LAKE MARY, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order activating the Florida National Guard, authorizing their assistance as needed for state and local law enforcement "for security missions and assignments necessary to maintain peace."
The order, which will remain in effect until January 24, comes just over a week after the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol Building and warings from the FBI that armed protests are possible at all 50 state capitals ahead of the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.
The executive order comes on the same day that federal authotiries announced the arrest of a Tallahassee man accused of plotting to "violently confront protesters" at the Florida Capitol on Sunday, as law-enforcement agencies brace for demonstrations.
Daniel Baker, 33, was arrested for transmission, in interstate commerce, of communication containing a threat to kidnap or to injure. He was taken into custody without incident with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Tallahassee Police Department.
Last week, supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress met to certify electoral votes that finalized Biden’s victory. It also came as authorities in Washington, D.C., Tallahassee and other state capitals prepare for potential protests this weekend or early next week.
Local officials on Thursday ordered Tallahassee City Hall and the Leon County Courthouse, which are each across the street from the state Capitol, to close Tuesday and Wednesday in anticipation of possible protests. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in Wednesday in Washington.
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