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‘Dark moment in history’: Governors prepare to ensure safety at state capitols

(FOX47) -- With only eight days until President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, state capitols across the county are ramping up security efforts to avoid the violence like we saw last week in Washington, D.C.

Minnesota is among those states taking extra measures.

"Either later today or early tomorrow issuing an executive order to use the national guard for the next several days as we prepare during this specific threat period," said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison said there are threats law enforcement is honing in on, but did not disclose exactly what those threats are.

However, preparations are underway to provide safety for Minnesotans and lawmakers. It's an effort to avoid what might become another dark moment in history.

On the steps of the Minnesota History Center Tuesday, Walz was hoping to make a connection with people so they understand how we got here. Specifically, how we got to rioters inside the U.S. Capitol.

"I for one am not ready to move on from seeing the U.S. flag ripped off the Capitol and replaced by someone with a man's name on it," Walz said.

Ellison added to the sentiment saying what we need now is accountability and coordination is underway by the Department of Public Safety.

"We are coordinating and preparing and I think we will be ready," Ellison said.

A Department of Public Safety spokesperson sent us this statement:

In addition to the fence around the Minnesota Capitol that has been in place since last summer, the State Patrol has increased its presence to respond to various threats and prevent unlawful entry into the building. We are aware of the national reports of potential insurrection and are tracking possible protest activity as we stand ready to guard the Capitol and protect state employees from harm. We will continue to enhance our response and change tactics as needed. We have been working in partnership with St. Paul Police, Ramsey County Sheriff and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers.

Minnesota’s State Capitol has been and continues to be a safe place to conduct the important work of our state. While we support Minnesotans’ First Amendment rights to peacefully protest, anyone involved in illegal activity will be held accountable.

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Ubah Ali

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