Mississippi Democratic leaders ask governor to send National Guard to inauguration

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Senate Minority Leader Derrick T. Simmons (D-District 12) and House Minority Leader Robert Johnson III (D-District 94) sent a letter to Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) asking him to send members of the Mississippi National Guard to the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021.

Dear Governor Reeves,

We respectfully request that you deploy the Mississippi National Guard to Washington D.C. for the January 20, 2021, inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris to help strengthen security measures in light of the recent January 6th attack on the United States Capitol Building.

As you know, a group of people unlawfully broke into and overran the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.  This group inflicted a fatal beating upon a Capitol Police Officer, caused the death of at least four others, and injured many more as they looted and destroyed classified documents, historical artifacts, and federal property. Shockingly, many in this group actively sought out members of Congress, intent on harming and possibly kidnapping some, as evidenced by video testimony we all witnessed as we watched on as a nation. Rioters were armed with firearms, pipe bombs, and other explosive devices.  We ask that you deploy our national guard in light of these events that the nation was woefully undermanned to prevent at the time.

In June 2020, you deployed about 400 members of the Mississippi National Guard to Washington, D.C., “at the request of our federal partners,” protesters lawfully marched on the city protesting the killing of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody as an officer was recorded disturbingly pressing his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing.  Protestors marched like they had numerous times before, restlessly and nonviolently through the streets of the nation’s capital and across the country.  Nonetheless, as a result, people marching in demand of justice for Mr. Floyd were faced with an overwhelming, preemptive, and heavily armed police presence.

Now, we are requesting that you send our National Guard again, to assist in establishing a strong and overwhelming military and police presence during the inauguration.

We appeal to you to look at this request as you did in June 2020 and realize our Senators and Representatives, their staff, our President and Vice President, and our fellow citizens need our support and protection on Capitol Hill.  We would also ask that you acknowledge and attend to the threat that has been identified by the FBI, the threat of armed protest at our State Capitol that is scheduled to occur between January 15-20.

In closing, Governor Reeves, we pray that you will do the right thing and answer this call to protect our citizens, ourselves, our leaders, and the functioning of our government in the nation’s capital and at our State Capitol from a seditious and imminent threat of violence.”

Sen. Derrick T. Simmons (Senate Minority Leader) and Rep. Robert L. Johnson III (House Minority Leader)

The governor’s office released a statement to 12 News.

The governor told the Mississippi National Guard to send troops, if necessary, even before the riots at the Capitol last week. Certainly, nothing has changed…

There is no finer security than the Mississippi National Guard, and they are always ready to assist national security, if called upon.”

The Office of Gov. Tate Reeves

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