4 arrested during protests, confrontations around Justice for J6 rally on Capitol Hill

Four people have been arrested during the events surrounding the Justice for J6 rally on Capitol Hill, according to law enforcement.

One person was arrested on a weapons charge when Capitol police discovered he was carrying a knife. A second person was taken into custody after a bystander alerted them to a gun he was carrying.

Capitol police also arrested two people on warrants out of Texas Saturday morning after a traffic stop.  One of the people in the car had a firearm, the other was arrested for a probation violation.

The arrests came despite a relative lack of violence at the rally itself, which was held to support the Jan. 6 rioters who’ve been arrested.

Capitol police say they needed to break up a confrontation between protesters and counter protesters, but they were able to do so without incident.

Early in the rally, FOX 5's Natalie Rubino indicated that she observed between 100 and 200 protesters, along with "a few dozen counter protesters."

Capitol police estimated mid-afternoon that there were 400 to 450 people inside what they described as "the protest area" - a number that fell far short of the 700 organizers expected to participate in the rally.

Look Ahead America Executive Matt Braynard - a former Trump campaigner who organized the rally - said the demonstration was not in support of the former president necessarily.

"What this protest is not about - it’s not about President Trump, it’s not about President Biden. It’s not about the election. This is about unfair treatment of the nonviolent people," he said.

The Capitol riot erupted in the wake of a rally featuring former President Trump, who reiterated claims that the 2020 election had been stolen from him. When the protesters left the rally, they storm the U.S. Capitol, temporarily halting the electoral vote certification process, which ultimately cemented President Joe Biden's victory.

Ahead of Saturday’s rally, U.S. Capitol Police officials provided insight into some of the security measures in place.   

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Rocky Twyman, founder of Pandemic Comforters, said he was afraid of another incident happening like the Jan. 6 riots.

"We’re just going to pray tomorrow, pray and fast that nothing happens."

During the rally, Braynard condemned the violent confrontations that characterized much of the Capitol riot.

"It was stupid it was wrong," he said.

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Before the rally, on Friday evening, FOX 5's Perris Jones spoke to some people who are not from the area who were sightseeing and disappointed to see the fence, but they said it’s better to be safe than sorry.  

"I don’t like the fence, these buildings that are for the people here in America," one person said. "I like to be able to walk up close but also I don’t want anything to happen that shouldn’t happen so it’s good to be safe than to have something happen that shouldn’t."

In a news conference Friday afternoon, U.S. Capitol Police officials said they’d been monitoring threats of violence but it’s tough to say if those are credible.

"We have a strong plan in place to ensure it remains peaceful and that if violence does occur that we can stop it as quickly as possible." Tom Manger, Chief of U.S. Capitol Police said. 

Officials say they prepared for months, including making changes to the way they gather, analyze and pass on information used to understand and stop threats.   

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"Historically this department has relied primarily on outside agencies for intelligence information… that is no longer," Yogananda Pittman, Assistant Chief of U.S. Capitol Police said. "That was prior to Jan. 6 We have now grown and expanded our intelligence operations and we have dramatically changed the way we process and share intelligence with our law enforcement partners at every level." 

Capitol Police officials say they also held multiple training exercises for their civil disturbance units, scenario exercises for command staff, and gave detailed briefings for all officers.