

a group of people standing in front of a building: US Capitol police officers prepare for the Justice for J6 rally near the U.S. Capitol Saturday morning. The rally is organized by a former Trump campaign staffer to protest the treatment and continued incarceration of those charged in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post) © Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post US Capitol police officers prepare for the Justice for J6 rally near the U.S. Capitol Saturday morning. The rally is organized by a former Trump campaign staffer to protest the treatment and continued incarceration of those charged in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)

This is not the total cost to taxpayers as it does not include the response of Capitol Police, the head law enforcement agency that handled security Sept. 18, or the reinstallation of perimeter fencing. Instead, it mostly reflects the costs incurred by the D.C. police, estimated at $580,000, said Jenny Reed, the District’s director of the Office of Budget and Performance Management.

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Other D.C. agencies incurred costs as well, with the Department of Public Works spending about $19,700 and the District Department of Transportation spending a “pretty marginal” amount, Reed said, noting that some other city agencies have yet to tally their costs. Police forces from around the area also were asked to pitch in, with officers from Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs responding. The District’s and Alexandria’s police and sheriff’s offices said they would seek reimbursement from the federal government.

Agencies in and around the nation’s capital are accustomed to responding to protests and demonstrations for a variety of causes. But the Sept. 18. rally, which was held on federal land near the U.S. Capitol, prompted significant media attention and a heightened security response because it was held in support of those charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Organizers had insisted the rally would be peaceful and ultimately, on the day of the rally, the protesters were outnumbered by journalists, police officers and counterprotesters.

Capitol Police said on Sept. 18 that between 400 and 450 people were observed within the protest zone; however, many of those were journalists and bystanders.

Court hearings, guilty pleas belie right-wing recasting of Jan. 6 defendants as persecuted patriots

D.C. police had planned for the rally, asking the entire force of more than 3,500 members to work on both Sept. 17 and 18. This meant most of those officers did not receive overtime pay and instead were scheduled for alternative days off, said Kristen Metzger, a spokesperson for the department.

“MPD was out there, we were fully activated, and we recognize the rights of all those who come here to exercise their First Amendment rights,” Metzger said of the rally. “I think we accomplished that that day. We kept safety for everybody who attended or visited or was in the area. It was nothing like January 6 again.”


Video: Capitol Police chief on preparations for ‘Justice for J6’ rally: ‘We’re not taking any chances’ (Yahoo! News)

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