- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 18, 2021

U.S. Capitol Police say a man with a handgun was arrested on Saturday at the “Justice for J6” rally near the Capitol.

USCP tweeted that someone at the rally told officers around 1:30 p.m. that “spotted what appeared to be a handgun on a man in the crowd.” He was arrested and police later determined he indeed had a gun in his possession.

Officers said it was “not clear” why the man was at the rally, which was located in Union Square on the west side of the Capitol grounds. It began at noon and ended around 1:15 p.m., and the agency estimated that there were approximately 400 to 450 people inside the rally site — including attendees and members of the press.

The arrest is one of four that USCP reported on Saturday as of midafternoon.

Around 12:45 p.m., USCP say they arrested a man who had a knife and charged him with a weapons violation. Police did not specify where the man was arrested.

Before that, USCP reportedly stopped a vehicle along Louisiana Avenue in the morning and arrested two people for felony extraditable warrants out of Texas — one warrant was for possession of a firearm and the other was for a probation violation. 

SEE ALSO: ‘Not taking any chances’: Capitol Police chief says agency prepared for threats of violence at rally

Around 7:15 a.m., USCP deputized outside law enforcement as special officers for the Saturday rally backing jailed January 6 detainees who have made allegations including being treated harshly by jail staff or being denied the right to a speedy trial.

The agency was able to deputize the officers from their local, state and federal law enforcement partners through an emergency declaration. 

A USCP spokesperson told The Washington Times in an email that the agency could not disclose the number of newly deputized special officers for “security reasons.”

During a press conference Friday, police said both the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department are fully activated for the rally, and 100 unarmed D.C. National Guard troops are on standby.

In the days leading up to the rally, police re-erected a fence around the Capitol Building and the U.S. Supreme Court. They also installed surveillance cameras around the rally site and put up “No Gun Zone” signs. 

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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