Mississippi Senate Minority Leader Sen. Derrick Simmons and House Minority Leader Rep. Robert Johnson are calling on Governor Tate Reeves to deploy the Mississippi National Guard to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.
“The Governor spoke thoughtfully about self reflection and division yesterday, we only suggest that the best path to unity is for this state and this country to stand together against sedition and treason,” said Rep. Johnson. “Join the rest of the country in helping to protect our Representatives, our Senators and our President and Vice President thereby protecting our democracy.”
Senator Simmons said the events from last Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol encouraged the writing of the letter. He referred to them as an act of “domestic terrorism.”
“With all of the FBI reports that are out there about eminent attacks not only in Washington D.C. but also at state capitols, I just think we should use all of the federal resources available,” said Simmons. “We are just asking the Governor to get involved and not only protect President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris but also our Representatives and Senators that are there representing the state of Mississippi and citizens that were hoping to go there and participate in this inauguration.”
Simmons said it is his understanding that 15,000 troops have already agreed to be deployed for the inauguration.
According to Press Secretary for Governor Reeves, Bailey Martin, the Governor had instructed the Mississippi National Guard to send troops to Washington D.C. if necessary, even prior to the riots at the Capitol.
“Certainly, nothing has changed. There is no finer security force than the Mississippi National Guard, and they are always ready to assist national security if called upon,” said Martin on behalf of Reeves.
The letter to Reeves reads:
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.