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Local Officials Brace For Possible Protests Ahead Of Inauguration Day

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Police officers in riot gear during a summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protest.

As the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden approaches, discussions of further violence continue to percolate on mainstream sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as platforms such as Parler. Pittsburgh officials are preparing for possible actions in the city next weekend, in the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The city’s Public Safety Department is aware of reports and “social media rumors,” according to a release from the department on Saturday. 


Director Wendell Hissrich said city officials are working with local, state, and federal partners to ensure safety. 


“While we cannot discuss specific preparations, I have personally been in regular contact with law enforcement in order to continuously monitor the situation and prepare,” he said. 


Trump extremists have reportedly singled out Pittsburgh, Columbus, Ohio, and state capitals across the country as potential targets.


“Refuse to be silenced,” read one post cited by a story in The Washington Post, which first reported on the potential threats.


Supporters of Trump openly talked online for weeks about storming the U.S. Capitol, discussions that culminated in a deadly riot on Jan. 6. Even after the attack, more than 100 Republican representatives -- including area Congressional Representatives Guy Reschenthaler and Mike Kelly -- objected to certifying the results of the presidential election.


Trump eventually issued a video acknowledging that he had lost the election. But he later declared he would not attend Biden’s inaugural.

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