By early afternoon Sunday, a potential rally or protest outside the Kentucky Capitol had not materialized.
There were reports of planned protests at all 50 state capitols Sunday afternoon. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear closed the Capitol grounds Sunday as a precaution and requested the National Guard to be on site in addition to Kentucky State Police and Frankfort Police.
Security around the Capitol will remain elevated in the coming days, though state police would not discuss specific details.
“We will not allow what happened at the U.S. Capitol to happen in Kentucky,” Kentucky State Police Sgt. William Gregory said in a statement Monday. “KSP condemns anyone that is considering acts of domestic terrorism on our state and nation.We all must agree to not encourage or allow this behavior. Just like today, and every day, KSP, the National Guard and Frankfort Police stand ready to defend our commonwealth. In the coming days and weeks we will remain focused and diligent, and will be prepared to respond as needed.”
Life seemed to continue as normal in the surrounding neighborhood Sunday.
“I personally have not heard from folks about any impacts due to the security changes, other than one person asking which streets would be closed,” said South Frankfort Neighborhood Association past chair Joel Fischer in an email Monday. “I can confirm that folks in the neighborhood are concerned any time that citizens show up armed, including the earlier events such as January 2020.”
One rally in January 2020 attracted hundreds at the Capitol to support the Second Amendment as legislators discussed several firearm-related bills.
In the first hour Sunday, one woman walked onto the grounds wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, but left after briefly speaking with state police.
Beyond Todd Street, two men affiliated with the Boogaloo Boys movement arrived, armed with rifles, and spoke with the media. Another group with the Black Lives Matter movement showed up later, bearing weapons and chanting in front of the Capitol steps, but left peacefully as well.
“I’d say we’re prepared with anything that happens,” Gregory said Sunday. “We always expect something to happen.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Boogaloo movement emerged in the last decade as antigovernment and is “largely unorganized” in small groups in cities around the country. The group presents itself as opposing government overreach and tyranny while remaining race-blind, according to the SPLC. The group also appears to be uninterested in joining with the Black Lives Matter or antifascism protestors, the SPLC posted on its website.
The men affiliated with the Boogaloo Boys left after several Black Lives Matter activists arrived, also with weapons. The BLM activists questioned those among the heavy police presence.
Entrances to the Capitol property were all blocked by police or military vehicles, but people were allowed to walk to the bottom of the Capitol steps.
Those who did arrive at the Capitol said they were not there to protest any specific political party, but the belief peoples’ rights are being trampled by the government.